I find it amazing that so many people pack their rods away by late September and begin their winter angling hibernation period. Fish still rise to dries on the Elk River in October and the water is as clear as it can get at this time of year.
With October comes cooler weather, lower, slower water and the disappearance of other anglers. Combine these factors with a hungry and eager trout population and you have all the ingredients necessary to create a legendary day of angling. The fish still eat large flies, perhaps because of the October caddis that are still flying or perhaps it's because the cold nights signal winters approach and a sense of urgency takes over.
Spencer, my brother Kevin and I hit the Elk River last week experienced that legendary feeling. The trout started on small ants and as the day progressed and water warmed the Fat Albert started to strut it's stuff. Huge bottom dwellers began lifting there massive bodies from the basement of the river and gently sucked down the size 10 and 8 fat alberts.
It was a beautiful thing to watch as most fish never broke the surface, instead they just gently flared their gill plates out and drew the fly in. The fish for the most part were free of hook scars and were not the usual suspects of the summer. We hooked a lot of fish in different lies many of whom have probably spent most of their lives hook free which is not typical of a free rising Elk River Westslope Cutt.
The weather was a big help, the sun drenched skies were paramount in creating the surface feeding activity. So if any of you plan on coming up here for some Octoberfesting on the Elk, keep an eye on the Fernie forecasts and look for the sun globes.
Currently I am in Bangkok and am enjoying aromatic and spicy curries....a long way from the soft sipping Rocky Mountain cutts. If they were here I would likely be enjoying them in my curry--catch and release is a bizarre and foreign concept to the people of South East Asia