September is here and we couldn't be happier! Lots of things to celebrate as of late. CPW dropped the remainder of the fishing closure on the Colorado last week as water temperatures have eased. Nightly temperatures are dipping down near freezing at 9,000 ft (I had first frost on my windshield the other morning) and we seem to be on the other side of the summer heat.
Resident lake and low elevation river brown trout are beginning to show in tributary streams so the small water fishing has been productive for larger than average fish. Woohoo!
August was a continuation of our soggy July with near daily deluges on burn scars in the Colorado River Headwaters as well as the Eagle, Roaring Fork, and Arkansas River drainages. It certainly kept us on our toes! The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above average temperatures and below average precipitation for the month of September. What does this mean for us? To me, I'm looking forward to longer windows of clarity on the Colorado River and enjoying the Middle Colorado zone for the first time since June as it clears and comes into prime fall shape. We love the nocturnal golden stone hatch in this area. While a sparse hatch, they are a big meal for trout and you will often find the biggest fish feeding on the golden stone dries or nymphs throughout the day. A drier September will push the hoppers that proliferated during our wet summer closer to the river and as ranchers cut their hay, they will be more available to the trout as food.
Double Dry - These are great, especially if you are looking to vary your terrestrial presentation with small ant, hopper, or beetle. Running a small pattern behind a larger hopper can assist anglers with visibility. Additionally, I like to run two small or medium sized hoppers in tandem and use the terminal terrestrial as an "anchor" fly, utilizing aggressive mending to imitate a hopping grasshopper. It can be deadly, especially under cloudy skies or windy afternoon conditions.
September is our favorite month for fishing. Wish it could last 8 weeks instead of 4!