It is not difficult to understand why some fly fishermen choose to avoid rivers like the Henry’s Fork after the month of August.
With low, clear water and currents complicated by aquatic vegetation near the surface, approaching and fooling a big trout with a dry fly is never more daunting than at summer’s end.
As the days become shorter and cooler fishing a fly larger than size eighteen and a tippet stronger than 6X becomes a luxury, and only the most precise presentation has any chance of yielding a positive result.
Adding to the difficulty of achieving complete success are extra wary trout that seem to understand that powering into a heavy weed bed will all but guarantee quick redemption from the mistake of accepting a fraudulent fly. Yet despite these many obstacles, this is the time I enjoy most.
In fly fishing, like many other of life’s undertakings, the significance of any accomplishment is measured by the difficulty presented by the objective, and we are only tested by that which is difficult.
Prevailing in an unforgiving situation is mainly dependent upon patience and concentration. Certainly, only advanced presentation skill will enable a realistic possibility that the fly will be accepted, but I will never be more prepared than in September.
Precision honed by more than one hundred days on the water during the preceding months permits a sense that I can make the cast that will place the fly where it needs to be in most conditions, but being defeated by a trout is something that I accept, however grudgingly.
While the challenge seems great with the arrival of autumn hatches that are mostly very small it will only intensify in the days remaining before winter’s arrival, but I will treasure every one.