There is nothing like a beautiful crisp fall morning to get one heart's racing in anticipation of fresh steel. And this morning was about as good an October morning as one could ask for. The pre-dawn sky was filled with stars and void of clouds. The temperature was 54 degrees, according to the car thermometer. The temp dropped nearly 10 degrees as the car dropped into the Rocky River valley.
As the sky lightened I hiked down to the water trying to keep my optimism in check. This was more of a scouting trip than a fishing trip, I reminded myself. Few fish are in the system, despite the wet end to September. And three straight days of bright sunshine and daytime temps approaching the 80s were bound to discourage fish from running upstream. Regardless, I was eager to get my first look at a favorite stretch of the river. Heraclitus observed long ago that one can never step into the same river twice, nor can one fish the same river twice. Rivers change constantly and the Rocky changes more than most. Its soft shale bottom gets scoured by summer floods and large slabs of shale break free, altering the rivers flow and depth.
The big pool I wanted to explore was deeper than the past spring. A long, snaking foam line nearly cut the pool in half its entire length. The October optimism only grew as I tied on a minnow fly and began to explore the pool's new depths. As the sun rose the optimism slowly faded with each uninterrupted drift.
I decided to focus more on exploring the pool and understanding its changes. More fish are on the way. My optimism will be warranted, just not today.