This September has been one of the best “last months” that I can remember. The numerous gray cells in my brain may be clouding my memory, so I guess that may be a bold statement but let’s run with it. The last two weeks have been especially good. Here is what I think set up this perfect scenario. (Click on any image to enlarge)

The first floods in mid August changed the rivers. The fish took a while to get used to their new surroundings and locate new homes. Looking at the aftermath of the flood, a lot of the existing food was washed away. As the river settled down, flows remained a bit above normal for the beginning of September. It was also at this time that we went through a pretty dramatic temperature shift. We went from the 90’s to the 70’s in air temp and the nights remained cool. The stream temps dropped and stayed in the 60’s. The triggers for the fish to begin eating and ready themselves for the spawn as well as the impending winter  were all there this September. If you remember last year we were in a drought and waters were clear, warm and low. Food may have been in short supply after the first flood and then another high water event may have had them looking even harder for food. The fish in the last two weeks where I fished(mostly on the lower Kinni) were competing with each other for food. The good sign was that we caught fish in all different size ranges showing that even the smaller fish had survived the massive floods. Floods in August and September may bode better for the young of the year because they have had a full season to grow rather than when spring flooding occurs the trout are so small that we lose a year class. I am still looking into the observation of many small fish being caught on the Rush River in September. Many of you have emailed me about this observation. To my knowledge the DNR has not stocked the Rush river with any fish in each of the last 3 years. There have been increasing numbers of naturally reproducing fish and an experiment to see if that river can sustain its healthy trout population is under way. More about that later.

The last two weeks of the season were what any guide or client love to see. Clients who booked with me in September had days like not likely to occur in the near future. Many caught the largest fish of their lives during this time period, and it was exciting to watch and see the beautiful trout that live in the river but are difficult to catch on a regular basis. Although many of the fish were returned without pictures, and due to the humbleness of the anglers I will not talk about size or numbers. Thanks to all of you who fished with me this year and  for the memories of our adventures together, especially the the last days of the season. You put on one hell of a show for me.