The End of Fall


Written by: Phil Monahan

Nate battles a steelhead against a backdrop of fall leaves

Battling a Great Lakes steelhead against a backdrop of autumn leaves.

photo by Jim Lampros


Now that the snow is flying here in Vermont, as well as in many other parts of the country, even the chilly days of fall seem like the Good Ol’ Days. Jim Lampros, the fishing manager of the Orvis Cleveland store, sent us this musing on the first frost of the year and what it means for Great Lakes steelheaders: 

The leaves are all but gone. For the dedicated angler in this tiny part of the world that marks an important milestone, a reality that is at once depressing and exhilarating—because as the vibrancy of autumn in the Midwest fades with each falling leaf, big silver fish are rapidly filtering in to fill the void.  Indeed, that chill in the air means that things around here are about to go from good to really good.  

Fall Leaves and a Chromer On The Swing

A chromer taken on the swing is one of the joys of autumn.

photo by Jim Lampros

Long before the last leaf hits the ground, the first frost of the season serves as winters’ warning: Fish now and fish hard while you can still feel your fingertips. There is an air of unease about the local angling community—look upstream on a cold November morning, and you will see the angst you feel inside coming from your buddy, desperation filling the air with each frantic breath. For now, we’ll heed the Old Man’s warning, taking the good (lots of very big trout) with the bad (hordes of zealous anglers), and fish at every opportunity, because it won’t be long until we’ll be standing on the river rather than in it.

Buck steelhead taken on a streamer

Fall color isn’t just about the leaves.

photo by Jim Lampros

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