Why We Love Autumn

Written by: Phil Monahan

The grounds at the Orvis home office burst into color in October.
Photo by Phil Monahan

Starting in late August, when the night air begins to bite, signs of creeping yellow and red first appear in the leaves in southwestern Vermont. That’s when we know: fall is coming. It’s hard to choose a favorite season—for all offer their own delights—but autumn is special in that it offers something for everyone who loves to be outside.

Hikers enjoy cooler weather for long treks through the mountains, and when they reach a summit or a open vista, they are met with a riot of color that reaches to the horizon. Oftentimes, Orvis associates will spend a lunch hour hiking to “the cobble,” a rocky outcropping on the mountain behind the office, where they enjoy a picnic and a spectacular view of the peaks across the valley.

The view from “the cobble” is worth the hike, and it’s the perfect place for a picnic.
Photo by Mike Healy

For fly fishermen, cooler water temperatures mean more active trout, fish that often feed aggressively to prepare for the long winter. This is the time to put away the tiny dry flies and tie on a meaty streamer. Swinging a big fly through a run on a chilly, foggy morning is a great way to end a season on the water. . .even if you don’t catch anything.

Large brown trout on the Battenkill go on the feed in fall, as Orvis’s Shawn Combs demonstrates.
Photo by Tyler Atkins

Of course, upland hunters have been waiting nine long months to return to woods with their dogs, in search of woodcock and ruffed grouse. Walking through the glorious colors while on alert for a flushing bird is both awe-inspiring and thrilling, although you have to be careful not to get caught leaf-peeping when a grouse goes up. The dogs get mad at you if you’re not paying attention.

Early-season grouse hunting is a glorious and thrilling experience.
Photo by Steve Hemkens

It’s over all too soon, but for those spectacular eight weeks or so, every moment spent indoors feels like a lost opportunity.

2 thoughts on “Why We Love Autumn

  1. Jerry Parkhurst

    Visited your flagship store in Manchester this summer. What a great experience. Looking for another trip next year,


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