I head up the Highway 108 corridor three to four times a year. Most trips, I try to do a little fishing between trading stories with friends and family around the campfire. When I'm in the Sierras with my brother and uncles, fishing is usually secondary to the shenanigans they all try to pull with one another. We all get together two times a year for a "fishing" trip. The first is in early June and the other is at the end of September or early October. Both trips are great and have their unique feel. The Spring trip is filled with high off color water and the excitement of a new fishing season while the Fall brings low clear water, cold nights, and yellow leaves. I have to admit, the Fall trip is always my favorite. There's something magical about the Sierra in the Fall.
On this trip I made it a point to get on the water a few times. The first stop was a lake I had never fished that had some good numbers of brook trout. The lake was probably more suited to float tube fishing but I was able to land a nice brookie on a leech pattern and sinking line. The next day I dipped away while everyone headed to the bar to watch the Giants game and had a great time landing wild rainbows on dry flies. This part of the Stanislaus has a LOT of stocked trout and I find that using dry flies ups the percentage of wild trout to the net!
On the final morning, we usually pack up camp and head back to the Bay Area by 8:00 or 9:00. This time, my brother and I decided to extend the trip for a few hours to look for some cutthroats. We were both glad we did. The Sierras this time of year is amazing. The fall colors are coming out and the air is cool and crisp, yet sunny. It was a perfect morning filled with solitude, challenging (super spooky) trout, and amazing scenery. After we landed a good number of fish, we left them to their own devices. Driving down the dirt road back to the highway, we both felt the calming effect that Fall in the Sierras can bring. I can already feel the pull of the next trip!