While most people I know mindsets' are shifting from fishing to hunting, my favorite time of year on eastside lakes is creeping up. The nip in the air is a constant reminder of the white monthes just aound the corner. The leaves on the trees bordering lakes start to change color, and like a flip has been switched, the fish get an attitude problem. Whether it's the hormone charged throes of pre-spawn, or just pigging out before winter, the trout get aggresive. They move into shallows looking for big, easy meals. This is also when I change my tactics from small and technical, to big and ugly. Sometimes the fish give away their positions busting baitballs against shore or weedbeds, others you just keep methodically plugging away at weedlines until something happens. The last week I was lucky to get away tue and thu after work for a couple hours of fishing. I really wasn't expecting much. Pretty much the whole of September was a skunk. The streams and rivers I like to fish that month were too warm, and the lakes I did fish wouldn't pay out. I dropped my 'toon in at an out of the way spot tuesday. I rowed out a ways and started looking through flyboxes for inspiration. It came in the form of several big fish sloshing and waking along a clearly defined weedline nearby. Minnows were actually flinging themselves in the air, spattering down like raindrops as they found themselves trapped against the dense vegetation. Out came the streamer box. With fish in a feeding frenzy just out of casting range, I just grabbed a black bugeyed woollybugger and fired. I thought my cast was too short, but a wake broke away and gave chase. The closer it was to my fly, the faster I stripped and WHAM!! The surface exploded and the battle was on! I was grinning when I landed the 20+ inch 'bow. Sure that the commotion had spooked the others away, I cast back to the same spot anyway, and to my surprise a twin of the first fish pretty much repeated the whole process. I c ouldn't pull it off a third cast, but only a short while later I spotted another fish chasing bait against the weeds. I rowed, then drifted the rest of the way into range. This time the wake was bigger, the fight harder, and six pounds of rainbow was in the net. I went to another, closer spot thursday that held similar features, namely choice weedlines. I started with a streamer straight away. The fish weren't giving their positions away at the moment, so I would just put long casts along the weeds and strip back, varying speeds. Just when I thought it was a bust, I hooked a hot fish. It burned line out, but I was able to stop it before getting to the backing. When I got a glimpse I thought it had to be tail hooked, but turned out to just be an unusually strong eighteen inch redband. Plugging away some more rewarded me with another 'bow of around 24 inches. The third and final fish of the evening was even larger, easily seven or eight pounds. Three fish in two hours, exactly like tuesday. Sunday rolls around, and Enlightened has the itch after seeing pics of my fish from the week. All of Saturday was spent doing chores and housework. So I loaded up two pontoons, four pairs of waders and appropriate footwear, fly rods for us, spinning rods for the kids, and the dog. It was off for an 'adventure' at The Lake! After what seemed like forever getting everybody geared up and on the water, I launched my own boat. The kids were just down the shore, waistdeep throwing spoons. Enlightened was doing as instructed, working the weedlines. I rowed out near her, dropped anchor, and proceeded to hookup on my first cast. After she snapped a quick pic and I released a fat 24 inch bow, I told her to cast exactly where I had. There was some thrashing, Enlightened's rod doubled up, and one headshake later she sat slacklined and slackjawed as a bow even bigger than the one I just released made it's escape. That was unfortunately her only fishy encouter that day. I landed one more 'bow of about 22, then went to help the kids. With the dog following we hiked off to explore new shoreline. We eventually came upon where a small stream emptied into the lake. Kokanee were staging here, occasionally one would make a run for it, and back exposed would plow through the first riffle. The oldest focused on the kokes, while the youngest and I coaxed a fourteen inch brown from it's hiding spot. No kokes would play, just take a swipe every now and again. Mom and the kids left after that, and I rowed back out for another shot. That last hour payed off. I caught two more 'bows exactly twenty inches, but the icing on the day was a twenty inch westlope cutthroat. The only thing that would have surprised me more would have been a bull trout.