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River Valley Outdoors
The first cool rains this month brings the final days of the fishing season to a rod-bending, reel-screaming culmination – in other words, it gets real good.
A few years back I went up to Aziscohos Lake to Bosebuck Mountain Camps (bosebuck.com) on a September bear hunt and didn’t take my fly rod – what a huge mistake.
I didn’t figure the fishing would be any good because it had been extremely warm for several weeks leading up to the hunt.
Unseasonably warm weather, especially when the night temperatures stay elevated, keeps the water so warm that the trout and salmon remain sluggish and unwilling to take a fly.
About midweek, on Tuesday evening, the weather turned cool and it started to gently rain. We never got a big downpour, but the cool rain really dropped the water temperature that evening.
When I got back to the lodge Wednesday night the dining room chatter centered around big fish instead of big bear. Some of the guests had been out that afternoon and the fishing really turned on.
The cooling rain in September must send a signal to the salmonid population to make the annual migration up the streams to the same spawning beds where the individual fish had been originally hatched and raised.
No one has figured out exactly how salmonid navigate their way back to their original birthing site, but many have theories. Some think the fish have a sort of GPS unit within their skulls that orients their travel routes during this migration. Others believe the salmonid, with their strong sense of smell, can detect individual pheromones associated with their birthing place and return to the site using their nose.
I believe the cooling rains also help the fish locate the incoming streams that they follow to their spawning grounds. Imagine living in a liquid environment that suddenly had a stream of cold water come washing in. I think these fish follow that stream of cool water, pouring into a pond or lake, as a beacon – using the drastically changing water temperature as an indicator for direction.
One thing for sure, when the first rain of September hits this month, I want to be standing knee-deep in a bubbling brook full of trout and salmon.
I have the flies all tied up, the leaders made up and rolled into little plastic bags, and the plans all mapped out. I’m so eager to hit the fall salmonid fishing that I just might try a rain dance if it hasn’t rained by mid-month.
Pond fishing in the cooler weather of fall also gets cranking as the water temperatures chill. Cool water makes the fish more active and they go on a feeding spree during the chill of autumn – just the kind of attitude I like in fish.
I recently purchased a 13-foot Trident Prowler angling kayak by Ocean Kayak from L.L.Cote’s in Errol, New Hampshire. I’ll be dragging the olive-colored craft into some remote ponds this fall, for sure.
I’ve fished out of a kayak before and can’t say enough about how they handle in fishing situations. Certain features must be included to optimize the angling ability of the kayak.
An anchor, a definite need for pond fishing, makes the craft hold steady in ponds on a windy day. Kayakers must use extreme caution when using an anchor in the moving water of a river.
A strong current creates havoc with a solidly-anchored kayak, so anglers should avoid dropping an anchor in moving water. The only place I use my kayak anchor on a river happens to be in areas without any fast moving water, like a huge eddy of flat water.
Excellent fishing in rivers, brooks, or on ponds really kicks into gear this month, and I think it starts with the first cool rain. I’ll follow that cool stream of fresh water and migrate my way to some great fishing areas – just like the amazing salmonid.