I have been fishing the main lake the last two days over
my lunch hour. The settling pond is almost totally covered
with a skim of ice. There are a few spots around the end
open for maybe three feet. I expect those to disappear over
the weekend with the temperatures that are expected.
The main lake is open. It has so much water that it takes
longer to cool. Also the wind is blowing today. A twenty
to thirty mile per hour wind keeps the water from freezing.
It also makes it very hard to cast. The water is also very
dirty. I see a white fly about eight inches down. A fly is
going to have to be on the nose of a fish that is fairly shallow,
for me to catch anything.
The thing the amazes me is the number of people I had stop and
tell me that I would not catch any fish. I always asked them
why that was? The reply is almost always that the water is too
Let me digress for a moment. Have you noticed that in the
spring when the temperature hits 60 degrees that people are
running around in shorts and tee shirts? Have you also noticed
that in the fall when the temperatures hit 60 degrees that
people are wearing sweatshirts and jackets? It seems that
we adapt to what the ambient temperatures are and dress
accordingly. Sixty degrees in the spring is warm and that
same sixty degrees is cool in the fall.
I start haunting the ponds as soon as the weather starts to
warm up. I will be casting a fly when the ice is 20 feet offshore
looking for fish. The fish might not eat very much, but they still
eat. I may not catch very many, but that is not always the point.
I seem to have the need to put a line in the water.
I see no reason not to keep a line in the water, in the fall,
as long as there is open water. The fish are still eating,
either to stock up for the winter when there is not as much
food or to get ready to spawn in the spring. In the fall the
fish seem to school less in small ponds. They can be anywhere
in the water column and anywhere in the pond.
Even in the main lake there will be a few fish that are swimming
along any break lines.
I think they are looking for food. If you can have your fly
in the area at the time they are coming by you can have some
success. It will not be fast fishing, but who among us does
not always look for one more fish?
So, I don't understand the idea that fish will not bite in
the fall. I do know several people in this area that quit
fishing in the fall. Some of them are hunters and some are
not, but they all tell me that the fishing is not good. My
stand is that the fishing is always good, but the catching may
not match it.
So, I will keep a line in the water as long as I can. I will
also try not to look at folks like they are stupid when they
stop to tell me that the fishing is over. It may be after
Thanksgiving, but that is no reason to stop.
I did catch one bass about 10 inches long today. By the time I
held it to take the hook out and return it to the water, my hand
was cold. I had a disposable rubber glove on, but the water
evaporating off of the glove it took the heat out of my hand.
I was not out very much longer.
I hope you can get out on the water. Extend your season as much as you can.
(Written November 29th, 2007)