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Outdoors

New month brings new opportunities

New month brings new opportunities

September 03, 2006|by BILL ANDERSON

September is a month of transition. From an outdoor sports point of view, the arrival of September means that the early season for doves and resident geese is here, and it also means that some fishing opportunities unique to this time of year are about to kick off.

This late summer period offers several fishing opportunities that are different from the past few months. For example, for bass fisherman, this is the period when the turnover begins in many lakes and the fish will move to shallower water areas where they are easier to catch. There also will be a big reduction in recreational boat traffic, which also helps keep the bass in shallower areas.

River fishing for smallmouth bass usually picks up in September. The cooling water temperatures seem to trigger increased feeding by the bass. Things vary from year to year, but typical September conditions may also mean some of the lowest waters levels and clearest water of the year. In many rivers, this can mean fish that are somewhat hard to approach and hard to catch.

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Trout fishermen can also get into the act in the fall. Some of the streams will hold fish left over from spring stockings and the special regulation streams have good populations of fish throughout the year.

A unique opportunity in this area is fishing meadow streams with grasshopper flies.

Hopper fishing is a really big deal on most of the famous Western trout rivers, but there also is some very good local fishing using hopper patterns. There is nothing subtle about this approach. The fisherman should land the fly near the shore, then give the fly a little twitch with the line hand, just like a real hopper that accidentally landed in the water.

Trout really respond to a big hopper hitting the water and the strikes are simply explosive. It is some of the best fly fishing anywhere or any time.

The other trout fishing opportunity that is common to many streams in the fall is a mid-morning hatch of small, olive-colored mayflies in September and October.

The morning olive hatches are often very consistent well into cold weather. The trout really seem to react to the olives when they are coming off, and from my point of view, the best part is that on many streams, most anglers have moved on to the hunting seasons that are open at the same time.




Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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