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Autumn on the rise: Time for fur, fins and feathers

Notes from the North Woods

Opportunities to accomplish an Adirondack version of The Macnab are limited to three days Oct. 13 through 15.   The effort will require catching a brook trout on the fly, harvesting a whitetail buck with a muzzleloader and taking a pair of ruffed grouse on the wing in a single day.

Opportunities to accomplish an Adirondack version of The Macnab are limited to three days Oct. 13 through 15. The effort will require catching a brook trout on the fly, harvesting a whitetail buck with a muzzleloader and taking a pair of ruffed grouse on the wing in a single day.

According to the most reliable reports, angling opportunities on most local lakes and ponds has slowed down significantly in recent weeks. Overall, it has been a very slow season, even for anglers with the expertise to fish in deeper waters.

Anglers can only hope for cooler air temperatures and cold rains to help salvage what has been largely, a dismal fishing season.

Although I’ve seen a few nice specimens, and heard tales of a few others, ‘few’ seems to be the most commonly used term. Many anglers have asked if the lack of finding active fish was just an oddity? I’m sorry to report that this season’s distinct lack of action appears to be a consistent trend for most fish species including trout, bass and walleye. Lake trout and salmon, which tend to inhabit the deeper, cooler waters were taken a bit more readily by those who prefer to plumb the depths with downriggers and wire or leadcore lines.

It is open to debate whether the poor fishing can be attributed to the scouring effects that occurred on local waterways during last year’s extreme water levels, or to the diminished oxygen content resulting from the season’s usually warm waters.

While I have enjoyed a couple of days of consistently good fishing this season, the feeding has been largely sporadic, if at all.

Fortunately, there is already the hint of autumn in the air, and the hardwoods have begun taking on their fall colors. Hopefully, the subtle seasonal changes will prompt a feeding streak that’ll last through the end of trout season.

As September rolls around, so do many other sporting opportunities, with birds again available on the wing, and turkeys in fields. Big game hunters have been counting down the days to the start of Early Bear Season, as archers await the beginning of Bow Season for whitetail deer.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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