Trout season is coming to a close in a very short time. As the season winds to an end, I try and savor as much of it as I possibly can. To that end, you will find me just about every afternoon knee-deep in my favorite trout pond. As the seasonal temperatures begin to drop in the ponds, the trout fishing heats up.
Getting up at the crack of dawn this time of year to fish is pretty much a waste of time. In the last couple of days, the thermometer at my house had been hovering around the 30-degree mark.
The trout, like us, can be a little lethargic when the thermometer dips that low. I prefer to wait for a warm afternoon and fish until dusk. If things warm up enough, you might be lucky and see a hatch.
I have witnessed some good caddis hatches on fall afternoons and have seen a pond light up with rising trout. With the lack of a steady hatch you will see the occasional rise. More than likely these fish are keying in on midges.
If there are enough of these rising fish, I will just about always have a Griffith’s Gnat tied on. A close second favorite would be a size 20 Addams. The trick is to be able to quickly cover the rise and at the same time not put the trout down. Picking up a long line and laying it down softly can be tricky, but when it all comes together it can be rewarding even if it is only a small trout.
The smart money is to throw subsurface flies such as nymphs or small streamers. A Prince nymph is just about as good as any, and I have had a lot of luck with them. A Partridge and Green soft hackle is a good choice, and those of us old enough to remember Red Peckham, will always have a couple of little Green Things in our fly box.
As for streamers, the same patterns that you started the season with in the spring will work in the fall. Black Ghosts and Golden Demons are my go-to, but just about any colorful, bright streamer will do the job.
I truly love these last few days of trout season. Some of my very best memories are of fishing trout ponds in October. One could not ask for a more pretty time of year, and on the whole the fishing is not all that bad.
On a side note, it is no secret that current N.H. Fish and Game director, Glenn Normandeau, will be leaving office next March. The hunt is on for a new director. It is time for a change.
In my personal opinion, the new director should be someone who is a hunter and an angler, but, at the same time, has the heart of a true conservationist; someone that will lead the department to conserve and protect New Hampshire’s wildlife and be willing to make the hard choices to do so.
I would like to see the next director have a strong background in environmental science and wildlife management, rather than law enforcement. Most of all, I would like a director who will have the courage to move the department away from the hatchery mentality and focus on restoring wild trout populations.
The Fish and Game commissioners might also consider doing the “unheard of” and look for a woman.
See you on the river.