Lets Talk Fall

September 7 – Leaves are starting to turn and a lot of out of state plates are headed south…must be September! So far the fall started off with a bang, 5 days of 80 almost 90 degree weather capped off with the remnants of a hurricane that brought some much needed rain. As discussed in previous reports fall fishing stands firmly on two pillars; water temperature and water level. Water temperature being the more important of the two. In September we are looking for heavy water flows to bring fish into the river and cool water temps to keep the fish in the river. Typically during the first couple weeks in September water is being released from area dams which allows fish to move into the Roach, Moose, East Outlet, and West Branch rivers, etc. These water releases are dependent on a few factors, most important water being held above these dams. This spring and summer has been extremely dry, with very little if any accumulation at all. This means these rivers do not have a lot of water in reserve. The other real big factor is water temperature; salmon and brook trout want 50-55 degrees period. Currently the rivers in the area are hovering around the 65 degree mark. As the nights begin to get colder and longer and barring any “Indian Summer” we will see a steady decrease in water temps as September progresses, this is a good thing.
Currently the Roach River is scheduled to see a push of water this coming weekend, at least up to 150 cfs which will be enough to bring in a fresh run of fish. However the length of time that this release can be maintained depends on the water in Roach Ponds which is scarce. This is another example of how fall fishing is not an exact science, saying that fishing is better at the end of the month compared to the beginning isn’t neccessarily true. Yes water will most likely be colder at the end of September than the beginning, but, if there hasn’t been significant rainfall or water release it means the same fish have been in the river for almost a month!
As far as fishing goes if fish are pounding streamer flies you are probably fishing to newer fish in the river. As fall continues the more fisherman and flies that fish see the less likely they will be to take traditional streamers. That doesn’t mean don’t use them or try them, just be willing to experiment with different approaches. Vary retrieves, make bigger swings, make slower swings, etc. Fishing nymphs and soft hackles can also be extremely effective when dealing with stubborn fall fish.