Now is the Time to Fish for Trout That Survived the Summer

News & Tips: Now is the Time to Fish for Trout That Survived the Summer...

I don’t know what your weather has been, but in much of the northeast part of the country the soon-to-be-departed summer was exceptionally wet and relatively cool.  Which is good news for trout anglers.  These conditions are easy on wild trout and also provide extra sport for stocked trout.

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Cool, wet summer weather in the northeast has given trout anglers great opportunities to catch wild and stocked trout this fall.

Concerning the later, it was with this in mind when I visited the special regulations section of a stream a few minutes from my west-central Pennsylvania home.  The creek is a marginal trout stream at best, relying on spring hatchery plantings for its supply of fish.  Normally by mid-June elevated water temperatures would have put an end to the trout action for the season.  But not this year.

In this special regulations section – which stretches for nearly four miles – one can fish with artificial lures or flies (no live bait); trout can be creeled, at a reduced rate (compared to standard statewide limits) from mid-June until the start of September.  The remainder of the year it’s catch and release.  The local Trout Unlimited chapter has done extensive work on the area and stocks a good number of fish to augment what the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission supplies.

It was no surprise that I had the stream to myself when I visited it recently.  The paths that had been well worn a couple months earlier were pretty much covered up with fresh vegetation.  Rigging up with a two fly set up that included a nymph fly and a Blooddot (egg pattern), I made a short cast upstream, allowing the tandem to drift drag free along the rocky run that was fed by a nice riffle.  It took only a few casts to hook into a nice healthy rainbow, a fine looking fish that had acclimated itself well to the wild environment.

The next couple of hours provided steady sport.  It was like having my own private trout stream.  No concerns that someone would be standing in the next pool around the bend.

Chances are good that if you, like me, have experienced an unseasonably cool, wet summer, and you live in a state that manages trout (at least in part) by stocking, there’s plenty of trout leftover, ones that by now are completely overlooked.  With fall at the doorstep, these fish have made it through the tough months and will be available for adventures this autumn.

Here are three items to consider:

  1. Be sure to check your state’s rules and regulations regarding fall fishing for trout.  Review the status of tackle requirements, creel limits, and areas open (and closed) to fall trout fishing.

  2. If you’re a fly fisher, include egg patterns in your array of presentation options.  Eggs are a big part of a trout’s diet in the fall.  Egg patterns are particularly effective on rainbows and also appeal to other commonly stocked trout such as browns and brooks.

  3. The odds favor stream sections that are managed under no-kill or reduced-kill regulations as far as having a good supply of holdover trout at this time of year.

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