Fall fishing can be great. These tips will help you succeed.
This story was originally published in October 2019.
Many anglers see the end of summer as the end of their fishing adventures for the year, or at least until the snow falls and their favorite lake or pond is covered in ice. Others are more reluctant to pack their fishing gear and claim that fall fishing can be as good as one will find here in Maine.
“I think the biggest thing for most people is that the quality of the fish in the fall is far superior to what we see in the spring,” said guide Jeff McEvoy, who owns Weatherby Hunting and Fishing Lodge in Grand Lake Stream. “(The fish) are all ready to spawn, and they’re just fat, healthy, big. They’ve been in the lake all summer feeding on smelt, so they’re at their best in the fall when we fish for them (in the river).”
A quick word of caution: The state’s general fishing law mandates that Maine’s rivers, creeks and creeks be closed from October 1 through March 31. Therefore, anglers interested in fishing during October (or after) must find waters subject to special regulations. Some popular options include: Grand Lake Stream, open through October 20, the East Outlet of the Kennebec River (open year-round), and the St. Paul River. George (open year-round), and Presumpscot River (open year-round). .
Be sure to check the Code S section of your state fishing law book to make sure the waters you are fishing are actually open.
Rob Dunnett, an avid Brewer angler, said the predictability of fishing is a big lure for him.
“The main draw to fishing is that trout and salmon, especially larger fish, move into streams and rivers when the water cools to actively feed before spawning,” Dunnett said.
Jeff Reardon, Maine trout project manager for Trout Unlimited, chose to spend the fall targeting upland birds and waterfowl and giving local wild fish a break. But he says he enjoyed some fall fishing when he had more free time and remembers some good times on waters without schools of wild fish.
“(I’ve enjoyed catching) landlocked salmon on streamers. This has mostly been a late September event, but it continues into October in some waters — like Grand Lake Stream,” Reardon said. “A lot of times the salmon aren’t there.” “Or his jaw is locked, but every now and then, there might come a day when the fish hits the fly if you get the presentation right.”
Colored flies usually imitate baitfish, or are brightly colored “attractor” flies designed to provoke an attack by a predatory fish.
Those hunting memories are still fresh for Reardon.
“I’m not sure there’s anything more fun than passing a streamer near a spot you suspect might have a fish and watching the salmon follow the fly as it swings and then catch it,” he said.
How to succeed
So how do you fish in the fall in Maine? These avid anglers have some tips that are sure to help turn the tide in your favor.
“It’s a great time of year to swing streamers and wet flies for those beautiful fall-colored fish before winter takes over,” Dunnett said. “Bright body colors seem to be better in the fall. Wet flies like partridge and orange flies. Streamers like Barnes Special or Wood Special.
The fish that settle in the Grand Lake Stream have been eating smelt all summer and will likely chase the streamers, McEvoy said. He likes red or yellow flies, and likes to catch them quickly, stripping the line quickly after making a cast.
“In order to get a fish to strike you you need to stimulate a predatory response. So you have to make your fly dance,” McEvoy said. “If you go out steady and slow, they’ll watch it swim by and you probably won’t do anything, but if they feel they have to take “They decide quickly or they feel threatened by something, it’s coming into their territory, and they will chase it.”
Fishing for landlocked salmon may be less complicated than you think, Reardon said, but honoring those who fished before you can enhance the experience.
“Doing it on traditional Maine streamers isn’t necessary — a salmon will hit a woolly bugger or a synthetic hair streamer articulated with a tungsten head just as hard — but traditional styles like the Shufelt Special, Colonel Pitts or Black Ghost “just feel right,” he said. “good”.