How not to be seen…
Here is a grab bag of thoughts as we lurch into the fall fishing season:
Dressing appropriately is important, especially as it starts to get cooler. I am always reluctant to resume the waders, and will go as late into the season as I can wet wading.
One way to avoid cold feet (and subsequent stumbling around) is to wear neoprene socks. They take up the same amount of room in wading boots as the neoprene bootie of your waders, and even though you’re wet, the neoprene insulates the tootsies. (Stop me if I’m getting too technical.)
As I chase wild brookies on little mountain streams this fall, more often than not I will wear my nylon pants, ordinary wading boots, and neoprene socks. Upstairs I will use layers — a wicking T-shirt and/or a more substantial layered long sleeve T-shirt, followed by a shirt of miracle fabric or heavier cotton twill. Be prepared to shed or add layers as the weather changes.
It is always important to wear clothing that blends into the surroundings, to avoid spooking the fish. Khaki, olive and gray items dominate my angling wardrobe.
I fished with my attorney, Thos. Gallucio, earlier this year in a deep, narrow ravine. I went ahead and forgot about him for an hour. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen him, and I started backtracking, scanning the dense forest.
I was worried he might have fallen and hurt himself, and be lying there in a heap, his piteous cries for help slowly fading against the implacable roar of the stream.
I was also not looking forward to carrying 210 pounds of non-practicing attorney out of a ravine.
When I found him, I realized I had been looking right at him for a while. The only thing that tipped me off was a slight movement on his part.
My attorney still can’t fish much, but he sure is good at not being seen.
It finally rained over Labor Day weekend. About 4 inches in 48 hours. The Housatonic came way up — and subsided almost as fast. When I looked around after the rain, I saw no standing water where you’d normally expect to see some.
The rain got soaked up, and we could definitely use some more.
Nonetheless, it helped, and fishing for smallmouth on the Hous should improve with lower water temperatures.
And the trout that survived the 80-plus degree water should be moving out of the designated thermal refuges and into the main flow again.
We’re not done with this drought, so it would not be very sporting to target Housy trout just yet. If you do catch one, play it fast and release it faster. No grip and grin photos until October, please.