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A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

 

If ever there were a time to be getting excited about trout fishing, it's now. That's because the month of September is likely one of the two best months to be fishing. June is the other, for those that wanted to know. Warm days, cool nights, colorful landscape, the lack of mosquitoes and lakes full of aggressively feeding trout all make up a quality experience. So the time to plan and get ready is right now. Set aside a weekend or two and hit your favorite trout lakes. The biggest of the big trout will be out on the prowl and they'll be looking for what you're offering.

Here's the lowdown on what to expect

As September advances and the waters cool, look to trout coming shallower and shallower, especially at first and last light. I often break my code of getting up at the crack of noon and get up real early, at first light, well before the sun touches the sky. It's time to hunt trout. That is the best possible way I can describe it, as trout hunting. Get out on the water at first light, preferably in a boat of some sort and turn your attention to the shallows. I'm talking real shallow. As in, the trout's fin often sticks out of the water shallow. That's where big trout and lots of them will be quietly routing around.

The water is usually flat calm and you can quietly work your way around the edges spotting trout after trout. Now there are all kinds of ways to catch them. If you're the fly fishing guy or gal, use a #5 weight rod, floating line and a super long leader. I'm talking a minimum 12-foot leader, a 15-foot leader is better if you can get a hold of it. On the end of that tie an additional five to eight feet of 4X tippet. Your fly should now be around twenty feet away from the flyline. This is necessary due to the shallow nature of the fishing and the spook factor of the trout. Any line overhead will send a trout darting for the cover of deeper water.

My fly choice is standard. I like to use either a size 10, 12 or 14 bead headed prince nymph, bead headed pheasant tail nymph or a zug bug. They all work and the reason is because trout are opportunistic. As long as whatever it is that plops down beside them resembles food, they'll come over and eat it. After you hook them, the rest is up to you.

On the flipside, if you're the spinning type, which I am too, pull out some small floating plugs or toss some tiny spoons. For the floating plugs, Rapala # 5 Floaters in pretty much any pattern will do the trick, but if you made me spill the beans on my favorite, it's the #5 floating Rainbow Rapala. That plug has never let me down. On the spoon side, get a narrow one and a wider one and make them small. The Fiord spoon is an excellent narrow spoon choice and the various Len Thompson spoons are an excellent wider spoon choice. Again, just be sure they're small.

With the plugs, when you spot a fish, approach cautiously and pitch the plug about five feet to the side. Don't worry about reeling, because it's a floater, so it's OK to just let it set there. After it has settled, give it a few twitches to get the fish's attention. That otta do it. From there you're sure to see a big bow wake move towards the plug and slurp it down. Don't set the hook on sight, rather, on feel. Reel up until you feel the weight of the fish, then set the hook. If you're like me, that is much harder said than done, but believe me, doing it this way results in many more hook ups.

For the spoon, the trick is keeping it up. In the shallow water it's an art form. Cast, then as the cast is nearing completion, flip the bail so the moment the spoon hits the water, you're reeling. It's a timing thing and it takes a little practice, but when you've got the hang of it, fishing in six inches or a foot of water will be old hat. The smacks on a spoon are going to be hard so be prepared. The reason for this is simple, the spoon's moving, the fish's moving and when they collide, the strike is solid.

Just be sure to set the drag. A lot of these shallow water fish are bruisers and there have been days when all I could catch were three to five pounders all day long. It's a crazy thing, but that's the beauty and the bounty of the fall season. Lots of fish and lots of fun.



Previous Fishing Articles

(1) Old Man River

(2) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River

(3) Small stream BT fishing

(4) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started

(5) In The Walleye Zone

(6) Zoo Trout

(7) Fly Selection for Beginners

(8) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(9) New Waters

(10) Big Bad Burbot

(11) Looking Back

(12) Out of Africa

(13) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(14) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(15) The Browns of Autumn

(16) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(17) Walleye Town

(18) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(19) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(20) Going With The Flow

(21) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(22) Swinging The Fences

(23) A View From The Aerie

(24) Dixieland Delight

(25) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(26) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(27) Montana's Cool Missouri

(28) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(29) Toothy Critters

(30) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(31) Top Ten Flies

(32) Northern Exposure

(33) Home Water Lessons

(34) Chicken Of The Sea

(35) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(36) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(37) Keep It Up!

(38) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(39) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(40) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(41) Hawg Holes

(42) Saltwater Salmon

(43) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(44) Down a Lazy River –
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(45) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(46) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(47) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(48) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(49) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(50) Fall Walleye

(51) Wet Flies

(52) Versatility the Key to Success

(53) Grayling of the Boreal

(54) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(55) Size Matters

(56) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(57) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(58) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(59) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(60) The Point Of It All

(61) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(62) Fall Fly Fishing

(63) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(64) Big River, Big Fish

(65) Bottom Bonanza

(66) Fishing Small Flies

(67) So Many Choices, So Little Time

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(69) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(70) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(71) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(72) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
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(73) Edge Walleye

(74) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(75) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(76) Four Corners – Four Waters

(77) Chasing Pothole Trout

(78) Springtime Stoneflies

(79) The Torrents of Spring

(80) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(81) Bust Them With Bait

(82) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(83) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(84) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(85) Terrestrials

(86) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(87) Rocky Mountain High

(88) Reading the clues

(89) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(90) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(91) Fly Fishing 101

(92) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(93) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(94) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(95) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(96) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(97) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(98) Trust Your Electronics

(99) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(100) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(101) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(102) Walleye can be Humbling

(103) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(104) Winter Flyfishing

(105) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(106) Hot Fall Pike Action

(107) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(108) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(109) Frequently Asked Questions

(110) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(111) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(112) Deep Water Perch

(113) Post Spawn Brookies

(114) A Fisher's Life

(115) The River's Last Stand

(116) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(117) Coho on the Coast

(118) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(119) Summer in the Mountains

(120) Peak Walleye Season

(121) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(122) Last Ice Rainbows

(123) The Burbot Event

(124) Tackle Matching

(125) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(126) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(127) The Lure of Brook Trout

(128) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(129) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(130) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(131) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(132) The Vesatile Plug

(133) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(134) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(135) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(136) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

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(143) The Fun in Ultra Light

(144) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(145) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(146) Never Stop Learning

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(148) Jigging through the Ice

(149) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(150) Rainbows on Ice

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