Fall fishing.When almost everybody else has left the lake.

  Crisp, clear days minus the smoke and no need to rise early! The summer RVs are gone, as are the mosquitos.

Crisp, clear days minus the smoke and no need to rise early! The summer RVs are gone, as are the mosquitos.


    The lake fishing season ... "palindromesque" ... ( I think that's a made up word :) ... it is a bit like a palindrome in this part of the world, at least in some ways. Both ends of the natural lake season have crescendos of activity. The Spring crescendo is well known and heavily fished. The water warms up, the hatches get more plentiful, and fishing comes alive. Everybody and his dog may show up when the Chironomid hatches, for example, are in full swing in May. It all peters out quite a bit by July and we are all familiar with the hot August doldrums when many tug-thirsty lake anglers will take to the rivers for a while before Fall cooling starts.

  Fall cooling ... that's the start of the other crescendo. It begins slowly through September and builds through October. This crescendo is not heavily fished. I don't know why. Maybe a lot of the Spring fishers are now hunting. Maybe it's the lack of hatches. Maybe children of the intrepid Spring fishers need extra attention during the beginning of the school year. Maybe there's no good reason, although weather-wise it's usually about the same average temperature as in the Spring. However, fisher psychology is certainly different. In the Spring the intrepid stillwater fishers have been anticipating the coming of "the bite" for months. The agonizing wait through the long winter has intensified that hunger for Spring and "the tug". On the other hand the Fall cooling brings the realization that open water fishing will soon be over. A quiet melancholy may set in which some stillwater anglers may wish to avoid. I don't really know.

    Whatever is going on one thing is for sure ... the Fall feeding crescendo happens for a different reason. There are no major insect hatches in the Fall. But the fish need to put on weight at a great rate to see them through a long winter. And fortunately over the early days of September the water temperature has been gradually falling back to a point that is much more comfortable for them. As the trend continues we hit the point where the fish actively seek out the warmer water of the shoals during the heat of midday, just as they did in the Spring. But this time it's "every fish for himself" opportunism that reigns. They turn to the stuff that's always there for them - shrimp, bloodworms, baitfish and leeches ... lots of leeches ... and the bugs that moved towards the shoreline from deeper water in the Spring now start to migrate back. The fish know this.

   Although that psychology of the impending end of the season does hold some sway this is still a favourite time of year for me. It's quiet for one thing ... except for the crashing back to surface, for instance, of a leaping Pennask rainbow on the end of your line!


  Here's my wife Janice.There was no one else here on this beautiful and serene BC lake for two days except me, Janice and the fish.

Here's my wife Janice.There was no one else here on this beautiful and serene BC lake for two days except me, Janice and the fish.


Jimmy

Jim at Police Outpost

Some friends...


Well, the first time I fished the Elk River with Jim he was really, really nice to me. Of course, his daughter Deanna, "all growed up" now, but about eight at the time, was with us as well, so ... you know. The next time (might be usin' a bit a poetic licensing stuff here, time-wise anyway) it was different. 

I was haulin' 'em in, as usual. Jim seemed a might antsy, even perturbed you might say. It might a had somethin' to do with how many fish he was catchin'.

"Don't worry Jim", says I, "they're only cutthroat. Ya might even say there's even a certain kinda quaint virtue in NOT catchin' 'em in a place like this." I don't mind tellin' you that made me kinda proud o' my councellin' skills right there at that moment.

Jim didn't say much right off. I was kinda thinkin' ..."well that's a fine howdy do. Not so much as a 'thankee kindly'."

"Let me have a look at that there fly, Jobob." suddenly says Jim.

"Sure thing, Jimbo." I flicked my line in his direction. I aimed for his nose. I knew he would appreciate the jocular, goofy, light-hearted gesture 'o brotherly camaraderie.

Well,what happened next is somethin' I think you will all agree is beyond belief... somethin' from the twilight zone. Jim grabbed my tippet outa tha air. What the.... You're never gonna believe this ... He hauled off and just ripped my "Abomination" (a beautiful fly, if I do say so myself) plum right offa the leader ... with a thunderous snap that shook me to my bones. Then he tied it on his own tippet!!

EPILOGUE

Ever since that day I've been mighty careful around Jim. Whenever Jim is givin' me a new wack o' his old rods, or takin' pictures o' my boat, or his wife, Lynda, is takin' pictures o' my boat, or Lynda is changin' her schedule so she can drive with me into the wilderness o' BC with my boat, or Lynda is drivin' me around, or they is givin' me money, or askin' other people ta give me money, I feel like I hafta walk on eggshells. Just for example ... in thisy here picture ... that one up above ... while Jim was standin' in my boat... to help sell 'em ... he asked if I wanted him to hold onta a fly rod. Well, I don't know if any a you guys have seen Jimmy castin' ... I mean he flings that stuff all over the place. Also, I remembered that time on the Elk River. "Jimbo," says I," jus' maybe hold onta yer guitar fer dear life ...like ... you know... I do with some friends."