Are you a ’fine weather’ fisher, and go into hibernation when the leaves change colour? Or are the ’face it all’ year-round fisher? If you are the former, read on and see what you are missing out on. If you are the latter, you will probably be able to relate to what I describe below.
The cool, moist sea air blasting your face powered by storm strength winds. Working your carefully chosen fly out, a few fast pulls and then, BANG, that violent tug in the opposite direction. The constant pounding of an angry sea trout, and then after a dogged fight, our prize, a glisening bar of nature’s best; autumn sea trout.
The warm and sun filled days of summer have past. We embrace with less than positive thoughts what is to come; winter, snow and ice. The clocks turned back an hour and evening darkness ever nearer…we might as well just go and hibernate, fast forward to the glory days of spring.
Not quite. Between summer and winter is a wonderful time – autumn or as our American friends called it, fall. Cabin people that prefer a warmer clime, long gone and we coastal fishers get our world back. The water temperatures sinking from the warmth of summer and our friends, the salmonoids are back in play. Though if not a little pre-occupied with making sure the next generation is a certainty. But there are still some that have either done ‘the deed’ yet or aren’t quite ready for such fun times. These are what make the darker and colder days more attractive.
Like a bear gathering their spoils before hibernating, trout gather food to increase fat deposits to survive the winter. If you know where, how and when to fish for them, results will follow.
The last days where I fish and guide have been far from unusual, rather more typical autumn days. Strong winds dominating otherwise warmer grey days with finer days in between. Crystal clear water and exceptional large amounts of sticklebacks and gobies, cling to their safety along the seaweed belts. Not too far away, hungry sea trout.
Catches have been otherwise good to olive shrimp or small fish imitations, but one pattern has dominated, a black goby imitation of my own creation. This rather simple but effective fly married either with a floating line for shallower water or a clear fast intermediate for deeper water and 4-5m fluorocarbon tippet have delivered the goods. The size 6 fly, attractively retrieved somewhat erratically but hastily have awoken positive responses.
My sea trout average has been four fish per hour, and bites two fold. Then a coalfish or pollack mixed in for fine measure. My last trip was impressively productive, with 7 sea trout per hour. Everything from 300g (0.75lb) to 1.2kg (2.5lb).
After such days I am left with that gratifying feeling of coming home to the warmth of my humble abode, with the thoughts and memories of a magical experience only nature can provide. Though at the same time knowing that December is soon here and that’s a month dominated by larger fish…
So I again ask the question. Are you a ‘fine weather’ fisher? Maybe not anymore?