The end of summer is always bitter sweet for me. I am sad to see the last of the summer hatches end on my favorite WNY inland trout streams. And there is always a transition period at the end of summer that can be at times difficult to wade through, which only means that fishing can be at times on the slow side.
This year, however, many things have been a bit different from the get go. Spring decided to extend its self into summer and dump copious amounts of rain that put off much of the great fishing that can be had during the first early season hatches. And for me personally, it put an almost permanent damper on any successful dry fly fishing for the year. I also had many projects to attend to this summer, both in and around the house, which also contributed to my frequent absence from the stream during those peak hatch times. But as you may have guessed, I did find some opportunities to stretch a line, even when the fishing may have been less than stellar, and have found success. And a part of that was due to the fact that I was able to take part in a different kind of fly fishing – but that is another story that I will tell at a different time.
The only part of the end of summer that seems to have stayed the same this year for me is the opportunity to catch some big fish in the local inland trout streams. On average these fish will reach between 10-11 inches with 1 out of 5 fish being somewhere in the 12-15 inch range, and on occasion, a fish that will push a good bit beyond that. So in truth this is small to medium sized stream fishing that requires light rods and tippets. But every August I seem to get some of my biggest fish of the year at these places and so do some of my friends as well. Much of the fishing at this time is with small flies. Tricos, midges, small nymphs and wet flies in sizes #20-#24 are the key to consistently hook up with fish. And with the low water of late summer, it also allows us to do some sight fishing to some wonderfully picky brown trout.
I have also had the pleasure of bringing my kids with me on a few of these adventures, and watched them all get into fish here and there. And even that is coming to an end as they will all be in school by the end of the week.
But like everything else in life – change is inevitable – and fall is here!