I apologize it has been a while since I have posted. 2020 has been a crazy year as you all know and I’m ready for it to end. The amazing thing is how busy I have been so won’t complain about that. I’m never in a hurry for the temperatures to change when Fall approaches because I love the Summer smallmouth bass fishing. Normally late September and early October stays in the 80’s and 70’s for highs but in late September normal was thrown out the window. Shouldn’t of been surprised with the below average air temps because nothing has been normal with this year. We started Fall out with a few nights in the high 30’s and low 60’s for highs. I think that just made the bass not know what to do. Some of the rivers fish acted like it was Winter already so didn’t get that feeding frenzy like I normally see when water temps start to drop. Other rivers stayed warmer and fishing was ok but still know feeding frenzy. Lately we have had warmer temps and the fishing has been better. Last Friday was some of the best fishing I’ve had on the James River this year. Fish were schooled up and very aggressive. So hopefully I will see more of that the rest of October.
With the cooler than normal temps it has given good opportunities to chase after muskies. I usually don’t push fishing for them this early due to low and clear water conditions. We have definitely had up and down water flows from the passing hurricanes, which seems to happen weekly this Fall. My first day out fishing for them muskies were pretty much anywhere and you needed to fish like I would in the Spring. Which is fish everything, but my last trip out the temps have dropped more and most of the fish we saw were in Wintering holes already. Who knows though it could warm up again and they’ll spread out like they normally are this time of year. I would focus on fishing the long and deeper holes and save your arm through the shallower water now.
Most fly anglers think of trout when Fall weather hits. I have started doing trout trips and will continue them into Spring. Fall is a great time to fish for trout but falling leaves can hurt your success. If possible try not to go when the forecast doesn’t show higher winds. I’ve had many afternoons get ruined due to the leaves coming down and being pulled under in the currents. Fish just seem to quit eating or just can’t tell what food is when the leaves hit them in the face.