Fall season prime for local angling | SierraSun.com

Fall season prime for local angling

One gets the feeling that fall is certainly in the air. I was reminded of this the other evening during a fishing outing with friends. After the sun went down, I realized that the long sleeve shirt I was wearing was no longer going to be good enough.

Temperatures have cooled ” as evidenced by the dusting of snow we received Wednesday evening. This could change since we typically see some form of Indian summer. But fall is definitely upon us, which means that winter is not far off.

The cooler temperatures of fall typically stimulate our local fishery. Fish become more active, feeling the need to either spawn or feed heavily knowing that winter is coming.

Species such as brown trout, brook trout, kokanee salmon and mountain whitefish all spawn in the fall. Other species such as the rainbow, cutthroat and golden trout are spring spawning fish. Spring spawning fish often follow fall spawning fish into streams to feed on eggs and can be caught by anglers.

Fall is therefore a season that anglers relish. Cooler temperatures and active fish usually mean good fishing. Fall is a great time to be a local angler.

Fishing in both stillwaters and streams improve dramatically from the summer doldrums. Anglers fishing from shore at lakes love this time of year because fish come out of the depths that they sought to beat the summer heat. As the water cools, the fish will seek out the warmer shallows in which to feed.

After an unusually warm summer, the chill that I experienced the other evening was actually welcome. Many locals feel that after a warm summer, the following winter is usually a good one. However, the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a mild winter for our region.

Let’s hope that the former is true and we get a good snowpack this winter. Local lakes and reservoirs are at low levels for this time of year. The Truckee River flow is good for anglers, but this is only due to the fact that water must be released from Lake Tahoe to meet downstream water needs.

Should we have a light snow pack this winter, many of our local fisheries will certainly be taxed to the limit. We are already seeing some results of the lower water in many local reservoirs and some streams.

The Little Truckee River between Boca and Stampede reservoirs has a minimal flow of 32 cubic feet per second, which barely sustains that excellent special regulation, mostly catch-and-release, fishery.

Another dry year could cause even the Truckee River to have a barely sustaining flow if Lake Tahoe were to drop below its natural rim. This would have a huge impact on the fishery in the Truckee River and could devastate other waters already experiencing such low levels.

Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.

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