Bruce Ajari | Fall fishing season is upon us |

Bruce Ajari | Fall fishing season is upon us

With the last holiday of the summer now past, the fall season is upon us. The aspens in my back yard are telling me that cooler nighttime temperatures are upon us now, and that cooler days will become the norm.

Anglers know this is the time of year that fish get very active in anticipation of the coming winter. It is also the time when a number of species begin their annual spawning rituals.

Brown trout, lake trout (mackinaw), brook trout and Kokanee salmon are all species that spawn in the fall. While these fish are at their most aggressive during the spawn and can easily be caught, most anglers would agree that these fish should be left alone while spawning.

The two most likely species that the stream fishing angler will come upon are the Kokanee salmon and the brown trout. Both can be caught fairly easily during the spawning process.

If you see the Kokanee in the stream, it is easy to tell when they are in the spawning mode. They turn a bright red color and can be easily seen against the stream bottom. While they are spawning, they are in pairs. The female digs a redd (nest) in the stream cobble. These can be pretty readily identified by the clean gravel look to them. It is pretty easy to determine that the gravel has been disturbed. The redds should be avoided by anglers that are wading, so as not to crush any of the fragile eggs within it.

Brown trout get particularly aggressive during the spawn. They will tend to strike at just about anything that comes into their territory, seeing it as an intruder. Anglers using lures and those fly fishers using streamers can take these fish pretty readily.

While this may present the fishermen with some great opportunities, most anglers will leave these fish alone. The rationale is to let them spawn and create the next generation of fish for us anglers to catch. Harassing them during the spawning season may mean a reduced number of fish being recruited because of the potential angler-caused mortality when playing and releasing a fish during a high stress period such as the spawn.

It is a choice that most anglers make quite readily once they realize that it can have an impact on their future fishing. Enjoy the fall fishing for other species such as cutthroat and rainbow trout. This is one of the major reasons that I fish lakes during the fall. They are also extremely productive during the fall months.

and#8212; Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.

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