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Enjoy wildlife and fall foliage while fishing

Bruce Ajari
"Gone fishin'"

The calendar tells me that it is still pretty early fall, but the weather seems like mid-winter. We certainly have no complaints, other than the snow-blower has not been serviced yet.

With our local waters so low, the early precipitation is certainly a welcome sight. If the wet weather continues through the winter, our local region will be in much better shape next fishing season.

The cooler weather has kicked off the fall fishing season. I have received a number of reports that fishing has really picked up in our local waters.

Reports of Kokanee salmon and brown trout beginning to make their spawning runs up the local lake tributaries have been coming in for a few weeks now. As a result, rainbow trout fishing has improved. Rainbows feed on the eggs during this period.

Brown trout get pretty aggressive during this period and can easily be caught by running a streamer imitation or spinner by them. While they are easy to catch, I do not recommend harassing any spawning fish, particularly if they are on their redds (spawning nest). These fish are insuring your future fishing success, so any harm that could come to them from taking them out of the system or releasing them improperly could have an impact.

Brook trout in the backcountry have also dawned their spawning colors and have begun their annual routine. Only the hearty will trek into the backcountry after the last storm that we had, and this next one should make it very tough to get back into those waters.

A trip out to your favorite fishing site during this time of year is a great experience. The changing colors of the foliage is always beautiful. It presents a tremendous visual palette for the outdoorsman or woman.

Wildlife is on the move. The other day while on a walk near my neighborhood, I spooked a huge covey of quail. You will see lots of birds of prey (hawks and eagles), as a result of our population explosion of rodents this year. Deer, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals are all pretty active. It is certainly a great time to observe wildlife in addition to fishing.

Besides being spawning season for some fish, the remaining fish seem to go on a feeding binge to fatten themselves up for a long winter season. Winter can be a tough time if you are a fish.

Fall is arguably the best time of the year for an angler. It is my favorite time of the year just because the fishing is usually very good and there are fewer anglers. Because many hunting seasons have begun, many hunters are not angling during this period.

Speaking of fall and winter seasons, Pyramid Lake has opened up. This is a great fishery northeast of Sparks on the Paiute Indian Reservation. A reservation permit is required to fish this lake. It is $7 per day or $50 for the season if you fish from shore. A boating fee is also charged if you want to use a boat.

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


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