Hook, Line and Sinker: Nov. 16, 2011

November’s Bounty
After the surprise snowstorm on October 29, the weather has evened out and brought a number of welcoming warm days, added time to do more autumn activities usually relegated for earlier in the season, such as last-minute garden chores and….fishing!

We are fortunate to have miles of Special Regulation Catch-and-Release fishing in our area, and it is not unusual to see neoprene-clad anglers casting their lines under the last bronze leaves of the oak trees, long after the maples and birches have shed their colorful bounty. A warm, sunny day, even this late in the year, can spur on a hatch of tiny flies and cause trout to rise. My husband Ed and I had enjoyed a warm, sunny Sunday morning, setting up our deer blinds and observing new buck rubs, and were eager to spend more time outdoors that afternoon. And so, with the temperature about 53 degrees by lunchtime, we decided to try our luck one last time before officially putting up our rods and taking down our rifles for the upcoming season.

We arrived at one of our favorite special regulations sections at about 1:30 p.m. and found some fish rising. And due to the relatively slow flow and small size of the few flies we noticed, I tied on 7X tippet, and a size #22 Red Midge. I made my first cast and, after noting the water temperature was a brisk 42 degrees, caught my first November fish – a 12-inch brown trout. He was lively, probably due to the chilly waters he was in, and as I released him I noticed another small rise. I hooked this one, too, and went on to have more success, all on the size #22 Red Midge. After about an hour of standing in thigh-deep water (I didn’t dare go any deeper as it was pretty cold!) my feet felt like blocks of ice and my legs were freezing – it was time to go home and warm up by the wood fire with a hot cup of tea. I tallied my catch – I’d hooked seven fish, netted and released four; three browns that measured 12, 10 and nine inches, and a 14-inch rainbow that leaped out of the water three times and caused my heart to race. The well-worn Red Midge I took off my line was reduced to just a few twists of black silk!

Al Carpenter, of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville, reported that bass fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir has been consistently good, despite discolored water in the reservoir. Many bass anglers have been walking along shore and fishing with rubber worms or night crawlers. In addition, success has been reported from those using shiners and crayfish, along with size #13 Rapalas, floaters and surface plugs. Another favorite are the Berkely Gulp Worms, similar to Power Bait. One bass angler reported catching his limit regularly on #4 Blue Fox Spinners.
Successful father-and-son bass anglers include Steve Burnham and his son, of Downsville and David Falls, from New Jersey and Downsville, who was fishing with his son and brought in a ‘stringer full of bass.’

Regulations allow five bass per day of at least 12 inches in length; the season runs through November 30.

The big game season in the Southern Zone of New York State (our area) opens this coming Saturday, Nov. 19 and runs through December 11. The archery (bow) season opened on October 16 and runs through November 18, and then again from December 12 through December 20. The Muzzle loading season for deer of either sex coincides with the late archery season, of December 12-20.

Shooting hours are from sunrise to sunset. Please note the special regulations of antler point restrictions in Wildlife Management Units 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K and the portion of WMU 3A south and west of Route 28. Bucks must have at least one antler with three or more points that are at least one inch long.