Fishing’s still great, even though hunting seasons are open

Just because hunting season has started doesn’t mean fishing season’s over. There’s still some great fishing to be done. And in a lot of places, it’ll be better in the fall than it was a month ago.

If you want to catch trout, you don’t fish when the temperatures are in the nineties. The fish might bite, but they won’t bite as frequently as they will when it’s cooler. So as fall approaches and the daytime highs start creeping back to more bearable temperatures, those of us who love to fish ought to be hitting the streams, lakes and rivers more and more.

The fact is, we don’t. Once hunting seasons start opening, the banks tend to clear out. Sure, some people combine hunting and fishing trips, but for the most part, the waterways are pretty lonely places.

Combine that with the appetites and energy levels of the fish increasing, and you have a recipe for some great fishing. So this fall, between hunts, or even, dare I say it, instead of a hunt, go fishing. You’ll have more room than you had on a summer weekend, and you’ll probably get more bites in a day in September than you got in a week in July.

A word of caution, though. Some of those great fishing holes are also good places to find elk, deer and even antelope, so be visible. Even if it’s only archery season, take along a hat or a jacket in blaze orange while you’re fishing. Make sure everyone who’s hunting in the area can see you clearly.

I’ve never claimed to be a great fisherman. In fact, it’s really the opposite. Whether I’m using flies, lures or bait, I seldom have much luck. But even I catch fish in the fall. In fact, the biggest fish I ever caught in Wyoming was a four-pound rainbow that took my spinner on a late August day. I caught it in the same hole I’d been fishing all summer long. But in the summer, I barely caught any fish there. On that fall day, before I caught the big one, I was catching fish every other cast.

No, fishing season isn’t over yet.