Long Britches and Jackets

By James McManus

Jackets out of the closet, long britches back on, sweet fall is here! The smell of the season is one of my fondest takes, dry decomposing leaves, bright, crisp mornings – I am thankful for it all. Fishing getting better every day, schools stacking up, topwater spooks getting blasted, points crowded again with our little friends. This is a time of year when I sometimes go out and don’t even fish. Guide business slows with school back in, everyone playing soccer or football or at least watching. Up here in Western NC, the leaf season can take your breath – sourwoods, maples, poplars, and hickories start the show. It will be a while still before the deep reds of the oaks retire the show so now’s the time to just take it in.

When you are guiding, there doesn’t seem to be time to enjoy what’s around you with lines to be untangled, fish to be unhooked, or worse, long periods spent searching for them, sometimes frantically. This is a perfect time to sit back drift around and just soak in what we’ve been blessed with. On Fontana, the wildlife goes crazy this time of year. There’s never a better chance than there is now of seeing a big ol’ black bear. The lake is dropping and any tree or branch that was in the water is covered with huge clumps of frog eggs. Bears must love them because they search every downfall as the water recedes. Big deer swim across this time of year thinking about the upcoming rut. Pigs and even coyotes and squirrels seem to need what’s on the other side. So, I plan to take some relaxing trips in the coming days; got a few in the freezer so may not even wet a line. Enjoy your blessings, get off the couch and just take it all in…fall is here! Later, Capt. James

Capt. James McManus owns 153 Charters. Give him a call for a great day on the water at (828) 421-8125.