September rolls in with Labor Day Weekend, college football, a taste of fall in the air, and a crisp cool breeze in the mornings as the first cast is made. Kids both young and old are now back in the full school schedule, and there is some solitude during the mid-week from the hustle and bustle of summertime on the watersheds. A small dip in temperatures in August, gave us a little hope that fall is not far away. A couple of nights that the temperatures dropped into the high fifties, added some afternoon thunderstorms, and the rivers here are actually in good shape headed into the Fall season.
Folks have had good fishing trips on the Chattooga and Chauga rivers, fishing for the Red-eye bass and pan fish. Fishing top water has seemed to produce many fish to hand, a day. Using top water poppers and terrestrials has proven to be a great day on the water. Small streamer patterns have proven themselves as well, when the top water bite subsides.
Fishing for trout has been good, with all of the summer rains we’ve been blessed with, and the fall fishing for trout will get much better as we receive the cooler fall temperatures, and the water temperatures start cooling towards the high fifties.
As we look forward to the cooler temperatures of the fall season, we will start to see the emergence of the first of the “fall bugs”. The rocks in the rivers are loaded with very small dark nymphs as well. Try swinging the larger emerger imitation or a heavy nymph with a smaller nymph dropper, through the riffle areas of the river and into the heads of the pools. As daytime temperatures heat up, the fish will move further into the depths of the rivers, so getting a bit deeper with a heavier front fly or a pinch of split shot will help greatly. The streamer bite is always a great option, as many small baitfish cruise the banks casting patterns mimicking these fish will result in a great day on the river.
Early fall is a great time to knock off the rust, if the fly rod has not been picked up for the summer. A guided trip for a half or full day, new fly line, any of the necessary gear, or the flies to have a successful day, and some of the local information of where to go is what we are all about. We hope to see everyone in the shop or out on the rivers, and let’s all remember to take a little more out of the rivers than we walked in with!
Karl and Karen Ekberg are co-owners of Chattooga River Fly Shop, located at 6832-A Highlands Hwy, Mountain Rest, SC 29664. Give them a call at (864) 638-2806 and visit their website at www.chattoogariverflyshop.com.