Fall is a fine time for fishing. The cooler temperatures make the fish hungry, for one thing. Trout, in particular, are looking to fatten up to prepare themselves for the rigors of spawning. For some timely tips on this loveliest of all fishing seasons, I consulted with Glen Zarboni of Hook 'Em Solid guide services.
Best fish to catch?
In the fall, Glen likes trout. "They're my favorite fish to target in the fall. Trout become a little more aggressive when the cooler temps arrive."
Trout are so popular they are stocked in many bodies of water in the area, with over 27,000 brown and rainbows released in the Malone area alone. Fly fishing varies by the kind of water, with river fishing needing slightly different techniques from lakes and ponds. Malone has all the different kinds of water.
The trout and salmon season runs from April 1 to October 15. Perch is open all year, while bass is open from the third Saturday in June until November 30. That's a lot chances for fall fishing. There's some special regulations which increase that season, too. Meacham Lake has open season for trout and landlocked salmon all year, under certain conditions.
Best places to go?
I asked Glen where some good places were. "The Salmon River in Malone is a great fall fishery. The river offers something for both fly fishers and spin fisherman."
According to Glen, "The Salmon River has scenic plunge pools and some challenging pocket water. There is a year round Catch and release section that runs for 2.2 Miles from the Cargin road bridge to the flat rock road bridge. Brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout can all be found in this river. The river is stocked annually but there are still plenty of wild fish as well." It is also known as a great place for "holdovers," which are fish that have grown more than a year since being stocked as fingerlings.
"The Chateaugay River has good trout fishing," Glen continues. The Chateaugay and Marble Rivers trout waters can be reached from the town of Chateaugay, ten minutes east of Malone. There is annual stocking of brown, rainbow, and brook trout, to interbreed with the wild stock. Stocking ensures that fish populations are not stressed by fishing. There's also some cross breeding going on, to help the fish adapt to changing environmental conditions. Find out more at the Chateaugay Fish Hatchery, which is open year round.
Benefits of getting a guide?
I asked Glen what I can tell people about getting an Adirondack guide. "Depending on how much rain fall we get will determine where you will have to fish. That's when a guide can be very helpful. A guide will know exactly where the deeper pools are where the fish will be actively feeding."
Glen goes on to explain that, "The biggest benefits of getting a guide is the knowledge they will have about the river. A good guide will provide you with lessons to improve your casting and fly selection. They will take you to spots on the river that they have worked really hard to find, that they know hold fish. They will know exactly what flies to use and how to use them."
Glen then told me guides can be helpful at any phase of an angler's abilities. "A guide will take a beginner and get them started out on the right foot. They will help intermediate anglers 'take it to the next level.' Good guides want thier clients to become better anglers and to really enjoy their time on the water."
I asked what advice he had for people wanting a fishing guide.
"Be honest when hiring a guide. Providing them with your expectations is key. Communication about the type of fishing you want to do. Your skill level. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Whatever you ask for, as long as it is reasonable and you ask in advance, the guide should be able to provide. Remember, a guide can only lead you to the fish, they cannot make the fish bite!"
I told Glen it sounded like he was the right person in the right place. He replied that, "Malone is great place to visit. Aside from some of the best fishing in the country in all seasons. If you fish the Chateaugay Lakes you can fish for Northern pike. Meacham Lake offers some of the best bass fishing that I have experienced."
So, I asked if he doesn't have a favorite fish?
"I think the best type of fish to catch comes down to personal preference," Glen said. "I love catching brook trout in the spring, as well as brown trout. The colors on these fish are spectacular. Summertime offers great small mouth bass fishing. Bass can be the most exciting fish to catch. They are very aggressive and acrobatic. For kids just starting out I would recommend perch and sunfish."
But what about bringing people who don't fish?
"The people here are very friendly. We have some great local shops to visit. Great hiking and paddling destinations. Fall foliage is spectacular and should not be missed."
Glen's genuine enthusiasm for his subject really shone through. For that next fishing trip, think about Malone in the fall.