Now that the election is over, anglers in battleground states can concentrate on battling some big fish this fall. According to Jim Bender at Lower Forty Outfitters (www.lowerforty.com) in Worcester, Mass, November means fishing the Swift River. As other rivers in New England begin to glass over with ice, the tailwaters of the Swift will remain open to anglers. “We’re catching rainbows, browns, and brookies,” he said. The water is clear and the fish are wary, which means using 12-foot leaders down to 7X and small midges and emergers. Anglers will find easy access to the river by parking on the west end of Rt. 9. “We can fish through the end of January,” he said, “that’s when it gets really brutal.” Jim also had reports about a run of land ocked salmon on the Sillwater River. He recommends fishing after a rainfall with bright streamers. “Look for the salmon on gravely areas of the river,” he said, “the best bite has been at the confluence above the reservoir.”
The presidential election wasn’t the only contest on angler’s minds this week. Bill Dibble at Dance’s Sporting Goods (www.dancessportingoods.com) outside Richmond was concerned about the 2008 Bass Casters Invitational Tournament on the James River. Bill targeted the creeks along the Appomatics River focusing on deadfalls with crankbaits and spinner baits. Bill’s biggest fish was over 3 pounds and his stringer weighed 9 and a half pounds, but it wasn’t enough to beat the first place team’s 11-pound catch. “We had the right fish on, but we lost him,” Bill resigned. He said that the winning team was using the same tactic on a different part of the river. There are also good numbers of striped bass mixed in with the bass. Reports that catfishing is starting to get good around Dutch Gap at the Benjamin Harris Bridge. Soaking chunks of herring in the deeper channels of the River for big channel and blue cats will keep VA anglers warm through the winter.
So, what’s a candidate to do after the election? Go to Disney World, of course. Besides the Tea Cups and Pirates of the Caribbean, Orlando offers some excellent opportunities for fresh and salt water fishing. Captain Rich Thomas at Bitters Bait and Tackle (www.bittersbaitandtackle.com) has been heading to Mosquito Lagoon and chasing speckled trout. “This is the time of year when the speckled trout action heats up as the weather cools,” he told us. Rich looks for the fish to push into shallower water as the water temperatures drop. He suggests launching a boat at River Bridge Park or Haul Over Canal and fishing a fluke or skip shad. Sweet water fishing should also improve as the water gets cold. He reported that anglers are finding steady action on largemouth in Lake Toho and the Harris Chain by working crankbaits and big rubber worms on the grassy points and sharp edges.
Once the acceptance speeches and victory parties are over, the President-elect can load his family into the wagon and head out of Chicago for some fly fishing. Jon Uhlenhop at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters (www.chicagoflyfishingoutfitters.com) suggested that the president and his men head to the Milwaukie River to fish for steelhead, lake trout, and browns. “How you fish the river depends on the water flow,” Jon explained. When the water is low, he suggests dead drifting nymphs, egg patterns and leaches. “Brown trout love chartreuse,” he points out, “while steelhead love Oregon cheese egg patterns.” When the water is running high, Jon switches to swinging.“Look for moderate current to perform a controlled swing over an area,” he says. Jon likes streamers in natural colors. “Top producers are olive or olive brown and black and red or black and purple,” he said. Jon added that there is plenty of parking and easy access at Estabrook Park off Capital Drive. “There is almost 2 miles of river to fish and it never feels crowded,” he said.
Nothing makes a person feel better than catching a fish. To pick up their spirits after loosing the election, the challenger and his people may want to get out of town and do some fishing. Aaron Lambert at Fisherman’s Choice Pro Shop (www.fishermanschoiceproshop.com) in Phoenix recommends running up to Lake Alamo or Havasu and taking his frustration out on largemouth bass. At Lake Alamo, Aaron has been pitching Sweet Beaver soft plastics and a ¼ to ½ ounce tungsten weight at downed trees. He’s found the best results with the colors “white trash” and “sprayed grass.” He said that anglers working ¼ to ½ ounce football headed jigs and Hula grubs along the rocky shoreline at the dam are also catching good numbers of largemouth. Lake Havasu is even farther from Phoenix, and the fishing is a little better. “The cool thing about Havasu is that the striper are starting to go crazy,” he said. Aaron has been catching striped bass under working birds with a Lucky Craft Pointer 100. When the birds aren’t working, Aaron says you can find the striper by looking for the boats that are dragging anchovies off Windsor beach. While everyone is fishing for striper, Aaron will go off and look for largemouth. “Sometimes we’ll go up the river and pitch and flip Flapping Hogs at the tulies,” Aaron said.