August 28, 2008

Fall is Time to Enjoy Outdoors


There was a definite and rather invigorating chill in the air early Wednesday morning, and, while it may be a little premature, it was enough to get you thinking seriously about the fall.

It can be hard to let summer go, even if you don't have school to worry about starting next week. But just because we're getting ready to turn a page on the calendar doesn't mean that opportunities and challenges come grinding to a halt.

For example, squirrel hunting season is right around the corner. I started thinking about that Wednesday morning while I was sitting on my back porch, nursing a cup of coffee and watching the small group of squirrels in my back yard tearing apart the green pine cones, dropping little sap-soaked bombs all over the place.

There seemed to be a population explosion of squirrels in my neighborhood this summer, and I wonder if that's true in some of my better hunting spots. A nice scouting trip, maybe combined with a little fishing, may be in the offing in the next week or so.

But you don't have to be a hunter to be anxious for the fall. That's a great season for fishing, especially once the water cools down a bit.

I love fall fishing because, if you are lucky enough to steal away on a weekday, the odds are you can go just about anywhere you want and have space to yourself. A snappy breeze, a little color in the leaves and you feel like you're taking a mini-vacation.

So, let me whet your appetite for what's to come. The state has announced that it will begin it's fall trout stocking Tuesday Oct. 7, and that means you have plenty of time to plan a nice fall fishing trip.

From Oct. 7 to Oct. 15, the state will stock 20,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout averaging about 14 to 16 inches in length and weighing 1.5 to two pounds in 16 streams and 16 lakes and ponds statewide.

These trout are two years old, and are noticeably bigger than the 10-inchers that are stocked each spring. As a bonus, an additional 1,000 exceptionally large rainbow trout broodstock (18-21 inches and tipping the scales at 3 to 5 pounds) will be mixed in with each truckload.

The complete list of fall-stocked waters and the schedule for the stocking can be found at or through the Trout Stocking Hotline at 609-633-6765. North Jersey anglers will want to circle Friday, Oct. 10 on their calendars because that's the day the Ramapo River (870 fish) and Wanaque River (330) get stocked.

So see, there's no reason to feel sad when step out on the porch in the morning and feel the chill of autumn in the air. All it means is brand new opportunity.

THINGS TO DO: Don't forget that the East Jersey chapter of Trout Unlimited will be starting their popular fly-tying classes next month in Clifton and Paramus.

The classes at Clifton High School start Sept. 22 and run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, including cost, contact Doug Penna at 201-288-4409.

Classes at the West Brook Middle School in Paramus begin on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. For more information, call Bruce Seiden at 201-398- 9378 or email [email protected]

(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.