Looking ahead to fall
Hunting, fishing, colored leaves in the new season
Labor Day weekend marks summer’s finale, no two ways about it. We will have warm weather in September and daylight hours are only slowly fading but come Labor Day summer is effectively over and done with. So we both look back at what was a summer slightly off kilter in terms of weather, and at the same time look forward to fall. That looking forward includes the anticipation of fall hunt seasons, of cool weather fishing (which can be very good), of air that seems richer and fresher, and of course the vibrant fall colors.
Hunt seasons started Friday with early goose, early teal and dove. The former has grown in popularity; the teal season seems to have little interest; the dove season in the north has never really gained much in terms of participation. But all are now underway.
Those seasons are the appetizers; the main course lies ahead with deer, grouse, woodcock, turkey and waterfowl to come later this month. The enthusiasts for those seasons, and there are good numbers for all, are now in the days of preparation. We will have more on this as the seasons come along.
August lacked the blast of furnace heat that we often see during that month. Instead, we had warm weather, pleasant days and some cooler nights. All of that has keep lake temperatures slightly cooler than we’d expect for Labor Day. That in turn has kept fishing more lively than normal. We saw some unexpectedly good musky action in the past week and that bodes well for anglers as the best musky fishing lies ahead. Bucktails continue to produce.
Walleyes have been so-so, no surprise in late August; they’ll come on stronger in September. But leeches are still working well and will until we see a shift back to minnows in the next few weeks. Bass have been good as have panfish. The best news for anglers is in cooler temperatures that will spark fishing for the big two: Walleyes and musky.
Fall color is in the very early stages with just a few areas showing early season reds. We have seen color peak later in the past decade, now usually in early October versus late September. But if there is one thing predictable it is that color will come to a gradual peak in the next weeks. That, paired with warm fall weather, will be for many, the best time of the year.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.