new england anglers
THE MELANCHOLY days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows brown and sere.
Heap’d in the hollows of the grove the wither’d leaves lie dead,
They rustle to the eddying gust and to the rabbit’s tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.
The Close of Autumn, Bryant
Quoth the New England Angler, “Nevermore.”
September 30th on the Roach, October 15th to 20th on the Upper Connecticut or Grand Lake Stream or November 30th on the Lower Beaverkill nevermore need be the close of your season. Yes, there are some Tailwaters scattered across New England and steelhead runs around the Great Lakes but fish and fingertips suffer when the air temps drop into the mid-twenties and ice-bound shorelines become treacherous for most even at the ripe old age of 25.
April 1st at 12:00:01 AM generally marks the beginning of the Open Water Fishing Season across much of New England with some notable exceptions. April 1 frequently brings a crowd of cabin-fevered Anglers to select waters mostly because it's there and they can. Grand Lake Stream in Maine celebrates it like few other communities but once queried, many concede that April 1 brings everyone out but April 2 sends them back indoors until things warm a bit. But by April 1 down here, many WNC rivers are about to receive their second Trout stocking of the season.
Western North Carolina’s high season begins in November and presents the opportunity to extend your season well past the fall spawning runs that close your home waters and offers miles and miles of stocked and managed freestone and tailwater pools, slicks, channels, pockets, riffles, and runs. These rivers fish straight though the winter and fresh March stockings give a jump to your Spring and offer months of world-class angling before May ice-out up north.
A two-hour flight from Boston to Charlotte or Atlanta with a three-hour drive to Transylvania County or a connection into Asheville can give you a half-day of fishing on both the front and back ends an extended long weekend or mid-week escape. And if you are anxious about Covid, 14 to 15-hour drive can get you here without worrying about exposure to the masses. So there is never a need to succumb to those last melancholy days and call it a season just because of a little ice and spawning.
No more need to hang up your gear with the melancholy days of winter
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour,…
Thanne longen "Angleres" to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
...like the Davidson!
Cheerfully adapted from Chaucer's Canturbury Tales
Translation: When Spring rolls around and you want to get out on the water but it's still Winter up there, it's not Winter down here.