Let’s Blow Off Some Steam

By Tom Keer

Sep 04, 2014

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day is already in our rear-view mirror.

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day is already in our rear-view mirror. Alas, it is, and as we push deeper into September the pace will quicken. Work will get more serious, particularly as we head into the 4th Quarter. For our kids, mid-terms will be rolling around for those in the Southern part of the country and for those up North it’ll just be starting. Add sports, activities, the changing seasons and it’s a super busy month. Some of us will start thinking about winterizing our boats, too. If I keep going at this rate I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving by mid-month. Rather than speed things up let’s slow ‘em down. One of the best ways I know to slow down time is to go fishing.


My favorite fishing month is September. Where I live, everything is going on. Freshwater fishing for trout is gangbusters. We’ve got great Fall hatches that coincide with the cooling water temperatures. As the water temperatures drop to between 55-65 degrees, the trout process one stomach of food per day so they need to eat. They’re feeding on nymphs, they are eating emergers, they are focusing on duns, and if a baitfish crosses their path it is likely to be engulfed. Some, like the brook trout, are getting ready to spawn, and others simply change colors like the leaves. An artist cannot do justice to a trout’s gorgeous Fall colors. Go catch one, you’ll see.


Everything is going on in the salt. Water temperatures along the Gulf Stream have brought all of the pelagic fish inshore. We can catch False albacore, bonito, Spanish macs and sometimes Skipjacks from shore. Anglers with boats find football tuna and mahi mahi a few miles from the beach. Bluefish are seemingly everywhere, and the striped bass begin schooling up for their trip back to the Chesapeake, too.

Steelhead don’t run in areas near my home, but in a six-hour drive I can fish for them as they leave the lakes and move into the rivers. As with the salt there are other fish to catch; if the steelhead aren’t moving then I can look for King and Coho salmon and big brown trout, too.

And we haven’t even talked about the lakes and reservoirs turning over that cause the bass and panfish to light it up. That’s ok. I’m going to grab my kids and head out to see if there are any hungry largemouths and smallmouths. I hope there are.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.