Typically, the best hunting is early mornings and late afternoons when the game is more likely to be moving about.
So, what can hunters do in between hunts? Fish! Fall is a perfect time for a hunting/fishing outing.
In the summertime, when daytime temperatures are hot and surface waters are warmer than fish like, afternoons are probably the poorest time to fish. But, when temperatures cool and fish start getting the first hints of winter, afternoons offer perfect fishing opportunities.
One reason, points out Byron Gunderson, of Angler's Inn, is that this is the time of year when the bigger fish are in closer to shore.
Water temperatures are cooler and more comfortable in the shallows for the larger fish in the fall. Also, it is in the shallows that fish find the most food . . . insects that have fallen into the water, or smaller fish trying to find safety, or the last of the insect hatches.
"It is interesting," points out Gunderson, "but it's usually in the fall that you see the bigger fish in cruising the shores. They just seem to know that winter is coming and that they'd better get what food they can now. The fish, too, are just a little more likely to take what you put out there for them when they're trying to fatten up for winter."
Hunters can hunt in the mornings, fish away the afternoons, then return for the evening hunts. Pure fishermen can take a more relaxed approach. They can sleep in and not take up fishing pole and reel until the afternoon to catch the evening meal.
Hunters, too, can carry one of the small, telescoping rods and reels that are compact and easy to use. As hunters trek about the country looking for big game, they can stop at likely looking lakes and streams for a break. Telescoping rods sell for as little at $10 to $15. It's a good idea, too, to take along a plastic bag or small creel on such trips.
Fish can then be easily tucked away and carried back to camp.
Fly fishing is, of course, a good choice in the fall, especially for the novice fly fisherman. Because the fish are in closer to shore, flies don't have to be thrown as far. Good patterns to try would be dark ones in beetle and ant look-alikes. Gunderson suggests using anything that looks "buggy."
"The important thing to remember is that fish are less selective at this time of year," he added.
Lightweight lures also are popular in the fall. Because the fish are in the shallows, it's not necessary to go far out or deep. Mepps in sizes zero and one work well. Also, lightweight, thin spoons pulled slowly through the water work well.
Always good is a bubble used with a fly. A good technique is to cast out and let the fly sit for a moment and then bring it in slowly.
Hunters may, too, want to try some of the smaller streams and rivers. When fishing in flowing water, look for pools and areas where the current is broken. In the fall, fish start looking for places to winter where they don't have to fight moving water.
Bait fishermen may want to try salmon eggs, either red or orange. Flies in the darker patterns would also be a good choice for rivers and streams.
Fall may be noted as a time to go hunting, but it's also a time not to forget about the fishing.