Fall fly fishing is in full swing. But anglers venturing out amidst the autumn colors should be mindful that there's more changing than just the trees and water temps. Here's a list of regulations - some already changed and others due to change in the near future - to keep an eye on:
- Fishing licenses expired as of October 1st. Don't be caught on the water with a green colored license! Go here for more information on license renewal.
- General trout season is closed. However, there are county regulations that allow fishing beyond October 15. In most cases, the angling is catch and release and in some cases, artificial lures only as well. Check the DEC website here for more information.
- Border waters trout season - sections in which New York and Pennsylvania share a common border are open to trout angling from October 16 through the first Friday the first Saturday after April 11. For the Delaware River - catch and release only, for the West Branch - catch and release only, artificial lures only.
- Bass season change - on and after December 1 to the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June, both smallmouth and largemouth bass can be caught but on artificial lures only and under catch and release conditions.
- Finger Lake tributary fishing regulations can be complicated. With the exception of Spafford Creek, a tributary to Otisco Lake, all Finger lake tribs are open for angling until the end of the year. However, there are additional regulations that apply in some cases. Check the regs here. Be mindful that herding or driving of fish from cover is prohibited on all water, and on defined water, use of more than one hook point is prohibited, as is a hook with a gap greater than 1/2", and the use of gaff hooks or large landing nets. Additionally, after October 1, be aware that fishing between the hours of sunset and sunrise is prohibited.
It's always best to consult the DEC regulations as a refresher before venturing out a-stream. Take time to make sure wading gear is in good shape and that additional dry clothing, towels, and a wading staff are on hand. Be sure to let others know where you will be fishing if fishing alone. It's best to fish with others whenever possible. Layer up when necessary and don't forget a thermos of hot coffee, tea, or soup.