Where did the fall season go?

John Liechty

It seems like just yesterday I was outside in shorts and flip flops. With outside air temperatures in the 80s and a layer of sunscreen, we fished the last day of summer. With it being what seemed like the longest summer ever, it was nice knowing some weather was around the corner and fall (my favorite season) would soon be here.

In a matter of just hours, the overnight temperatures plunged to a bone-chilling low, and daytime temperatures did the same. The following day it was back out to the lake, but wow, what a change in conditions. As I bundled up, replacing T-shirts with sweater shirts, shorts for long johns and pants and flip flops for rain boots, I eagerly welcomed the colder months and a change in pace.

We got to the lake and the fishing was suddenly substantially better. The fish were eager for something new as well, and began to fill their bellies in preparation for the cold winter months to come. With the air chilling, you would imagine the fishing slowing down, but it was the opposite. The weather change had not affected the water temperature, which was still in the mid 60s. That means the water was 10-15 degrees warmer than the air. And it was very apparent when we caught our first fish and they were warmer than our hands.

The following day I stayed home with the family and relaxed. I looked outside in the mid-morning and what did I see? The lawn was covered in white. My daughter was making snowballs and throwing them at me and that’s when it dawned on me, “Wait this feels like winter, and these are winter activities. We have been robbed of fall.”

Usually we get a month to six weeks of 60- and 70-degree weather. Maybe a little storm here and there, but usually it’s not this cold. Plus, there is normally a transition between seasons. Not such an abrupt change. Hopefully we will get another couple weeks of fall-like weather, but it feels like winter has pushed its way in.

I’m OK with the foul weather, but I do like balance. And honestly, if we are going to cut any season short, why fall? I mean, summer could be a month or two shorter and I wouldn’t complain. We do need a wet winter and a solid snowpack will give us comfort going into next summer. So, maybe we can just say goodbye to the shortest fall of all time and welcome a good start for a promising winter.

John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932.

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