It's time for looking and dreaming, and what an enjoyable time it is. Last weekend three friends and I drove out of town for an excursion of looking and wishing, and we saw in one evening something more than 150 deer and 10 turkeys.
We were in another county, I admit, but we were in hog heaven to actually see that many deer out in fields during an hour's drive on an August evening. Makes you begin dreaming that one of them will have your tag on it before the upcoming deer season is over. Discussions of proper places to locate a tree stand, the efficacy of deer lures, exactly when one should begin practicing with the bow and arrow, what kind of blind to get for deer hunting, all were delicious topics of the dreaming part of the conversation.
Adorned with scratches and purple-stained fingers, gained from hours of blackberry and elderberry picking during the hot afternoon hours, it is heartening to know that some great jelly and jam is coming our way from that part of the excursion. I earned a jar or two of jelly by picking a lot of berries, but I won't be making any of it. The very idea of me trying to concoct jelly is indeed laughable. I'm simply not that domestic.
Late-August trout fishing can be great this time of year if you use the right bait: terrestrials. Terrestrials are any type of insect or bug that spends its entire life on land, much of the time on trees and other brush, and then gets blown into the water.
For me, the late-August trout fishing is my last fishing fling before hunting season takes up every minute of my spare time. A first clue about a good time to go trout fishing now is to watch the weather reports and clear some fishing time when they say "windy." I've spent a lot of pleasurable days on a trout stream in late summer fishing for trout. However, the search for bait usually takes longer than the fishing itself. Grasshoppers, crickets and the like are probably the most common bait. I've found that catching them is much easier if I go out into a field or high grass at dawn, when there is some dew. They are a bit logy until they dry off and don't jump so far, so you can usually catch them much easier then.
Terrestrials weigh almost nothing, so a lot of anglers simply use a fly rod to cast them effectivley. I simply use my ultra-light spinning gear, and it works just as well. No more than 4-pound monofilament, size 14 or 16 hooks and a mini bobber do the trick for me.
A terrestrial needs to float so I attach a tiny bobber a couple feet above the bug, and the weight carries it through the air to the desired spot and then keeps it floating. Just let it float along naturally in the current, and you will have a ball.
I use whatever bugs I can find. Inchworms, caterpillars or beetles, and if I find something out there crawling or clinging to a leaf, I'll find a hook tiny enough to impale it and cast it out there. I have caught trout on bugs that I had no idea what they were were. If it works, who cares what it is called? Just get a good supply of tiny hooks, bobbers and very light monofilament and have a ball.
If you are a diehard worm or night crawler angler, you know how hard it is to find them in the dry heat of August. I wrote a couple years ago of a Southern tactic for making earthworms come to the surface. It's called "worm- fiddling." It's such an art that worm-fiddling championships are held in the South.
It's a simple procedure. You drive a stake several feet into the ground, then take another sturdy stick and rub it hard across the top of the first stick. The vibrations this causes in the earth drive any earthworms to the surface to escape and right into your clutches.