Halloween, in terms of being a fishy holiday, is not quite as good as Thanksgiving, but is usually far better than Labor Day. It is, at least where I’m from in the Northeast, a kick-starter to the peak of fall action with everything from stripers, to steelhead, to brown trout. Even though I don’t always make advanced plans to fish on Halloween, somehow I always end up on the water. This Halloween I scouted a new lake with guide and good friend Joe Demalderis. All this trip really did was remind me how more difficult it can be to pattern still water than moving water.


Over the last year, Joe and I have become enamored with pike on the fly, and this new lake is not only loaded with them, but it’s average depth is only six feet. It is also small enough to traverse via drift boat with nothing but oar power. How hard could it be to find a few pikers with deep water out of the equation during a time of year when they should be putting on the feed bag?

Apparently pretty hard.

Despite finding tons of good weed beds, rock piles, and ambush points, a full day of chucking big streamers and rowing the perimeter turned up nothing but the little guy above. If you consider the number of fish the state stocks in the this lake annually, online reports and photos, plus shock study info, your expectations would have been a lot higher, too.

What it all boils down to is that I have no luck on lakes. Put me in moving water and I’ll figure it out and usually emerge victorious (or not get skunked, anyway). The only muskies I’ve ever caught were in rivers, 99% of the walleyes I’ve caught have come from rivers, and even the biggest lake trout I ever caught came from a river. If the weather keeps me from stripers over the next few days, rest assured I’ll be somewhere with current. Lots of current. Have a great weekend.