The last word is that fall freshwater fishing is looking very good, but forget about the upper and middle Chesapeake Bay until next spring.
Largemouth bass are picking up in most of the lakes in Maryland and Virginia. The reason: The lakes are turning over. It sounds strange, but with the change of season the surface water cools quickly at night and sinks to the bottom. The result is that the largemouth bass, which spent the summer beating the heat by going deep, are now coming back up as the water at their optimum metabolic temperature rises toward the surface. Most bass are now at six to 12 feet. Good fall bass fishing will continue through November if the weather holds to a pattern of cool nights and warm days.
Other late-season fishing to keep in mind is the lower Chesapeake Bay, where many rockfish will spend the winter. Look for them deep in the ship's channel.
Pennsylvania's famous limestone streams and a number of other specially managed trout waters in the keystone state will remain open all winter. The Rapidan River in Virginia will remain open to provide some of the best native brook-trout fishing left in the East. And don't forget Big Hunting Creek - that tumbling mountain gem north of Frederick that you can have to yourself on almost any temperate winter day. Remember: Fly tackle is required on all but a few of these streams, and the regulations are "no kill" or "limited kill."
For years ardent fly fishermen have been pushing the slogan "Limit your kill, don't kill you limit." The merit in it is more fish and bigger fish to catch next summer, and next summer, and next summer. Maybe.