ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Outdoors Bound news and notes from the field is a collection of information that could prove useful to anglers, hunters, and anyone who enjoys the outdoors in Virginia.

Bugs & Bass

This is the time of year when insect populations are high in Virginia. Not only are there hatches of aquatic insects, but some terrestrial species are near their peaks, as well. That also makes this one of the best times of the year to target smallmouth bass on streams across the region, especially with flyfishing gear.

Alex McCrickard is an Aquatic Education Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), and he is an expert fly angler. He has published an article on the DWR website about targeting smallmouth at this time of year.

Alex McCrickard shows off a nice smallmouth bass (Photo: Alex McCrickard/DWR)

McCrickard says smallmouth are feeding heavily on insects like cicadas, grasshoppers, and beetles, so using flies that mimic those insects, as well as the splash they make when they hit the water, can lead to fly-angling success.

Flies that mimic various insects (Photo: Alex McCrickard/DWR)

Some of the top streams to target at this time of year are the James River, the Jackson River, and the New River.

On the Hunt

Dove and squirrel are in season, right now. Archery season will open for deer, bear, and turkey on Oct. 1. The DWR reports good populations of all three species.

If you’re planning to hunt, this would be a good time to inspect your gear and to make sure your license is in order. In addition to a Virginia hunting license, a bear license is required to hunt bears. A turkey and deer permit is required to take both of those species.

Trout Vision

Virginia’s statewide trout stocking program begins Oct. 1. Various select streams around the commonwealth will receive stockings of trout.

Ever wonder just what trout see? There is research that indicates they can see some colors, specifically red, blue, and green. Younger trout also have the ability to see some UV shades that humans can not. Aside from those colors, everything else in a trout’s field of vision is in black and white, with contrast being vital to what trout see when they hunt.

A trout that smacked a wooly bugger in the Roanoke River (Photo: George Noleff/WFXR News)

How can anglers put that knowledge to use?

While color can be important, focus on lures and flies that match the shape and movement of what trout are feeding on. Since contrast plays a special role, trout are looking for those things that are shaped like, and move like the things they are eating.