It’s the middle of summer. The suns out, the birds are chirping, and best of all, the trout are hungry. While long summer days are favorable to the angler, they provide some of the most adverse conditions that trout see out of the entire year. Water temps are up, flows are low, and trout tend to be especially wary. Although summer fishing conditions are typically less than ideal, there are still plenty of ways to prudently catch and release fish. Here are 5 tips for summertime trout fishing!
1. Arrive Early
Arriving at the stream as early as possible is a great way to avoid high water temps. The ideal water temperatures that trout thrive in are anywhere from 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. However, temperatures above 65 degrees result in stressed and weary trout. Anything above 65 is what we like to call, “the danger zone.” Be sure to check the water temps online before departure, or simply bring a thermometer with you on the water. Trust us, the trout will thank you for it. Getting on the water early also increases your chances of fishing in solitude, and cmon…who doesn’t love that!
2. Fish Deep
With water temperatures higher than normal, trout often position themselves in the coldest parts of the river. So, when nymphing, fish deep. This can be done by using a heavier fly, adding split shot, or even fishing two flies simultaneously. Heavy streamers are also a great way to fish deep, especially early in the morning.
3. Have a Plan B
Having a plan B is always a good idea, but it is especially important during the summer. There’s nothing worse than pulling up to a stream only to find that the water is too low to fish. With that in mind, avoid fishing isolated streams. Search for streams that have lots of surrounding water. This way, if the first stream is a bust, you have several other options you can go to. This tip can be a real day saver, so plan accordingly!
4. Fight ’em Fast
If you’ve managed to find a fishable stream with appropriate water temps, there’s a high chance that the fish will be active and happily feeding. However, once a fish is hooked, the length of the fight is something to be considered. With higher than normal water temps, fish should be fought and released as fast as possible. Fighting an already wary fish to exhaustion can have detrimental effects on the fish’s health.
5. Seek Out Spring Creeks and Tailwaters
Spring creeks and tailwaters are excellent alternatives when freestone streams fail to produce. Water temps and flows remain relatively constant on spring creek and tailwater fisheries and provide adequate fishing conditions year-round. Spring Creek water is produced underground and released from a spring, while tailwater streams receive water from a dam discharge connected to a larger reservoir. Let us know any summertime trout fishing tips you have down in the comments!
Article and Photos by Flylords Content Team Member, Owen Rossi. Visit @nativerelease on Instagram to view more of his work!