When the heat picks up a lot of anglers give up on fishing. Just because the temperature picks up does not mean the fishing has to stop. Trying to trick summertime trout does not have to be as hard as people make it out to be. First you must have reasonable expectations as to how your day will go. Obviously early and late in the day are your better windows of opportunity. So now you need to think a little bit differently. Every body of water is going to have its own personality and no two waters, river or lake will fish the same.
Change your bug frequently. As the bugs change, you need to change with them. What was working in the cooler part of the day is not going to last all day. When the heat starts to rise, I like to fish patterns that offer a wide variety of possibilities. More generic patterns, like a birds nest, a small copper John, or an anorexic AP. When the fish are not fixated on one specific bug these type of patterns work well.
The heat can also mean changing the way you fish a nymph. Let’s say you are fishing a damsel fly nymph in a still water setting. Instead of just throwing it out there and stripping it back in give it some action. Damsel fly nymph swim in short bursts then stop, short burst then stops. They make their way to the bank and climb out to start their new life as the adult. So, fishing the nymph close to the bank can be advantageous. It’s the fishes last chance to grab them before they escape out on to the bank. The take can be very aggressive. This is why learning a little bit about the bugs you are fishing is important.
On waters like the Pit River or Upper Sac getting the fly down fast and keeping it down is very important. Fish in these bolder types of rivers tend to really hunker down and not want to move during the heat of the day. Getting your fly as close to the fish as possible is more important than ever in hot weather. The less they have to move for their food the better. Depth, oxygen, and shade are a key, fish don’t have eye lids, so they need to find as much relief from the sun as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I have hooked fish in the most obscure places only because it was the only spot that offered relief from the sun. I have found that the fish will follow the shade line. As the shade starts to move across the river the fish tend to follow it until they are forced to take shelter from it. On the Pit River in the middle of the river you will have sedge grass cover rocks and hanging over into the river. This offers excellent relief for fish seeking shelter from the sun. I like to stand back away from the rock about two rod lengths. Then cast just up stream of the grass overhang. I swing my bug just a few inches under the water and past the overhanging grass. After a few passes if I don’t get the results I am after I repeat the process only going deeper until I do.
People get freaked out over the wind. I have always said “the wind is our friend”. One thing that freaks people out about the wind is the casting factor. If the wind is at your back open your loop up. If it is in your face tighten your loop up, it’s the simple solution. If you know that you are going to be fishing in windy conditions practice before you go. Now there are times when the wind is just plain out of control, then it is time to call it. But for the most part the wind can be dealt with. On hot days when the wind comes up all kinds of stuff happens. On flat water it can help move the fish back up into the shallow areas. It stirs things up, it can blow bugs off overhanging banks and out of trees. The fish are not as spooky in the wind. So, don’t let the wind or the heat be the reason you are not fishing.
Take a look at the fish report page to get the latest conditions and bugs that I have used recently.