Beat the Heat
The heat is on here in the West (over 100 today) but that doesn't mean that fish can't be caught. I lived in Arizona for a short time and learned that if I wanted to fish, I was going to learn to fish in the heat. Although I had to change my approach, I found that some tactics still worked and I learned that fish are still there to be caught, no matter what the thermometer does. Here are some ideas for making the best out of hot weather.
1. Fish for species that aren't affected as much by super hot weather. Bass and sunfish will still eat in hot weather, although it may be best to target them early and late in the day. Channel catfish surprisingly will eat flies, and will do so in the hot weather. Many saltwater fish, especially the incredibly cool Roosterfish, are best caught in the mid-summer. My favorite targets in the hot hot heat, however, are carp. Many species of carp, especially grass carp, seem to just keep on eating when it's hot. Because carp are so spooky, try to avoid ultra bright sun and clear water combined, but don't be afraid to go after them in the heat.
2. If trout are your game and its hot then really do your homework and focus on places in your river where springs enter the stream. I've found fish stacked in certain runs and riffles just below where a spring joins the river.
3. Look for trout in well oxygenated water. Seems counter-intuitive a bit but some trout will actually move to shallow riffled water in the heat. If the riffle has enough rocks to cause some tumbling of the water there will be more oxygen there and the trout will be able to keep on eating if oxygen levels are good. I remember pulling a very nice brown from about 8 inches of water in just such a situation.
4. If you live in a mountainous area, move up in elevation and of course you will find cooler water. The seasons in the extreme high country are about a month behind the mid elevations so July provides June-like weather and cool waters.
5. Fish deep. In many rivers and lakes trout simply move deeper when it gets really hot. Practice deep water nymphing tactics and work your flies as slowly as possible through the depths of the deepest runs and pools you can find. I like tungsten beaded nymphs and sometimes split shot to get down to these fish.
6. Fish the uppermost stretches of tailwaters. Dams provide cool outflows throughout the hot summer months and although you may be sweating your guts out, the fish won't have a clue that it's hot outside because the water they swim in and breathe is cool as usual. Lose the waders, find a good pair of wading sandals, and enjoy a day of wet wading.
Heat can be tough on your usual fishing routine but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't go. Take some extra water and sunblock and dive in (maybe literally). You can have a good time any time there is water, fish and a fly rod in hand.
Good luck and tight lines!