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Changing tactics during the mid-summer fishing season.

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Here in Southeast Idaho the rivers get fished hard during the summer. Also the river water heats up, drops and clears, the hatches are strong and many - providing plenty of natural bugs for trout to feed on. During this time it gets darn hard to get fish to take a fly. Even the guides struggle getting their clients on fish. During this period I like to change strategies and fish the smaller streams feeding into the main rivers. Here’s some tips for fishing these streams and creeks.

  1. Equipment – I like to use a 3 or 4 wt rod, use a small backpack to pack lunch and gear. I like to hike in with and good pair of hiking boots and pack my wadding boots in my pack so my feet stay dry for hiking. Use light leader line and lots of flies big and small.
  2. The farther you hike the better the fishing- when I take off from the trailhead I normally hike at least an hour. This gets me into where most people don’t go and the fish are much less disturbed and willing to bite.
  3. Target deep pools and deeper riffles.The water can be quite shallow has you hike up these streams. Trout will hang where they can’t be seen. I normally fish each spot where fish could lay and hide without me seeing them.
  4. Fish the shady bank side. Fish are harder to see and hang in the shade during sunny days.
  5. Sneak into the holes. These fish spook easy, shadows and motion will chase them out of the holes.
  6. Change up flies a lot. I have fished these clear stream and watched fish mainly cutthroats come up look at my fly and reject it. By changing flies you can normally get that stingy fish to bite.
  7. Cheat- On my way hiking in I’ll catch some grasshoppers. In the deeper pools if I can’t get the fish to feed on normal dry flies or nymphs put on a real hopper and sink it into a deeper pool. That’s where you will catch big Harry.

It is amazing the size and the beauty of the fish you can catch in these side streams and creek.

Good fishing

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