Hot Summer Nights
Summer is in full swing - hoppers, crickets, mayflies, and caddis galore! The hatches are strong and long.
But when the sun in high and bearing down, and there’s not a cloud in the sky, fish go for shelter. This can be some of the toughest fly fishing conditions. My solution, give it a rest.
Summer Morning Fly Fishing Techniques
This time of year, your success rate midday is going to be limited. I fish the river early - and finish about 11:00 then I take a siesta and grab some grub. I’ll head on back to the river around 5:30 or so. I love fishing at dusk and into the night.
Studies have shown some species of trout will move as many as 4 miles during the night. That’s quite a bit of movement and it makes sense, too. It's cooler and requires less energy on their part; and they are not as exposed to birds of prey.
There’s a couple techniques I try to deploy.
In the morning, I tend to fish cripples, emergers and small adult patterns….trying to match the size and color of the natural….and if anything - one size down.
Summer Evening Fly Fishing Techniques
In the evening, I do the opposite approach. Fly color doesn’t matter much, so it doesn’t matter if you use a tan caddis or a brown caddis. What matters is its silhouette and how bushy the fly fishing fly is.
I will up size my fly at night. If I was using a little 16 crippled caddis during the day, I’m going 14 or even 12 at night. I always use either the adult or a spinner if it applies. Here’s the other thing. I sit still and target risers. The fish tend to hang in a spot.
I will cast as close as I can to the rise. I’ll wait a minute or two, before a recast. These fish are cruising the surface and actively feeding so you want to drop your fly close to the risers.
It can be challenging to see the strike….and your fly. A parachute helps here for a mayfly. I can see a larger caddis at night.
If you’re having trouble, try a Madam X 12. If you can’t pinpoint exactly where your fly is, you’ll probably know the general proximity within a few feet. In this scenario, I simply lift my rod tip when I see a rise near where I think my fly is. You’re either going to have a trout on the end, or subtly moved your fly so you can spot it on the water. Either way, you win.
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags.