Column nr. 3, 2017
FISHING SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS IN BRUTAL SUMMER HEAT
reality of rapidly rising tempertures especially in western
United States meansone has to maintain strict regimen to stay
safe and catch and release! Summer now means readings in 100
plus range very common in upper California, Nevada, and all
western states. If you decide to only work productive fly waters
in early morning or very late afternoon. Lower tempertures and
less human contact is possible. No question all wild and planter
trout will be seeking cooler water near the bottom of streams
and creeks. After appying max sun block factor 50 or higher!
Wide bill fishing cap and plenty of cold water on hand... Then
find a large shade tree or whatever shade available before
either wading or throwing flies from shore.
First order is effective
catch and release in uber super hot summer conditions! With out
exception all wild or transplant Trout or Bass will be hugging
the bottom. Nymphs matched to local insect population is my
number one choice. Rigged with surface pattern of your choice
from Grasshopper to local favorites. Begin working near rocks,
down trees or down low near as possible to the bottom.
Exceptions are quick moving currents. As a general rule tie
about three feet adjusted for depth on to the surface hook at
the bend. If this fails go back to working the bottom. If after
many tries this fails? Then it is time for Streamer work. Local
favorites first like Wolly Buggers and Grasshoppers old
favorites. Maybe get tricky with large Ants or Beetles. If your
still just beating the water? Time to learn the majic mouse
routine my favorite of all patterns.
If after trying the
mentioned methods you still are not rising any fish? Then
creative thinking time has arrived. Adapt, improvise and
overcome only avenue left... Stop sit and watch carefully what
insects are around. Pick up rocks near or in water sift through
the mud until you find bugs! Move around the whole area working
all edges and all depths carefully.
In my history working
fly waters in high summer heat constant moving and trying every
pattern of both nympth and streamer increased odds and saved the
morning. If you have beat the water from sun up until 12 noon?
With no hits then pack up and move on. The water temperture by
12 noon means the resident fish will be hiding and saving energy
for the late afternoon feeding frenzy. You will be wasting time
after 12 noon. No matter where I have flyfished from deep Alaska
to Asia. By noon time the action slows or stops always. The
older seasoned fly fishers know this universal rule. Go have
lunch and wait for late evening is best. Another helpful aspect
is working your largest patterns when dealing with fast and deep
early summer water. Fish need help finding your pattern. Larger
flies make that much easier for sure! Wasting time working dry
flies is useless forget it. Trout especially rarely rise if no
One more almost never
fail routine may save your tough hot summer fly trip... Begin
dawn and an hour or more after dark no matter where you go!
Check all local regulations first. During these periods use your
larger patterns as sight lines are limlited. You will be happy
ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED
Your number one
consideration is drinking as much water as possible always when
fly fishing in high heat! Each summer many outdoorsmen die
because of lack of water. Bring as many ice cold water bottles
as you can carry always! Next keep your head and face shaded
with long wide bill cap my or wide hat. I stop working flies
every twenty minutes and soak a towel to put around my neck.
Many old timers I run into are not always so cautious...
Might be good idea if
your older or a little fragile to simply stop and rest after
every hour or so? High factor sun screen is a must have. I try
and find most shaded area to work my patterns. As a rule my fly
fishing always starts little before sun rise and is over around
1030am when action slows or stops. I have lived and fly fished
in many super hot places like Yosemite Park California and way
up north on the Fall River. As a boy in Vietnam spent much time
in crazy 110 plus heat trying to fool ancient aquatic creatures.
I remember how killer that endless heat was! Then I had to sneak
to throw bugs and forget the mess I was in. In Fall River by Mt.
Shasta summer heat is high and relentless. I had boat with
electric motor that never saw the water after 10am or before
almost sunset in the year I lived in small cabin... Yosemite
Park was often 100 plus when I lived in Mariposa near Park.
I remember taking a
friend into the Park when I guided there. I asked him why he was
not splashing on sunscreen? His reply, "Hey man sunscreen is for
girls Pal!". Three yearslater he died of skin cancer... If not
for you Cowboy, then smear your old mug with high factor
sunscreen for your family! They may need you...
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2017
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