Mid summer can be one of the toughest times to fish. If you fish lots of high alpine lakes and streams like I do, the weather is hot and many times the fish can seem to be inactive. Over the years I've figured out some strategies and techniques that I'm going to share with you here.
Time of Day
This time of year (July) time of day becomes more important than any other month. When the weather is extremely hot the fish will feed most during the first and last hours of daylight. I like to get in position at a lake just as the sun is coming up, because that's when most of the bug action takes place. Before sunset is another one of my favorite times. The worst time, however, is that dreaded 2pm. So many times I will fish from sunrise on and all of a sudden the bite just dies off.. sure enough I look at my clock and its always that 12pm-4pm section of the day. Just because it's hard to catch a fish at that time doesn't mean its impossible. I like to target extremely aggressive fish during the "2pm" part of the day. This is because even if a particular trout that is a natural ambush predator (tiger trout, brown trout, brook trout) is inactive, you can still trick their instincts with a big tasty marabou muddler, sculpin, bugger, or any other massive streamer thrown directly in their face. My suggestion, and what I do all summer, is I fish for the picky fish in the mornings and evenings, and then fish for the aggressive, hungry trout in the middle of the day. Also, fish in all the worst weather possible. I have caught all my largest trout during or after brutal thunderstorms. Don't be afraid to storm chase while trout fishing, it will always be worth it.
Most people fish primarily during the summer meaning that your favorite spots might be crowded, especially on weekends. I like the solitude of fishing, and doing it in uncrowded places so the only way I can survive busy days is with a float tube. With dozens of people on shore fishing into a big lake a float tube gives you the opportunity to escape the crowds and get out into the water. Not only that float tubing gives you the option of trolling, and roaming around with more than one pole which is definitely my favorite part about it. Lately I've been getting in my float tube with my Walton Rods 6wt with floating line on my Galvan Torque Reel and keeping the appropriate dry on there at all times. Also, I have my Walton 7wt with me with type 3 sinking line and a big, mean, heavy streamer on the end of that. Trailing the streamer, with lighter line (usually 5x or 4x) I always have a small, natural colored nymph to match the local bugs trailing about a foot to a foot and a half behind the streamer. This "doubles your chances" in my opinion and it's also always really fun to see which trout is taking which bug.
At the end of the day it's all really about getting out there and doing what you love. Whether you catch no fish, or 100 it's always better than a day doing anything else. Keep your head up during super hot days where the fish aren't feeding, and prepare yourself for fall because that will be coming in fast.. and that is no doubt my FAVORITE season to fish. I'll explain why in a future blog. But for now, thanks for reading and go check out the fly line bracelets I make because today only we are doing BUY ONE GET ONE FREE no code required. Simply buy how ever many bracelets you want, and you will get the same amount that you buy totally free (random colors, in same sizes you order). Thanks for reading.