img_1777As we roll into the first days of July, a change of thought to “summer strategies” needs to be considered for anglers looking to catch trout. Here are a few ideas to think about during this period where the catching is more difficult and water temperatures can become less comfortable for trout and trout anglers.

Plan your outings for the low light, cool portions of the day. Trout will tend to be more active during these times of the day. If you do fish the afternoons, try wet wading. Wear neoprene socks, your wading boots, long quick dry pants and a long sleeve, light weight shirt. This apparel will keep you cool and also protected you from the plants and bugs that will try to drive you from the stream. The trails are quickly disappearing and brush beating to get to your favorite spots can be challenging at this time.

With the bulk of the major hatches over for the year with the exception of the Tricos, think about the terrestrials. Ants, beetles, crickets and hoppers are all good choices. These food items will eventually out weigh the insects hatching from within the stream. Try running small droppers off of these patterns to increase your catch rate.

Practice, practice, practice your casting! Few anglers practice their dry fly casting at any other time than when they fish. You must be able to land a dry fly softly. All too often I’ve watched anglers given numerous chances to pick off wary, active trout only to slam them on the head with┬áline, leader and fly. I refer to this as a┬áconcussion cast and I swear it has maimed and frightened many a trout on our streams. We are all guilty of this at times, but with a little practice the concussion cast can almost be eliminated from your delivery. Anglers who can land the fly softly almost every time will catch more fish.

Learn to pick up a dry fly without creating a disturbance. This practice is just as important as delivering the fly softly. Anglers who rip the fly out of the water after each drift will not only spook fish that are close by but will continue to “push” feeding fish just outside of their casting distance. Lift and load the rod slowly and evenly to break line/fly surface tension with the water. Proceed by adding smooth acceleration of the rod/arm to remove the line and fly from the water. Done correctly, there will be little if any disturbance to the water.

False casting is a technique used to judge distance, dry out flies and to control casting loops. During false casting while targeting a fish, the fly should not hit the water on the forward and back casts and should not persist for longer than 3 repetitions. Ideally 1 or 2 repetitions is desirable. The fly needs to be on the water, not in the air. Enough said.

Last but not least, Have fun! The rivers are in low water shape right now but the fish are still rising and eating. No matter how much rain we get it has not made a lasting difference to the flows or the color of the water. Expect that to continue until we get some hard and heavy summer showers. Don’t forget about the river bass fishing also. This is the time when those fish get cranked up. Practice because you want to get better!