Dan Fallon Fly Fishing Article Column 3 2017
Fly Fishing Survival & Success in Brutal Summer Heat
Tough reality of rapidly rising temperatures especially in western United States means one 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 onto 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 temperature 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 fly fished 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 hatch is visible.
One more almost-never-fails-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 no question!
ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED COWBOYS
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 a long wide bill cap 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 alittle fragile to simply stop and rest after every hour or so?
High factor sun screen is a must-have. I try and find the most shaded area to
work my patterns.
As a rule my fly fishing always starts little before sun rise and is over around 10:30am when the 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 an 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 years later 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...