I know a handful of guys who put the fly fishing gear away when the weather starts getting really warm. The waders get hung up, the boots boxed, and the rods broken down and stored.
Now, these guys are pretty much die hard trout hunters. They view trout fishing as the highest form of outdoor expression.
That’s cool—and I somewhat understand, but I like catching fish. I like catching fish all year round. Here I am going to offer you five tips to keep you fly fishing throughout the year, even in the hotter months.
5. Change Species
Seems pretty obvious right? Well, it wasn’t to me when I first started.
When I was learning how to fly fish, I learned on trout. I was obsessive about finding trout, pursuing trout, and catching them.
Then it got hot. Then the trout didn’t want to play. Then I got frustrated. Then I changed species.
Now, I fish for bass, carp, panfish—even catfish, all on a fly rod. Changing species will get your juices flowing. You will have to learn different techniques, use different flies and tackle, and have different challenges.
Doesn’t sound fun? Really? Try catching an 8 pound carp on a fly rod and tell me it isn’t both challenging, and a blast!
4. Think Big
OK, still going after trout? The next two tips are for you then.
If it’s warm, fish are going to want to get the most bang for their buck. If they are going to expend energy in the heat, then they want a big meal as a reward.
I see a lot of guys on the river in the summer time using flies that are just too small. Time to start thinking big—the fish are!
3. Fish Late
Old school fishing knowledge had you waking up at the crack of dawn, getting out there early to feed fish their breakfast.
On the river, this rarely works. Since most insect hatches happen later in the day, even on into dusk, that’s when the fish are going to be actively feeding. That’s when you need to be fishing.
I’ve had the most success in summer after 5pm. Switch up your times and see what happens. For summer time trout, this is a good mantra, “Think big, fish late.”
2. Get Deep
When I refer to getting deep, I am talking about using split shot.
That’s right, those fun little squeezable weights that you attach to your line. Get them on there, and get your fly down to the depth of the feeding fish.
You will lose more flies this way, but, you will also catch more fish.
1. Get Off The River
Like tip number one, this should be a no-brainer. Too often though, we just get locked into a certain way of doing things, and we can’t see a better way.
I take a fly rod or two with me every time I take a trip to a lake or a farm pond. It’s a great time to practice casting, and it forces me to present flies differently, since I can’t take advantage of a drift.
I have the most fun fly fishing in still water on farm ponds. I bet if you took a look around, you could find a great small piece of water near your home full of bass, catfish, and panfish.
Well, there you have it. Some of the tips may seem obvious, but they really do work. There is no reason you can’t keep catching fish on the fly in the summer months, you just need to change your approach.
If you are new to the sport of fly fishing, be sure to check out our fly fishing for beginners page.