Nobody wants to talk about it because we just want to let the good times roll, but the truth is high summer is fast approaching.
It’s true: every week the temperatures creep upwards of 70, and then 80 degrees. With each marginal increase in air temp, the water trout live in warms as well. While that might not be an issue now, it will soon become one. Trout don’t wait until the dog days to find their summer relief spots, however. They start now, so adjust fishing locations accordingly!
Find The Sweet Relief!
Trout are constantly adjusting their holding zones. In some cases it might only be moving a few feet to account for difference in current speed and water depth, but other times it can mean moving hundreds of yards up or down stream. Sometimes, that move is done in order to find the sweet relief of cooler springs. This is probably the first thing to focus on when trout shift to their warm water lies.
Not all springs, or stream tributaries, are created equal, however. Spend some time taking stream temperature readings from multiple locations to find where the coolest water flows enter your favorite trout stream. Odds are fish will congregate at or near these locations to take in the refreshing coolness.
Trout Like Shade Just Like We Do!
Imagine if you will: it’s a hot summer day and you’re out cutting the grass. You decide to let your dog out to enjoy the nice weather. Where does your dog decide to lie down? Odds are it isn’t in front of the tractor or in the middle of the yard subject to the most direct sun. Your dog is smart (feel free to let him/her them know I said that) and goes straight for the shade. Trout are no different!
Even a modest degree or two decrease in the shade will be a great benefit to trout. They will find, and hold, in areas of shade that provide this reprieve from the heat. It also doesn’t hurt that shade is often found near the banks, and there’s plenty of food on the banks that makes shaded runs the total package!
Go Down Deep
Rays of the sun can only penetrate so far into water. Unless your favorite trout stream has deep holes measuring 15 feet or more, odds are even the stream bottom won’t be immune to warming from the sun. Despite this, the deeper you go the cooler it will be!
How do you tell if the water is deep?
- Is there a color change? Gravel that's six inches from the surface is much easier to see than gravel six feet from the surface. Varying depths with result in different color tones visible to the angler. Learn which ones signify deep water and focus on them.
- Does the water suddenly go from fast to slow? If yes, it could signal an underwater drop-off!
- Is your nymph rig all of a sudden never getting snagged or bouncing on the bottom? If so, odds are you've found a deep pocket or hole. Adjust your rig a little deeper and get ready for some action!
This is probably the adjustment that fish make before anything else. When the steady rains of spring cease and water recedes, trout will instinctively look for the safety of deeper water. This provides some semblance of safety from birds of prey, but it also gets them in cooler water when shallow riffles and runs heat up. Find the deepest of holes, and you’ll find trout.
Don’t wait until the dog days of summer to adjust fishing techniques. Water begins to warm long before that, and trout react accordingly. It’s best if anglers do the same!