There’s a sweet spot in every fishing season.
It varies from year to year, but typically it’s found somewhere between mid-May and mid-June. The air temperatures are warm but not suffocating, the water temps are cool enough to make the fish active, and trout after trout seems to find their way into our nets. For the first time since September, the waders can be packed away in favor of less cumbersome wet wading gear. Here are a few favorite fly patterns for all those going out and taking advantage of this golden month of trout fishing!
May and June are also the prime months for some exceptional mayfly hatches, but caddis are perhaps the most reliable bugs to imitate. Caddis dries will successfully catch fish from late April through June on most trout waters and the Cutters caddis is one of the best patterns out there. The thinner body and sharply angled stacked elk/deer hair at the head makes for an extremely buoyant fly to fish in the roughest of water.
This fly is an excellent choice for early summer trout. For those wanting to fish a multiple nymph rig, its weight and visibility make for a fantastic point fly. Anglers who are sick of nymphing and would prefer a dry-dropper setup will be well-served to have a few of these in their pack as well. While its size threatens to sink smaller, more delicate nymphs, the girdle bug works great as a dropper below a larger dry like a Chubby Chernobyl or hopper imitation.
Some think that streamers are only to be used in high water or during the chill of Autumn. That’s not the case! Big fish need to pack on the calories all year, making streamer flies worthy offerings during the early summer months. The Shimmering Minnow perfectly imitates young of the year creek chubs that entice gnarly old brown trout from the depths.
Terrestrial season doesn’t have to wait until August to get underway. The minute hoppers start showing up the fish will key on them. Using a parachute hopper with a trailing nymph (say, a size #16 or #18 prince) is a productive way to probe new water in search of willing trout. Strikes will be just as violent in early summer as they will in a few more months!
Early summer is when fly fishers burn vacation days and schedule trips to their favorite trout waters. It’s the perfect blend of fishing conditions and productive catching. Make sure these four flies find their way into your box and be ready for some of the best trout fishing of the year!