Tips for Summer Fishing
By Mike Hoge
You can feel it. It's getting warmer by the day in Western NC. Like it or not, summer is here for a few months. As fly anglers, we have to adjust. Here are a couple tips to help ensure success.
Carry a Thermometer
Feeding trout like water between 52 and 62 degrees. Unfortunately water temps have crept into the 60s. If its warm enough for tubers, that means its probably borderline for feeding trout. You can get a pretty fair temperature reading by simply sticking your hand in the water, but a thermometer is more accurate. A degree or two makes a big difference.
Get Your Hiking Boots Ready
If water temps are too high, get ready to hike higher in elevation. Get upstream as far as you can on your favorite stream until you find water temps in the high 50s, low 60s. If you fish low-elevation streams, find water that's in the mountains, not the valleys. The Smoky Mountain Park is a good summer option.
Set Your Alarm
Get up early. The longer the sun is on the water, the hotter the water gets. The hotter the water, the more sluggish the trout are. How early is early? That's debatable. But first light is ideal. On the other hand, if you sleep in until 10, your odds of catching fish drop dramatically.
Fish the Foam
With increasing water temperatures, fish need oxygenated water. That's why they head for the whitewater. Fish the soft water in the foam. Euro-nymphing and high-sticking are good approaches for this type of fishing. If you can find a rapid that's shaded, even better.
Summer fishing in the southern mountains has its challenges. But there are opportunities for good fishing if you put in a little extra work. Any questions, come by the Tuck Shop at one of our three stores --- in Sylva, Bryson City or Waynesville --- for more information.