Fly Fishing in Summer Flows

Fly fishing during summer is what it’s all about. Well, fly fishing in general is the best, but summer really brings out the most relaxing time of year to be standing in a river, waving a fly rod.

Fly Fishing During Summer Flows

By late June, or early July, the flows in most freestone mountain streams are starting to calm down. Water levels are still elevated in the high country usually, but beginning to clear up (check your local flows, courtesy of USGS). The fish will start to spread back out in the river, after being confined to areas with lesser flows during run-off, such as deep pools, or the lateral edges.

This is the perfect time of year to break out that new 5wt rod (like the Reddington Vice 5 wt).

Maybe you’ve still looking to fish streams on your 7wt (check the Moonshine Drifter), or maybe you live near a small stream where it’s now time for a new 4wt (check out the Orvis Clearwater).

Dry Fly Fishing

Fishing dry flies is what summer is all about. Yes, you can still have really good action on nymphs and streamers, but the GRASSHOPPERS and STONEFLIES are out man! Get serious. Elk hair caddis do well, stimulators, yellow humpys, you name it.

The best way to fish dry flies is calmly, and with precision. You don’t want to slap the water with your line, stomp around in the creek, or yell at your fishing partner to take a picture of you. You need to be stealth. Sneak up on that perfect section of waters, start from below, and make sure your first cast goes right where you want it to. A false cast or two is fine, just don’t overdo it. Make sure your leader is in good shape, which means tapers down to the correct size, or add tippet, and doesn’t have any wind knots in it (some tips). Use the smallest tippet you think you can get away with, if the water is calm. A 5x or 6x is usually good. Remember, the larger the number, the smaller the tippet (and test weight).


Dry Flies are made to float on top of the water.

Trout want to see a fly that is suspended above the water, not sitting in it.

Properly tied dry flies will spread the weight of the fly out to a point where it doesn’t break the surface tension of the water (or just barely does, if so). This is what a natural insect would do, if simply touching down to lay eggs, or drink. Floating creates trust in the trout, which in turn creates tight lines on your fly rod!

Landing Nets

Fish can get stressed in the summer due to the heat. It’s best to have a good net with you, to minimize handling.

Landing Nets with rubber, or rubber-coated netting are the easiest to use, since the fish and your rig won’t get as tangled.

Enjoy It!

Make sure you have a good sun hat, some cold beer, and friend along for the day.

Comment below with your favorite tricks or types of holes to fish in summer! Don’t forget to like and share!

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