As we wind up July and head into August, it would appear cooler weather is in store for the next several days. That will bring water temps safely back into the range of the mid to upper sixties for significant portions of the day as we head through the weekend into next week as we move into August. We recommend fishing early in the morning and then again towards dusk as those periods will have the best water temps. Die hard trout anglers have been fishing PA spring creeks and the Upper Delaware but local conditions should have trout activity here on the upswing. These holdover trout are smart but despite high temperatures the abundant rains we've also experienced seem to have worked in favor of the fish keeping up dissolved oxygen levels and ground water springs vital to the trout's survival in the summer.
What tactics to use for summertime trout? One of the better ones is the Dry/ Dropper rig. Use a bulky fly like a Hoppper or Stimulator and tie about 15 inches of tippet of the bend of the hook to suspend a small nymph such as #18-20 Pheasant Tail. Trout also love ants and other terrestrials in midsummer. Hatches of traditional aquatic insects tend to wane at this time. You'll likely see a few Tan or Olive Caddis, BWO's and Light Cahills depending on the time of day but the hatches will improve in a few weeks. In their place it is hard to beat suspending a small ant pattern off the back of one of the aforementioned dry flies. I've seen soft hackled wet flies and caddis emergers work very well swung across and downstream. For those nymphing, I would recommend largely sticking to smaller patterns or for those euro-nymphing, don't forget a small RS2 or soft hackle for your dropper fly above a Frenchie or Perdigon. And then there is night fishing. This is the time to break out the streamers. We have some beautiful new Game Changers like the Bugger Changer which I tested last weekend. One note of caution on these flies: don't fish them on a straight retrieve back upstream. The trout inhale these flies. Casting across and down and presenting the fly broadside to the trout is much better and I wouldn't hesitate to use them on river Smallies or Largemouth Bass in local ponds.
While the cooler weather is good for the trout, the warm water scene has been very good and I'm pleased to hear that customers have been seeking out both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass along with a variety of other species from Carp to Crappies, Yellow Perch and Sunfish. The action has been solid and it is a great way to maintain your angling skills as these fish aren't shy about hitting a variety of Poppers, bulky large dry flies and streamers..
Early August Hatches:
Morning 8:00-11:30 am Note: BWO's may hatch into early afternoon.
Spotted Sedge (Tan Caddis) Hydropsyche spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Tan Pupa #16-18
Olive Sedge Rhyacophila spp. Olive Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Olive Pupa #16
Blue Wing Olive Drunella cornutella, D. lata Pheasant Tail nymph #18-20, BWO #18-20, RS2 #18-20
American Iron Blue Quill or Summer Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia mollis Adams #18-20, Blue Quill #18-20
Afternoon 2pm- 6pm
Blue Wing Olives Baetis levitans BWO #18-22, RS2 #18-22
Small Slatewing Brown Quill Pseudocleon carolina BWO #20-22, RS2 #20, Pheasant Tail #20-22
Large Sulphur Stenema rubrum Sulphur #12-14, Sulphur Emerger #14 to be replaced quickly by the
Light Cahill Stenacron ithaca, canadense, Light Cahill #14-16, Fox Squirrel Nymph, Light Cahill Wet #14-16
Blue Wing Olives Baetis levitans BWO #20-22, RS2 #20-22
Golden Drake Anthopotamus distinctus or ruffous Potomanthus nymph #10, Light Cahill #10-12
Here are a couple of Tim's favorite patterns suitable for August: