Every avid angler knows the sweet feeling of summer bringing warmer and longer days chasing your favorite species. Fly fishing for trout can be one of the most lucrative forms of fishing, but their trends can drastically change due to many factors, ranging from barometric pressure to the time of year.
Let’s look at 10 essential trout flies you need in your tackle box this summer.
How Does Summer Change Trout Behavior?
Summer means trout have been fished throughout the prime season and have literally become smarter — which means they’ll be less likely to fall for standard techniques. Here are some tips for outsmarting these wisened summer trout:
● If possible, target areas where other anglers don’t typically visit. Try different retrieves and flies until you can master a convincing presentation.
● Consider how the heat affects feeding times. Your best chance will be to fish in the mornings or evenings when the water is cooler. According to your location, venturing out mid-day may be unbearable anyway.
● Search for deeper water. This is another tactic to search for cooler water. The deeper depths provide a haven for those larger aggressive trout to feed comfortably.
● Find quick-moving water. Feeder streams will force cold water and bait into the path of those trout looking for an easy meal. Put together a list of these types of spots to significantly increase your chances of filling the cooler.
● Lastly, cover as much ground as possible. Don’t stick to the same spots that may have brought you success in the spring as they are likely not holding fish like they used to. Discover the right water depths and trends to develop a strategy of moving until you find fish.
Now that you have an idea of when and how to target summer trout, let’s discuss my top 10 flies to target this species in the warmer months.
1. Griffith’s Gnat
This is a simpler dry fly design that is a great option if you are fly tying yourself. Made to imitate a midge cluster, this fly can be used in just about any scenario due to its obvious bug-like presentation.
2. Caddis Dries
Caddis flies are a primary insect for trout streams and are extremely active during the warmer months. This is a great option to cover a lot of ground until you can find feeding fish.
This style of fly is appropriately named as you are looking to imitate a grasshopper. River edges provide a great feeding opportunity for aggressive trout looking to strike the surface when this insect mistakenly hops into the water.
4. Girdle Bug
Made to imitate a stonefly, this type of fly is considered a nymph and is a great option for beginners. Stoneflies are very large and active during early summer so this can be a great option to target larger trout.
5. Prince Nymph
This is a flashier fly that can attract aggressive fish willing to hunt for their prey. When insects are hatching, you can work this fly slowly to effectively cover a lot of ground due to it drawing trout out of hiding.
This is another option that offers a lot of versatility. It sits up high in the water and can withstand fast-moving rivers. This is a great attractor fly that can be paired easily with a beadhead nymph dropper to add extra visibility.
The rubber legs on this attractor dry fly offer a particularly enticing presentation that hungry trout can’t ignore. Working in a twitch every now and then to add extra vibrations in the water will attract a lot of fish simply due to its action.
8. Wooly Bugger
This is one of the more famous flies that can offer versatility not just in the summer but also year-round. Dead drifting will help you cover a lot of ground while imitating crayfish or minnows. This kind of prey is a larger meal, meaning larger trout.
9. Chernobyl Ant
This is another fly designed to create a lot of commotion by hitting the surface with the same intensity as an ant would jumping from the shoreline. Dead drifting or working the surface are great techniques according to your preference.
10. Quick-Site Beetle
Last but not least, this foam fly presents a bright orange dot on its back to increase visibility. This is a great option to fish in the mornings or evenings with less light due to how much it stands out in the water.
Summer fishing isn’t for everyone. I personally prefer to stay cool and even installed a boat ladder so I can get in the water and escape the heat during the day.
The unpredictable conditions can turn away some of the more fair-weather anglers, but if you are an enthusiast like me, you simply can’t wait for a better season.
Understanding how the summer months drastically change trout behavior will give you a great foundation to have a chance of success. Then, after you have done research and found what you enjoy using, you can dial in on the best flies for this time of year. Hopefully this helps. Tight lines!
Written by Zach Norton
Digital Marketing Specialist, Marine Depot Direct