Jon Baiocchi, Baiocchi Troutfitters
During August and the “Dog Days” of summer usually means hot conditions, and low water. Every year is different; a great example would be this August where the monsoonal flow pushed far enough north to produce cooler temperatures, thunderstorms, and heavy downpours in Northern California. Location is everything when fishing for trout in the summer sun, whether it is a big tail water, a high elevation creek, or a deep canyon river where sunshine is limited to exposure like the North Fork Yuba River. Another tactic to consider, no matter the venue, is seeking out areas where colder tributaries and springs enter the system. Trout will move and relocate if possible to live near these areas as it is more comfortable, and if their food supply is good, they’ll stay put. Terrestrials become an important food item this time of year as well. Most of the aquatic insects have already hatched and waned with the exception of caddis flies. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and caterpillar patterns can all be effective. Trout are very opportunistic; they have to be in order to survive. All wild animals will adjust and adapt to changing conditions, and trout are no different. With lower water levels two key factors come into play for the fly angler, using more stealth, and lighter tippets. Another point to consider during low water is that fish are more concentrated in the deeper pools, and runs. Focusing on these areas greatly reduces searching every nook, cranny, and seam of moving waters. You know for the most part exactly where they’re at. The fly angler who understands, researches, and seeks out favorable conditions for trout during the hot months of summer not only finds success, but a higher education that carries through with them on their journey to being an accomplished fly angler.