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Water Temperatures and Trout

Water Temperatures and Trout

I used to be a fan of summer, but I don’t do well in the heat. I am a big guy who tends to sweat, and I no longer wear gray tees. Temperatures are now in the 90s. It’s miserable. The humidity is what kills me. I prefer to stay home. I am not a fan of the shore. Forget pools. I’d rather hide.

My fishing is somewhat limited. It is too hot during the day. Yes. I will try my luck from a kayak or boat, but I do most of my damage in the early morning or at night. I have completely switched over to bass during the day. But bug chucking in the dark is a new passion. I will explain.

These summer conditions, combined with the lack of rain, will also lead to high water temperatures. This can be lethal for many trout. Handling a fish right now isn’t ideal, and you risk killing a trout before the release. They are beyond stressed and are trying to survive. Most will pool in large numbers near the mouths of colder feeder streams. Please don’t be that guy who throws a few casts. Let them be.

A stream thermometer is a very useful tool when it comes to fishing in the summer months. It can help determine whether you should be fishing or not. The water is very low and should be crystal clear. You will see trout holding with very little movement. The fish are opening and closing their mouths. No. They are not feeding. They are breathing. Trying to survive. Circulating more water around their gills.

When the water temperature rises, the amount of dissolved oxygen decreases. Rainbows and Browns are actually the most hardy of the trout family. Major reason why these fish get stocked. Their optimal feeding temps are anywhere from 44 to 67 degrees. When the water warms above that number, these species become stressed. They stop feeding and go into more of a survival mode. If temperatures get to the 73-to-77-degree range over an extended period, it can be lethal. Colder nights and rain showers do have an impact. They help keep the temperatures down.

The other night I snuck out. The recent rains have definitely helped. Instead of heading out right after dinner. I waited until it was time for bed. Teach and Jensen stayed behind. No worries. I was armed with my fly gear and a headlamp. Headed up north just a few klicks. It was quite eerie and silent. No one was around. I had the entire stretch to myself. You cannot see what you are casting. It is all about feel and technique. I made a few throws to my favorite ripple. Heard a sudden splash and raised my rod. My drag began screaming. The fight was on. I landed a beautiful brown. I stayed for a few more fish and then decided to quit. It was a fantastic adventure so close to the homestead. I will be back.

Trout become less active this time of year, and they will now tend to feed at night. When the water levels get above their threshold, their habits change because the fish are conserving energy as their stress levels rise. Fishing for bass or other warm water species is highly recommended. Wait until it rains or try your luck at night. Carry a thermometer. This will help. Cheers.