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July Heat is a Time of Transition


It's been hard not to notice the increased heat and humidity of the last ten days. July began moderately with pleasant daytime highs in the low eighties and evening lows in the upper fifties. The first wave of higher temps arrived and departed with trout fishing recovering just before the July 4th holiday. As a matter of fact, July 1-3rd were not only the annual anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg but some fine dry fly fishing in the evening and good fishing in the morning here in New Jersey. So what are the options in the dog days of summer?

Trout need cool water. As of this writing, the water isn't the issue. Both the South Branch and the Musky are rising to well over 1100 cubic feet per second flow (cfs) from the latest batch of heavy thunderstorms. Considering an average flow is nearer to 80 cfs on the South Branch and 240 on the Musky, this is a welcome development given the steady stream of warm days in the upcoming forecast. The waters will be abundant and will stay reasonably cool but fly fishing for trout and practicing catch and release of our quarry requires water temps below 70 degrees for most of a 24 hour period. Ideally, I prefer to fish under 68 degrees. The good news is that we will have strong flows that will shelter the trout, the bad news is that we should likely curtail fishing until the temps moderate.