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.
Some of you are smart enough and lucky enough to head north to the Catskills and its tailwaters such as the East and West Branches of the Delaware. Closer to home are the PA limestone streams kept cool by abundant spring water flows. It is the season for western travel. We're getting good reports from Montana and Idaho. On local waters, this is the season for Smallmouth Bass or maybe the elusive Common Carp. I enjoy pond fishing for Largemouth Bass using poppers at this time of year. I'm still looking for that hefty Largemouth on the fly. Either way, there is no reason to put away the gear until fall, just make some adjustments. The local waters will come back strong as soon as the temps moderate.
Local Hatches 7/12/2019:
Morning 5-10 am:
Trico Trorythodes spp. Trico #22-24
Summer Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia mollis Adams or Blue Quill #18-20 Use small #18-20 Pheasant Tails!
Spotted Sedge Hydropsyche spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, Green Rockworm or JC's Electric Caddis #14-18, LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa #14-18
Green Sedge Rhyacophila sp. Elk Hair Caddis Olive #14-16, LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa #14-16
Blue Wing Olive Drunella attenuatta BWO #16-18 Pheasant Tail # 18, RS2 #18, Baetis Emerger #16-18
Slate Drake or "Iso" Isonychia bicolor Iso Prachute or Comparadun #12
Light Cahill Stenacron interpunctatum Light Cahill #12-14, Hare's Ear #14
Golden Drake anthopotamous distinctus & A. ruffous Golden Drake #10-12
Little Evening Yellow Leucrocuta hebe Sulphur #18
Sulphur Stenonema rubrum Sulphur #12
Yellow Drake Ephemera varia Golden Drake or Sulphur Comparadun #10-12
Little Golden Stonefly Isoperla Sp. Yellow Stimulator #16
Tim's Fly Tying Video: Iso Nymph