Some anglers are leaving warming rivers behind, but the trout are still feeding there. To have success in summer, you just need to understand a few subtleties.
1) The Expert: John Kobald, Guide
Home Base: White River, Meeker, Colo.
Years on the Water: 23
Days Per Year on the Water: 120
In a Nutshell: Most people ignore riffles–but you shouldn’t. If the fish aren’t there, target deeper holes and undercut banks where fish find moving water and shade.
Secrets: For water temperature, 55 degrees is the magic number. We did an experiment with an on-river aquarium. When the temperature hit 55, those fish were feeding.
Lures: Gold Mepps are hard to beat. Small Rapalas in blue and silver can be productive, too. At night, you want something with more vibration, like a small Rat-L-Trap, and you can get away with heavier line.
Bait: Drift a nightcrawler with a little weight.
2) The Expert: James Spica Jr., Editor, Michigan Trout
Home Base: Central Michigan
Years on the Water: 15
Days Per Year on the Water: 100
In a Nutshell: In the daytime, browns will stay in structure and shade, but at night they’ll move to open water, attacking mice, frogs, and large baitfish.
Secrets: A strong side hookset is key; if you raise the rod, you’ll pull the lure. It’s also a good idea to bring along an
extra headlamp and lots of bug spray or a Thermacell.
Lures: Mouse and frog imitations are best–the smaller, the better. Retrieve the lure slowly and steadily. Fish won’t respond to an erratic retrieve.
Bait: Artificials only.
3) The Expert: Jared Koenigsfeld, Guide
Home Base: Heart of the Driftless Region, northern Iowa
Years on the Water: 10
Days Per Year on the Water: 100 to 150
In a Nutshell: As temperatures rise, the range that a brown trout will move to chase down a meal is cut by half. They’ll be hiding near undercut banks, sunken logs, and deep pools.
Secrets: Concentrate your efforts in the early mornings and late evenings, and use fluorocarbon line.
Lures: Go with small Rapalas in the early part of the day and switch to a Mister Twister later on.