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summer trout

Tactics and Tips for Catching Summer Trout

Summer Trout Fishing Tips, Tactics, and Gear 

Once June comes to an end, many trout fishermen put away the rods until next spring unfortunately. Warmer temperatures start to set in and can make fishing a little tougher. For fisherman that want to keep after it, great days of fishing can still be had. Use some of these tips and tactics this summer to catch more trout.

Find the feeder streams 

When water starts to warm up a little bit, trout are going to look for the coldest water they can get. Feeder steams will be dumping cold water in and trout will congregate at them. Finding a big feeder stream will usually put you in front of a lot of trout in July and August. Fisherman should keep in mind that trout will become more stressed in warmer water. Always handle fish gently and be sure to get trout that are caught back into the water as soon as possible if practicing catch and release.  

Cover the water thoroughly 

This is sometimes a concept that might be overlooked by many. When water temperatures start to rise, trout are not going to use any unnecessary energy to chase after food that is far away. They will wait where they are for food to come to them. This is why it is crucial to cover the water you are fishing very thoroughly. Whether fly fishing, spin fishing with some bait, or throwing a lure, be sure to cover that water. When attacking a stretch of water, run, or pool, start at the bottom and the side closest to you. Make casts at this same level as you just out the creek farther. When your casts reach the other side of the creek, make your next set of casts up a little farther and just repeat across the creek again. Keep going until you have reached the top of the pool you are trying to cover and then move to your next stretch. Using this tacticyou will try to ensure that you are putting your bait, fly, or lure directly in front of fish. Many fly fishermen have the mentality that they want to drift their fly right into a trout’s mouth without them even moving. Having that mentality will force you to cover the water as thoroughly as possible.  

Fish Deep 

This one is simple, fish the deepest water you can find. Deep water is going to be much colder in temperature at the bottom. Trout are going to find this deep water and stay towards the bottom. This is where previous knowledge and time spent fishing comes in handy. If you were out during the spring a lot, return to places where you noticed big deep pools. Chances are that trout will be congregating in those areas.  

Focus on fishing early and late 

It’s no secret that the best times of the day to catch trout during the summer will be early in the morning and at the end of the evening. These will be the coolest parts of the day with the least amount of sun, and when trout will be most likely to feed. As a bonus, it’s much more pleasant for us to be out there during those times of the day anyways. Fly fisherman can still find good surface feeding action during the summer months in the evenings and lure fisherman can find more aggressive fish during these hours.  

Avoid fishing pressure 

Trout have now been fished for several months by fishermen. They will become more educated, wary, and overall can be tough to catch. This is especially true in easy access areas that get fished the heaviest. Think outside the box and try to hit some spots that are tougher to access, or creeks that weren’t so popular among fisherman in the spring. Finding trout that are quite as educated will increase your odds of success drastically.  

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Allen Gunnison Switch Olive Fishing Pack

winter-fly-fishing-trout-pennsylvania-tips_Feature

Winter Fly Fishing for Pennsylvania Trout

Winter Trout Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania 

The winter months in Pennsylvania can vary quite a bit. Temperatures ranging from below zero to 60 degrees are all possible. Believe it or not, trout can be caught on any of these days throughout the winter in PA. There will be days where fishing is tough, but also days where plenty of fish can be caught. 

Tips:  

1.Fish a warmer day 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to fish the warmer days when possible. It is not only more pleasant to be outside, but also more likely for the trout to be feeding on the warmer days. Winter in PA can have long stretches of frigid temperatures and the fishing can still be great during those times, but if a fisherman has some freedom in their schedule, try for a warmer day if possible. If fishing on a very cold day, the best hours are going to be during the middle part of the afternoon when the sun is highest.  

2. Find the slow water 

During the winter, trout are not going to expend more energy than absolutely necessary. That means they are going to be laying in slower water more times than not, to avoid using more energy in the faster water. Often times, a trout’s food or prey is going to be drifting downstream with the current. Trout will lay on the edge of the slow water, where they can still see over into the current where food will be drifting. A fisherman should spend a lot of time casting to these “seams” where slow water comes up next to faster current.  

3. Fish your best spots 

Most fishermen are going to have limited time to trout fish in the winter. Go to proven creeks or spots where trout are plentiful. Wait for spring and summer to explore new areas that are unpredictable. Fishing during the winter can be slower than spring so a fisherman should give themselves the best chance they can by just hitting their best spots.  

4. Don’t overthink it 

In reality, trout fishing in the winter is not too much different from any other time of year. The same basic tactics still apply. Find where the fish are, try to match the food source, and give a natural looking presentation of your fly to the fish. If those basic rules are followed, trout will be caught in the winter just like any other season of the year.  

5. Have the right apparel 

Wool socks are a must have when trout fishing in the winter. They will help keep feet warm while wading in cold water. Wear layers as needed on the body to stay warm. Water proof gloves are also a very nice addition to have.  

Gear: 

  1. Fly Rod and Reel
  2. A 5 weight rod is the most common choice for fishermen pursuing trout in Pennsylvania waters.  
  3. Waders 
  4. Sling, Vest, or Fanny Pack – Use one of these to keep all flies and other miscellaneous gear in order. Keep nippers, tippet, extra leaders, and forceps in here. 
  5. Flies – With no surface action happening during the winter months, fly selection can be kept fairly basic. Focus on using nymphs, streamers, and soft hackle wet flies. Some great choices are pheasant tail nymphs, san juan or squirmy worms, wooly buggers, and muddler minnows. 
  6. Pennsylvania Fishing License and Trout/Salmon Permit