The heat wave is in full swing here in western Washington. The mercery levels are sky high, the waders are collecting dust in the closet, and those mid day runs feel great! It’s supposed to be 100 degrees here on Puget Sound this week, its a great time to be on the water.
Here are a few tips to keep your lines tight with the hot weather.
1.) Start early! 5am at the dock can be tough, but the fish will reward your efforts. The top layer of water is the first to warm up, so getting out before the sun has beat down on the surface will keep the fish up higher in the water column. Naturally this will help when targeting fish with a fly rod.
2.) Hide some weight in your flies. If you have been on the water with me, you know I have confidence in my flies. Flies need to sink this time of year if you are targeting big fish. The fish are hanging on the drop offs with good current, so our flies need to get down to the cold water in the current.
3.) Stay hydrated. We are outside for hours on end, waving a stick. I don’t really think of fishing as a sport, however, it is a semi-athletic endeavor. Staying hydrated not only will physically make you feel better, it also helps with mental clarity. The better you can think and feel, the better you will fish and more enjoyment you will get from it. (Sunscreen is also something to consider)
4.) Take a break! 100 degree weather is f@%king hot. If you need to take a break, take it. The fish will be there when you are ready. Run the boat into the shade, walk into the woods, whatever you need to do. The day is long, and you can take a break and still have great fishing.
5.) Slow down, one thing that guiding has taught me about fishing is that it’s the down time that helps you catch the fish. Look around, study the water. This time of year it is so critical to fish to the bait fish, fish in the tidal current, and fish to the drop offs/structure. Taking time to slow down and make sure you are doing these things will certainly help a ton.
These 5 things are certain to make your time on the water significantly more enjoyable. Fishing is a great way to stay cool during a heat wave. See you on the water!