When the heat of summer sets in, many of our local trout streams become low and insect hatches wane. But this year, we have had a surplus of rain and rivers still are holding plenty of water.
The other day i awoke at 5 a.m. hoping to catch a trico hatch, which happens early in the morning. When I arrived at a favorite stream I fish I was surprised to see murky water, and few insects hatching. Instead of trying to match the hatch with a dry fly imitating a trico, I switched tactics to nymphing, specifically using two nymphs. When fishing murky water it is always a good idea to upsize and/or use brighter colors, or flies that have some flash to them. So I tied on a bead- head Copper John, size 16, trailed by a pink soft hackle. It turned out to be a good combination, as I soon began to catch and release some nice browns.
Some anglers use a large brightly colored strike indicator for this situation, but in my view this can often hurt your success. Trout become conditioned to these and can be spooked by them, which is why i chose not to use one. They may be good in big, fast Western rivers, but for our smaller streams at home try fishing without them.
In summer there often are not an abundance of insect hatches in our local streams. When a hatch occurs, it usually happens very early in the morning or late in the evening, and matching these hatches can really increase your success. When there isn't a hatch, a variety of nymphs will work well all summer long, and terrestrials like foam beetles or grasshoppers can be effective, especially on windy days when these types of bugs are being blown into the river.
So if you haven't put on your waders in a while, get out and enjoy some time on the stream.