I first remember hearing of these dreaded entities called “doldrums” in my early years of working in the fly fishing industry. Customers would enter the shop hanging their heads, speaking of how difficult fishing had been as of late due to the summer doldrums.
I began jogging my memory to fishing memories I had from the hot summer months, most of which were actually quite fond. Does fishing actually shut down when the summer heat is upon us? No.
Myth #1 – Fish Stop Feeding
Probably my favourite of all is that fish allegedly stop feeding as soon as summer is upon us. While you will notice changes in fish behaviour during warm spells, let me ask you this: do you stop eating as soon as it gets hot, and then continue again when the first frost of September arrives?
Rainbow trout of all sizes need to eat in order to do this thing called “surviving”. While throat pumps will sometimes yield nothing more than daphnia, glassworms or a couple of scuds, this absolutely does not mean they cannot be caught.
Fish will absolutely continue to feed during periods of hot weather, in fact some of the best fishing we have experienced this year has been from the beginning of July until now.
Myth #2 – Chironomids do not Hatch in Warm Weather
I am unsure of who began this theory, but I would imagine it is the same person that instilled into the brains of Stillwater anglers that the only time you should be on the water is between 10am and 2pm.
Chironomids, as well as other aquatic insects and invertebrates, will continually be found in throat samples during the summer months. Does it mean that every lake experiences great summertime hatches? Of course not, but understanding hatch timings on a variety of lakes will increase your successes throughout the warmest months of the year.
Seek out a few lakes that experience “bomber” hatches in the months of July and August, and work hard on dialing them in. There are a multitude of lakes within an hour of Kamloops that see some of their best chironomid fishing in the mid to late-summer.
Side note: Chironomids do not always need to be seen hatching in order to have success imitating them, as stated in this article about fishing the ‘non-hatch’.
Myth #3 – Fish only Feed Early & Late
Last, but not least, the myth that fish will only feed during low-light periods in the summer months. While it may be true that in some lower-elevation lakes, fish will slide into the shallows in the morning and evening to feed heavily (usually on scuds), when rainbow trout are presented with a mid-day hatch you will find them hard pressed to turn it down.
In conclusion, the best time to go fishing is whenever you have a chance! Time spent on the water is never time wasted. Slow days and spectacular days can take place at any time during the season. Seeking out high-elevation lakes, as well as lower-elevation lakes that see productive mid-summer hatches is a fun game.
What about Fish Safety in Warm Water Temperatures?
Playing fish quickly and effectively, as well as equipping yourself with proper tippet that is sized accordingly to the size of fish you are targeting is important in the summer as it is in other seasons.
July is almost through, some great fishing will be taking place from now until the late-fall when our lakes begin to freeze up for the winter. Click here to drop us an email and experience a day on the world-class waters surrounding Kamloops, British Columbia!