Trout fishing in the lakes and streams of the Missouri Ozarks is a year round affair. However, most fly fishing trips take place in the summertime. Temperatures can soar during the three vacation months and trout can become finicky. Following are some tips to help you battle the heat, while still scoring trout.
#1. Stick to Fishing & Adjust With the Weather
Weather conditions can change dramatically in the summer. Cool conditions may bring temperatures in the 60s, while those July and August days will climb into the 100-plus digits. Remaining comfortable, regardless of weather, is paramount to one's ability to stick with fishing. And sticking with it is important, for fishing days are not often enough. The following equipment items will help you adjust to any condition.
- Rain gear. Even summer rain can be cool. Protect yourself with a Frogg Toggs Bull Frogg Jacket and Pants. Tough, durable, waterproof and lightweight, this suit will help you beat the weather odds.
- Sunglasses. Sunrays reflecting off of the water can cause headaches and eye strain. The stylish XPS Sunglasses by Fisherman Eyewear will reduce the strain and the polarized lenses will help you spot those trophy trout.
- Shirts and shorts. Fishing shirts by Columbia will make your summer days a breeze. The Columbia Bahama II Shirt is made from 100 percent nylon Backcountry Cloth II with back and underarm vents. Fishing shorts by World Wide Sportsman like the Pescador Bay Shorts are are designed for fishermen and work well for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
#2. Change Fishing Tactics
The heat of summer can make trout finicky. Adapt and overcome.
- Fish with lighter line. If you fish with the standard 6-pound line at the beginning of the season, drop to 4-pound or 2-pound line. Streams will become crystal clear. Visible line will spook trout. P-Line Floroclear fishing line is perfect for these conditions. You get the best of both worlds. Fluorocarbon coating ensures virtual invisibility underwater, while extra-tough copolymer construction provides knot strength and durability.
- Fish deeper. Trout will hide under cover and around structure as the light intensifies. Quickly eliminate shallow areas and concentrate on the dark water. Darker means deeper. Look for the dark pockets of water on streams. They may only be 2 feet deep and 8 feet long, but they hold fish.
- Slow down. Except for extreme feeding sprees, trout may feed infrequently during daylight hours, the time when most summertime anglers hit the streams. Slow your lure retrieves, or try a White River Prolite 1/80 ounce jig or a ball of Berkley PowerBait for trout under a small Foam Peg Float.
#3. Fish a New Spot
Variety is the spice of life. The axiom holds true for trout waters as well. Missouri offers a myriad of trout fishing opportunities. Try new areas to improve the quantity of trout you catch. They include:
- Trout Parks: Bennet Spring State Park, Roaring River State Park, Montauk State Park and the James Foundation's Maramec Spring Park.
- Trout Streams: Barren Fork Creek, Capps Creek, Hickory Creek, Little Piney creek, Spring Creek, Crane Creek, Mill Creek, Blue spring Creek, Stone Mill Creek, Roubidoux Creek, Current River, Eleven Point River, Niangua River, Roaring River, Meramec River and North Fork of White River.