Fishermen can drive trout buggy with insects

June 20, 2004|By BILL ANDERSON

Most trout fishermen do the bulk of their trout fishing in the spring.

One obvious reason is that most of the annual trout stocking takes place in March, April and May. It is also true that many of the popular and important fly hatches occur in the spring.

As summer arrives, most fishermen turn to other species. In our area, a lot of fishermen go for bass and catfish.

This summer, the constant rain and high water in the rivers have increased the interest in the trout streams that are often in better fishing condition.


Trout fishing during the summer months differs from the early spring. Spring fishing usually means the streams are cold and high in flow. The fish are forced to feed near the bottom - mostly on nymphs and other bottom creatures, such as crayfish.

As the weather warms, the trout can move to other food sources, which often means they are taking their food from the surface. Fly anglers know that this means dry-fly fishing, which many prefer over all other methods.

As we move into what could be called the mid-summer period, many of the headline mayfly hatches are over. But dry-fly fishing action does not have to stop. There is almost always an insect hatch of some type to fish. The challenge is to find the flies that are available and figure out an approach that will allow you to take the fish feeding on them.

You can also enjoy dry-fly fishing when no flies are hatching. The trout will take advantage of whatever food is available to them. In the summer, terrestrial insects are an important food source. These land-based insects fall into the streams and become trout food. Most fly fishermen know that trout will take them readily during the summer months.

The list of terrestrial insects that find their way into the stream is long, including ants and beetles. Ants are common nearly everywhere and fly patterns that imitate ants are always a good starting point. Beetle patterns are also good.

Grasshopper patterns are good, especially when fishing meadow streams. Hopper patterns are very exciting to use since the strikes are often explosive. Reminds me of a river smallmouth after a popping bug.

Fishing very small flies like a No. 20 ant requires relatively light fly tackle. If you find yourself in the enviable position of shopping for a new outfit, a 3- or 4-weight is a good choice.

Summer fishing is different than fishing in the spring, but can be very productive. A fringe benefit is that you often will have the stream nearly to yourself. You will not find that often in April and May.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached by e-mail at

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