Yep it’s hot. Fry an egg on the parking lot hot. Standing knee deep in the water isn’t a bad place to survive the summer though. Survival tip for wade fishermen: don’t wear much of anything under your waders! No jeans or thick pants of any kind. Wear a thin moisture wicking layer like Simms WaderWick Underwear.
I prefer wet wading myself – once your feet and legs go numb you don’t feel the pain! Wade fishing Buffalo, Crooked Creek, or any other warm water stream is heavenly right now. Water temps in these creeks are in the upper 60s, perfect for a swim. For wet wading creeks I recommend Simms wading boots with gravel guards and light, quick drying pants or shorts.
Staying hydrated is key to having a fun day in the heat. We have tons of chest, waist, and shoulder packs capable of carrying your gear, snacks, and plenty of water. Lightweight long sleeves, broad hats, Buffs, and sungloves will all keep your skin from crisping in the sun.
Yes it’s hot, and yes it’s better to sweat than to burn. You know what feels amazing? Dipping your hat and Buff in the White River and returning them to your head – oh yeah. You know what feels terrible? A 2nd degree on your neck, shoulders, and arms.
I’ve seen a lot of people wilt in the heat because they didn’t drink enough water and they didn’t cover up enough skin. If you’re not downing a bottle of water every hour or two you’re drying up, and if your skin is exposed to direct sun for 20 minutes, it’s burning you. Prepare for the heat. You’ll fish better, have more fun, and you won’t go home with a headache or sunburn.
Fishing is great folks! Don’t let the heat keep you indoors. Read on for flows and flies.
Flows are usually at minimum or one partial unit until midday at least, offering wade fishing opportunities in the morning and into the afternoon or all day the further downriver you choose to access. Sometime in the afternoon or evening, higher releases will begin, slowly at first, but reaching as high as 10,000cfs or more. This kind of release pattern offers the angler multiple types of water and techniques to choose from. The low water can be very productive with dead drifted midges, nymphs, and crustacean patterns. Try Zebra midges in Red/Copper or Black, Root Beer midges, and Wotton Super midges. Micro Mayfly Nymphs, small Copper Johns, and Pheasant Tails are top choices for nymphs. Crustaceans like sowbugs (try Wotton Sowbug), scuds (try Hunchback Scud), and crayfish (try Whitlock Near ‘Nuff) are a staple food for trout all summer. Higher flows provide opportunities to fish larger terrestrial patterns like Fat Alberts and Western Ladies, as well as large streamers like Dungeons, Double Deceivers, and Sluggos.
Flows have been at minimum often until 11 or 12, but sometimes only until 9 or 10, becoming one unit. Start early to get the most of your wade fishing. Try dead drifting Root Beer Midges and Hunchback scuds under an indicator. If you like, use a weighted egg or nymph such as a Sunday Special to sink your midges deeper in the pools and deep runs. If hatching sulfurs, midges, or crane flies are observed, try slow swinging Dallys Tailwater Soft Hackle in Orange, Yellow, or Black. Once the water comes up, boat fishermen have been catching on a great variety of flies from midges to scuds to mayfly nymphs and even large terrestrials and streamers.