Hot Weather Madness

We have certainly seen our share of 95 degree plus days over the last month or so. That has almost certainly kept the water temps high and the water levels low in a lot of places. I certainly try to make it a habit to fly fish for something all year long, but what I am fly fishing for does usually change from season to season. If I am trout fishing in the hottest months of the year, I typically go to high elevation wild trout water somewhere and the temps are still reasonable. Or I may take off to a big tailwater river in TN, also where the trout are active all summer. My other options though are usually local rivers and lakes for bass, panfish and other species. I have had good success this summer on lakes, sometimes even in the hottest part of the middle of the day, which was when I managed this nice smallmouth bass:

Many of the lake fish, including this smallmouth, have been taking a combination of a Boogle Bug popper with a variety of different sinking flies dropped off the back. Shady areas tend to be the most productive, but I have also been surprised with plenty of fish willing to hang out in the sunny spots.
Local rivers can also be a great place for summer action, as the moving water is usually more oxygenated and a little cooler sometimes than the lakes. The water is not as deep overall, so the fish tend to be more accessible with the fly rod. Plenty of panfish can be caught in any of the local rivers, and most have some population of spotted bass or largemouth bass in them as well. One species I have recently targeted is the longnose gar. I am working out the details to offer guided float trips for these fish hopefully starting sometime in summer 2016. I have some more research and development to do, but if it all works out, these fish will provide another summertime alternative. Here is a pic of one I got in my last outing: