Dry Fly Fishing: Summer

A selection of dry flies always at the ready.

What time of year comes to mind when thinking about dry fly fishing?

Most anglers that fish in Pennsylvania would say during the spring season. Spring is often considered the best time of year to fish dry flies because of opportunities created from the major hatches. While the answer spring is not wrong, it is certainly not the only time of year that presents good dry fly fishing.

The summer is a great time of year to fish dry flies, but why? Well, there are a couple of reasons that anglers prove success on our water with dry flies during the summer months.

One of the reasons that fish are willing to eat dries during the summer is there are still hatches, and food available on the surface of the water. Terrestrials, such as Ants and Beetles, could be considered the major “hatch” of the summer.

Ants and Beetles that fill bushes and trees during the summer months often fall into the water to be eaten by the opportunistic trout scanning the surface. In addition to Terrestrials, there can also be a mixture of bugs such as Tricos, Cahills, and Stoneflies around (to name a few).

By the time summer rolls around, the fish are well accustomed to eating off of the surface of the water due to the amount of bug activity over previous months. It’s not uncommon to find several fish rising at different times during the course of a day, depending on which bugs are around. Even though there are days where fish might not be rising, prospecting with dry flies can work well due to the fish opportunistically “looking up.”

Another reason that throwing dry flies can work well during the summer is that the water is generally a bit lower and clearer than during the other months of the year. Fish can take more notice to bugs falling into the water, and with less water it’s easier for them to come up to eat.

Not only is fishing dry flies during the summer productive, it’s also very visual. Sight fishing, or prospecting with dry flies, is a very interesting and fun way to fish.

Are you in need of a little dry fly therapy? Talk to Joel about a day on the water to provide the fix.

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