Davidson River trout

Early morning, and after thunderstorms, are the best times to fish the Davidson River this month.

Post-storm fishing is hot on the river

Fishing for trout in the summer can prove difficult, but it’s possible to have success this time of year in western NC. Kevin Howell of Davidson River Outfitters (888-861-0111) relies on a few tactics that he’s found to be especially helpful this time of year.

“Trout are a cold water fish, and they’re reluctant to feed when the water gets above 68 degrees. So in the summer, you’re trying to draw a reaction strike,” he said. “And the best way to do this is by giving extra life to your flies.”

Howell does this by using flies with rubber legs, soft hackles, emu feather gills, etc.

“The more annoying the motion of the fly, the better your chances of getting a reaction strike,” he said.

Due to the summer heat, Howell said trout aren’t willing to move very far. This means your casts need to be more accurate than any other time of year.

“Trout will not move a great distance in low or warm water to feed. So your presentations need to be almost in a direct line with the fish. This may require you to do more sight fishing than most anglers are used to,” he said.

This is also a time when anglers need to be especially aware of line shadows and line spraying off of ferruled or braided leaders while casting.

“The fish will perceive spray and shadows as birds that are swooping to attack them,” he said.

Fish after storms

Finding flowing water is essential this month.

“Fish any decent flow of water. The current is where the trout find oxygen and food during the heat and low water periods. The better fish will lie directly under the fastest part of the flow where the most oxygen is located. This requires that you fish flies that are weighted heavier,” he said.

The heavier weight allows your fly to get down to where the fish are searching for food.

“Your flies should sink to the bottom rapidly and stay there, tumbling along like an injured or wounded piece of food,” he said.

Anglers will find the best summer fishing in water that’s not particularly pretty.

“The best fishing in the summer occurs after a large storm when the water is high and muddy,” said Howell. “The storm not only cools the water temperature down, but it also washes a lot of food into the river. And it makes the fish feel safe in the higher, off-colored water.”

Anglers can have a lot of success when thunderstorms develop in the late afternoon on consecutive days.

“If you notice a pattern of thunderstorms in the late afternoon, know that trout will become conditioned to that being a feeding time. During this pattern, wait until about an hour before the afternoon storm. Or better yet, wait until it passes, and then jump in the water,” he said.

After a storm, Howell said some of the best flies include large black or other dark-colored flies with large rubber legs or flies tied out of marabou or rabbit strips.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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