August can be a challenging month for trout fishing, water temperatures are high, and popular locations can be crowded. But there is still worthwhile trout fishing to be had.
When water temperatures are high, I rarely fish for trout. I prefer to target other species or travel somewhere with cooler water. Below I will discuss the four types of waters I prefer to fish over the late summer.
1) High Elevations: Alpine Lakes
My favorite place to fish in August is at higher elevations, and in particular alpine lakes. The altitude of these lakes ensures that they maintain a cooler temperature even when temperatures are scorching int he valleys below.
For more information I have previously written guides on how to fish alpine lakes.
How to catch brown trout in mountain lakes
2) Heavily Forested Streams
Streams flowing through densely forested areas offer excellent trout fishing opportunities during late summer. The shade provided by the forest canopy shields the water from direct sunlight, preventing excessive warming. These streams, meandering through hills covered in trees, maintain a more consistent and bearable temperature for trout.
3) Spring Creeks
Spring-fed streams are another favorite for late summer trout fishing. These creeks are fed by cold underground springs, which contribute to a relatively stable water temperature year-round. The cooler temperatures of spring creeks make them an attractive option when other waters might become uncomfortably warm for trout. I find that nymphing and presenting dry flies work well on these streams due to the consistent insect activity generated by the steady water flow.
Tailwaters, which are the outflows from dams, can offer consistent temperatures in the midst of summer heat. The water sourced from the lower depths of the dam is typically cooler, creating a more suitable environment for trout. Fishing near the dam’s outflow can yield rewarding catches, as trout often congregate in these areas to access the colder water.
Effective Lures and Techniques:
Late summer provides a great opportunity for successful trout fishing using a variety of fly patterns, including large terrestrial insect flies, dry flies, and nymphs. As terrestrial insects like grasshoppers, ants, and beetles become prevalent during this time, trout become more active in targeting these food sources. Here’s how I approach fly fishing with these patterns:
- Large Terrestrial Dry Flies:
- Grasshoppers, ants, and beetles are abundant in late summer and often end up in the water, making them a prime food source for trout.
- I opt for large terrestrial dry fly patterns like Chernobyl Ants, Fat Alberts, and Stimulators. These flies imitate the size and profile of these insects, making them enticing to hungry trout.
- Cast these large dry flies near the bank, under overhanging vegetation, and around structure to attract the attention of trout looking for an easy meal on the water’s surface.
- Dry Fly Techniques:
- Focus on accurate casting to specific targets where trout might be holding, such as under tree canopies or along grassy edges.
- Use a gentle presentation to prevent spooking trout. Allow the fly to land softly on the water’s surface to imitate the natural behavior of terrestrial insects.
- Nymph Fishing:
- Even during late summer, nymph fishing can be effective as trout continue to feed on underwater insect life.
- Choose nymph patterns that mimic aquatic insects like caddis pupae, mayfly nymphs, and stonefly nymphs.
- Utilize techniques like high-stick nymphing, indicator nymphing, or euro nymphing to effectively present the nymphs at different depths and speeds.
mall Lures and Spinners:
- Rapala lures and inline spinners remain effective options during late summer.
- Opt for smaller sizes and natural colors that resemble local baitfish or insects that trout may be feeding on.
- Trout are often holding in ripples, and faster water where it is more oxygenated.
- Cast near undercut banks, rocks, and structures where trout are likely to seek refuge and ambush prey.
- Fishing during low-light conditions, such as early morning or dusk, can increase your chances of success, as trout are more active at these times.