Are the Dog Days Over?

Sean Visintainer - 08/26/18

Partly smokey with a chance of sunshine, highs in the 70's

Are the dog days of summer over?? Hell, I don't know. I just know how to catch fish lol. It does appear to me though this last week of August will be a bit more comfortable than the beginning of August, minus the wildfire smoke. Lately some early mornings when I've been headed out fishing have even required a light jacket, or vest, to cut the chill. I guess after a long, hot summer a handful of degrees cooler feels like a massive difference. Less smokey mornings even have a hint of fall in the air with dew on the grass.

I can't predict whether or not summer is over, luckily that is not my job. But, what I can predict is a good shift in the fishing coming up. Slightly longer nights and the drop in temp mean getting up before dawn to be on the water are quickly becoming a distant memory. Mornings are still productive don't get me wrong, but 6:30am start times on the Spokane are not the norm now. Same goes for further up in the mountains. No need to rush right out, enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning then make plans to hit the water.

I don't foresee a shift in fly patterns quite yet either. The terrestrials and attractors of summer will still be useful and important for at least a few more weeks. It will take a couple of really cold nights and even frost for them to disappear. In years past the mahoganies and October caddis won't be out for a few weeks either. Currently rivers like the Clark Fork are just seeing some tricos and hecuba mayflies. Rivers like the St. Joe and NF Clearwater are seeing some light hatches of pmds, caddis, and yellow sallies too. But again, light would be the word. It's still somewhat the dog days of summer.

An easy boost to success late summer is finer and longer leaders. Which can make casting hopper or chernobyls a little challenging. Be conscious of twisting in your tippet. Often if you use too fine of tippet on larger, wind resistant flies the dynamics of the fly zipping through the air will cause your tippet section to twist, resulting in poor presentations. Occasionally take a minute to examine your set-up. Laziness does not catch fish. Small details catch fish. Awareness catches fish.

Enjoy the final days of summer, I know we will be!

Clark Fork River