Summertime Fly Fishing: What you need to know

With summer on the horizon, we can not help but get excited about longer days, warmer temperatures and exploring some of our favorite cold water fishing! In honor of our favorite time of year, we will summarize for you everything you need to know to make your summer fly fishing trip successful. From outfits to responsible fish handling, this is your guide to having the best summer fishing experiences this year!

Table of Contents

Plan your trip

What to bring?


Take care of the Fish

Our top secret points

Plan your trip:

Whether this is your first time catching a fly rod or you are an experienced fisherman, planning ahead of your summer fly fishing trip is a must to spend a better day on the water. Believe me, do not become the person who is frantically looking at google maps this morning. I have been there along with many others, it makes your day significantly less fun. We want you to have fun, so here are some important things to keep in mind when planning your fly fishing trip over the summer.

Know where you want to go:

There are a number of factors that influence this decision, such as target species, water temperature, distance you want to travel, etc. Generally, climbing to higher altitudes or fishing tail waters (cold water under dams) will be yours. The best opportunity to find cold water in summer. If you are far from a trout stream, then you are probably looking for a new river for bass! Knowing where you want to go will help you with all the other steps below.

Go to your local Fly Shop:

Your local fly shop will be your best source for up-to-date information on local fishing. They will be able to help inform you of any major details you may be missing about the water you are looking to fish. The best advice is to bring a pack of 6 for the store staff, they work hard to make sure you take care of your trip, so take care of them!

Check local regulations where you are fishing:

Be sure to purchase a fishing license for the state where you will be fishing. Sales of fishing licenses go directly to help maintain the places we want to fish all year round! Some states may also require you to purchase “stamps” to add to your license for certain species.

Moreover, due to warmer temperatures and drought conditions throughout the western United States. Many fisheries enter owl restrictions or even river closures during the summer heat. When these rules are in place, it might be a good time to follow some warm water species like sea bass and carp!

What to bring?



I personally never take my Chaco off during the summer. Even when I remove them, you can see solid evidence of a “Chaco Tan” carved into my legs. They are definitely my favorite shoes for any fly fishing adventure during the summer.

There are many advantages to Chacos because of their versatility. Your feet are secured by adjustable straps and you have confidence in the river or traces of rubber soles (some areas only allow shoes with rubber soles in the river to protect themselves from invasive species). Let’s not forget the water flowing over your feet to keep you cool on those hot summer days.


If you are going to go anywhere you may need some extra support, cotton boots paired with some wet socks are always a great option. If you are doing some sketching walks to get to your secret spots, ankle protection is always helpful.

  • A light jacket: In the mountains the mornings and evenings are cooler. Make sure you have a good lightweight jacket to keep you comfortable in the early hours. Clothing for summer butterfly fishing
  • Lightweight sun shirt
  • Lightweight pants: This is very important if you want to avoid cuts from any bush bumps you may encounter.
  • Sunglasses: No one wants a crochet in the eye!
  • Your favorite hat

Fishing equipment of course!


  • Fly Rod
  • flies
  • leader
  • the types
  • blotter
  • Good package
  • Thermometer (to control water temperature)

Other essentials: Sunscreen, bread, cold drinks.

You can not forget your fluffy friends either!


Once again this will change depending on what you are fishing for. If you are fishing for trout, the game is small rods and dried flies. For your warm water species, poppers can provoke extraordinary foods! If you want to delve deeper into some specific tactics, here are some amazing resources.

Dry fly fishing – Tips and techniques

Beginner’s guide to flying in bass fishing

5 Flying Fishing Tips for the Beginner Fisherman

Fish Care

It is of the utmost importance that we are taking steps proactively to preserve the fish and the places where they live. This way we have many more summers to come, where we can stroll through streams and rivers fishing with our pleasure. Here are the main things to keep in mind to help protect the fish.

Fishing temperatures during the summer
Graphic courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing

Water temperatures: When fishing with flies during the summer, water temperatures are the biggest factor to consider for fish health. When it gets very hot, fish are prone to mortality from disease and stress. Be sure to check the water temperatures in those hottest months and have a backup plan if your Plan A is too hot. You can even carry a thermometer with you!

Fight the fish fast: Fish fighting fast reduces stress on the fish. In warm water, fish have less oxygen and energy to begin with, so the longer you fight the fish, the faster it gets stressed.

Keep them wet: How would you feel if someone kept you underwater for a long period of time? Our fish need to be in the water to breathe, as well as dry environments, can remove any protective slime on the fish itself.

wet fish

Here are some other resources for being a responsible fisherman on your fly fishing mission over the summer.

Fishing Label: Trout handling best practices

A water temperature guide for trout

Our top secret points

Do you really think we will donate our secret items !?

The best part of fly fishing during the summer is getting out there and adventure! Whether you find yourself in the local pond fishing for sea fish, or on a high alpine lake this summer, we hope you discover your special places to escape the heat! We hope these tips encourage you to go out and have your own fly fishing adventure over the summer.

Thank you Chaco to make this article possible! If you love trout as much as we do and you love protecting them, theirs Thomas Rhett Collection supports our friends in Trout Unlimited. You can view the collection HERE.

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