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Beat the Heat While Fishing This Summer

This week, summer humidity and heat begins in Iowa, and this heat will be around for the remainder of the summer months in Iowa with minimal reprieve. Here are some tips to help you stay cool during the dog days of summer.

Icy Hydration I'm not usually an ice-water guy, but when it comes to staying cool in the summertime, icy beverages are one of the best ways to keep your body temperature down and help you stay safe while recreating outside. Make sure to hydrate for 24+ hours before your outing, and also keep chugging that water throughout your time in the outdoors to avoid dehydration and heatstroke.

Sun Protection Sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun gloves can be great assets during the sunny days. Not only do sunglasses keep your eyes safe when that woolly bugger flies past your soft eyeballs at 100 miles an hour, they will also help your eyes from becoming damaged from that sun exposure during the brilliantly-bright summer months.

bowfin, native fish, fly fishing in Iowa
Bowfin on the fly

Appropriate Clothing Wearing long sleeves and pants might seem counterintuitive during the summer months, but not only will they help keep your skin from being exposed to the sun, many clothing companies have apparel lines that incorporate cooling technologies to their fabrics. I have a Simms Guide Cooling Hoody that has been one of my favorites to wear in the summertime, and there are other brands and designs of clothing that have similar technologies that would be helpful to wear during the summer.

fly angler holds a common carp caught while fly fishing
Jay with the appropriate summer clothing

Time of Day Mornings, mornings, mornings. Growing up, I used to be an "evening" angler and felt that evenings were best for fishing, and evenings certainly still have their place as great times to fish at certain times of year. But during the hottest days of the year, fishing early in the mornings, as early as 4 or 5 A.M. can be the difference between a good day on the water and an awful day on the water. Not only does early morning fishing often mean more cooperative fish, it'll help you avoid becoming quickly miserable from being outside in hot and uncomfortable conditions.

Travel If you're facing temperatures of 90-100 degrees at home, why not venture somewhere cooler to do some fishing? We're headed to Alaska next week and the forecasted temperatures are in the 50's and 60's. Doesn't that sound like amazing fishing weather? Consider heading somewhere north to cooler venues if you're able to find the time.

lake trout, grayling, rainbow trout
Group of fish that you can find in more northern latitudes

Wet Wading One other way to help keep that body temperature down is to jump in the water. Especially if you're fishing some cooler streams, this can be a great way to take a break from angling and enjoy the benefits of summer. Be sure to know about the safety of the water before you swim as some waters become overloaded with nutrients, bacteria, and other toxic chemicals as summer peaks, which can be dangerous for humans and even dogs who choose to swim.

Get in touch with us if you're hoping to fly fish this summer and we will see what we can do to help you get the most of your time this summer.

Tight lines, hope to see you on the water.

Fishing Report

Click here for the Iowa DNR's Fishing Report (06/11/2024)

Local Reservoirs: Top water bite has been really good so far this year in the mornings, so get out on the water as early as you can. Water clarity should be improving in our Des Moines River reservoirs (Saylorville, Red Rock) as the water levels continue to drop through the summer.

Local Ponds: As it gets HOT outside, focus on targeting ponds in the mornings or on a day after a good, cool rain event. Some ponds become overgrown with aquatic vegetation and algae through the summer, so if one pond isn't really fishable, go find another pond to fish. Check the DNR's fish local page for a list of public waterbodies to explore.

Des Moines River: Water levels are coming down, and water clarity will only continue to improve. However, water temperatures will continue to increase, so get out while the water temperatures aren't too excessive yet. Find slack water next to some current and find ways to get your flies down, and you might find yourself with a walleye, drum, white bass, or another mystery fish on the end of your line.

Driftless Trout Streams (NE Iowa):

Starting to see fish willing to eat some caddis and terrestrial dry fly patterns. Your best bet in off colored water situations is either attractor nymphs like pink squirrel or pheasant tail nymphs or little leech streamers.

Be sure to start carrying a thermometer as our summer temperatures begin to increase. Anything above 72 is a no-go for trout.


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