Many trout fishing anglers have long left the streams and lakes in Pennsylvania. Trout stockings have ended and will not be starting again until fall. The summer heat has left many waterways low and warm, forcing trout into survival mode to make it through until fall. Summer is often the worst time to fish for trout in Pennsylvania but some anglers can find success with these three trout fishing tips.
Late Summer Trout Fishing Tips
Fish early and late. During the warmer months of late summer, trout fishing early and late is your best bet. Reasons? Trout are feeding at these times. Consider that during the summer months, the most common deterrent is sunlight. Trout will avoid the hot, overwhelming sun most of the day by retreating to deeper portions of the water column and forgoing feeding activities. In addition, water temperatures cool in the evenings and rise again after mid-morning. Although slight, this change in water temperature can be enough to get trout out feeding. Cloudy days also are better for trout fishing than sunny days for the same reason.
Pick your spots. In streams in Pennsylvania, summer brings with it low and warm water. Those stocked trout and any native trout know that to survive they need to move to areas that have cooler water. Trout can tolerate water temperatures upwards of 77 degrees but more realistically start to be stressed around water temperature near 70 degrees. Thus in these late summer waterways many trout are stressed and have stopped feeding just to try to survive. Trout fishing should focus on areas that have cooler water. For example, feeder streams inject cooler waters with more oxygen and trout can often be found where these streams enter the larger waterway. Also, lakes where the depths are enough to have a thermocline, the area in a lake where water temperature decreases rapidly based on depth and sunlight penetration, are great spots to fish for trout in Pennsylvania during the summer. These areas hold trout that are still at an active level where they will likely take a trout fishing lure.
Understand the water in which you are fishing. Streams that are low and warm should be avoided, particularly those streams with natural reproducing trout and special catch and release regulations. For those fishing for trout in streams, look for cooler head waters, cool springs or fish spring fed creeks that are naturally cool throughout the year. In Pennsylvania lakes, trout fishing is still productive if you can find fish. Trout are going to be near the thermocline in lakes that are deep enough to have one and in shady, deep pockets in small Pennsylvania lakes.
Avoid pressure. Even though summer trout fishing is for the die-hard anglers, there are still times when fishing pressure occurs. Lakes across the state still hold trout this time of year and anglers fishing for trout and other species put alot of pressure on the water. You want to avoid areas that have a lot of boat traffic and fishing pressure. Trout are already in a stressed mode and quickly retreat to the depths with any increase in pressure. Take to lakes in the early morning hours or find lakes that have less fishing traffic but still hold trout.
Streams can get pressured in the late summer as well. Spring feed creeks and those that are special regulations like the trophy trout projects are still getting fished for trout this time of the year. With these water being low and clear and the trout remaining already educated to anglers from trout fishing pressure from the spring, trout in these waters are on guard and quick to dart under a bank or log never to be seen again. Fish streams up current and wear natural color clothing to avoid being seen by trout as you fish these water.
In conclusion, trout fishing in the late summer months is not easy and in some cases not recommended based on the water conditions. However, if you do go fishing for trout this time of year remember to fish early and late, pick the right spot and avoid fishing pressure and you will find success landing a few nice trout before fall.