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Part One Hundred-fourteen

Warm Water/Fresh Water Chat
Host NorthLander (substituting for Fritz Fratz)- Monday. 6-8 p.m. PST (9-11 EST)

Tactics for Late Summer - Panfish

By Kevin Wright

As summer wears on the weather gets hotter and the water gets warmer. Fish, like humans, use selective times of the day to feed and move around. This of course, will be when the day is at its coolest, early morning and late evening. During the heat of the day fish tend to head to the deeper water where it is cooler. Both offer great fishing opportunities.

Popping bugs fished early in the morning or late in the evening will work at this time of year as well. Fish are coming into the shallows to feed during the coolest part of the day. You might not get to use your gubs too long because when the sun starts beating down the fish will begin to move out of the heat and into deeper water, where again, tactics will change.

Before we discuss the deep water tactics, let's stay with the topwater stuff for a moment. Although I dearly love fishing popping bugs in the spring, I prefer to switch over to trout fishing tactics in the summer.

We all know that bluegill love insects so fishing terrestrials will be to your advantage. Ants, spiders, crickets, hoppers and mosquitoes all work great. Again, these particular flies are best fished early in the morning or late in the evening. Check your particular body of water and see if fish are rising and sucking bugs off the surface. This, of course, is your best indication that they are indeed in the shallows.

You might also find the fish are feeding off one particular insect, so it pays to have an assortment of dry flies in your fly box. Dries such as Adams, Black gnat, Blue dun, Blue-winged olive and the Royal Coachman will cover most situations.

When the fish are in deeper water, your tactics will again change because you must go to the fish, which, at times, can be difficult. Your fly line can be to your advantage at this time. When fishing the shallows a level or weight-forward floating line works great, but when the fish move to the deeper stuff you ,ust be able to get your fly to them. Once the fish move into ten feet of water or deeper, you will have to go to a sinking tip or full sinking line in order to reach them. You will have to slow down your fishing at this time as well.

You can add weight to certain dry flies and terrestrials to get them to the fish. Wet flies such as woolly worms, Adams, Royal Coachman and Cahills work great. Deep water tactics are best used during mid to early afternoon hours, again when when the day is at its hottest.

A side note to deep water fishing is the opportunity of catching some big redear. They are a lover of deep water and many of these tactics will bring you a few redear if they inhabit your particular body of water. Redear love bloodworms, so try using the San Juan worm which is a nymph pattern that I think resembles a bloodworm; you'll catch a few gills on it, too!

I prefer to use an eight-foot rod with a five-weight line. I also like 7 - 1/2 foot leaders with a 4x tippet. Now keep in mind that the heavy cover will mean a stronger tippet and you might have to go to a nine-foot leader if the water is crystal clear and the fish are coming up a little short.

Always remember the tactics change with the seasons, so by working with your surroundings and making the adjustments your fly fishing success will improve! ~ Kevin Wright

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