Hot days and low water, give the fish a break
With the crazy heat waves rolling across most of the country lately and drought in a lot of areas it is really important to remember to pay attention to water temps. In trout streams, when the water reaches 70 degrees, do the right thing and reel up your line. Catching and releasing fish in warm, less oxygenated water can be detrimental.
Also, it is important to note that river temps generally peak in the evening. So just because the sun is angled low and the air feels cool, the fact is the evening is the worst time to fish! Sunrise till noon, when the water is cold and the fish have recovered, is the best time during the dog days.
It's wild how this heat has effected the rivers here in Missoula. The flows are still excellent, with most rivers running at historic average and some still flowing above. But even with plenty of water, every major river in the area has seen temps creep up to 69 or higher. We are getting a little break in the heat right now, so hopefully the waters will cool slightly. It's supposed to be too early to have to worry about water temps...but then again, not much has been "normal" when it comes to the weather trends of the last few years.