Weekend Warrior: Get In Early Get Out the Sunscreen

Its the mid 90s out there, and not just because MTV just added a channel full of Beavis and Butthead and Daria reruns to your cable lineup. Temps are jumping, fish are hiding, and the Hoot Owl restrictions have arrived on western Montana’s rivers for the foreseeable future. Nighttime temps just aren’t getting down low enough to keep the water from hitting dangerous levels for the fish, and that means a huge change to your tactics needs to happen if you plan on fishing this weekend. Off the water early, lots of gentle care for the fish you hook, and leave the hero shots for another day.
A few things you definitely should be doing:

  • Size up that tippet. 3X leader, 4X tippet. Don’t try to get sneaky because slim tippets mean longer fights, and fish just simply can’t recover in hot water. Not enough oxygen.
  • Horse ’em in. Yeah, I said it. Give em a quick tug into the net and get them off the hook. If you loose a few, or a lot, because you’re giving them too much fight that’s just fine. Long fights are the enemy right now.
  • Keep ’em wet. We’ve all read the hashtags, but it is very important when we’re under hoot owl to get those fish back to the cold, oxygen rich water fast. Keep them in the net and release them safely. Release fish in cold water. Deep stuff. Get them in there.
  • And don’t forget the sunscreen. 


Low water, high temps, maybe the fish need a break?

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