My favorite stream dropped quite a bit between last Thursday and Monday's trip...just not quite enough to make easy fishing, but it was enough to make everybody and their brother decide to give it a go. I ran into 10 other anglers, which is nine more then I saw all of last year from July-September during a weekday. Oh well, the sunrise was worth the trip and early alarm:
The water was moving enough that crossing the stream in most of my usual spots was not an option, so I had to fish it a little differently and some of the pools were just ripping, but about 20 minutes in I got to a spot where the water was high, but slow along the bank and I had 5 trout come out of the weeds to pounce on the spinner, one was just shy of 18", the others were 12-16, including this handsome fella:
I was beginning to think it would be a great day, but then I started running into anglers and I had to fore go a few of my better spots so as to give them enough room to fish as well. I managed to scrape out 27, which in retrospect was ok considering the water and pressure, but a little shy of what I was planning on...still better then mowing the grass though.
When I told my parents I was going fishing, my mom thought some fresh trout for dinner would be nice, so I went to some open water and found them a few stockies for dinner and as I was leaving their house this young lad was peaking out at what used to be a nice place for a nap!
That's some fine photo-mens-ship right there!!! I'm seeing what you're seeing too with additional trout guys out this year. I personally enjoy a period of low water around the end of May to flush everyone out of the water. This years streams have been flowing well all summer so everyone is just keep on the trout show. Well done regardless.
The problem is, as soon as the water drops, we get another heavy rain..
For the "mountain streams" that's not a problem, that's the best possible scenario.
In most summers those small streams get very low, which makes the fishing poor, and the fish get in poor condition (thin), and they are just in survival mode.
In these rainy summers, the trout grow fast, get fat and sassy from all the food carried down the streams, and the water temps stay cold. It's the best possible situation for the trout in the freestone streams. And for the fishermen.
Even for the large streams, such as the one in the first photo, these rains and high flows keep the temps cool enough for summer fishing.
Large streams like that in most summers get very warm in mid-July.