Dog Days part 2, 8-15 Weekend Report

Dog Days part 2: Fighting and Handling fish once you’ve caught them.

If you missed the first installment of my Dog Days Series, (you can find it here), We went over how to find fish in low clear water and how the fish deal with warm water and low oxygen. This installment will go over  how  to properly handle and release the fish once you have caught them.

Fighting the fish

So you’ve managed to get some time on the water.  You’ve made the correct fly choice, made the cast, and hooked the fish.  Now what?  You really need to fight the fish and land it as soon as possible.  Think back or a second.  How do you feel after a tough workout in a hot gym room?  You are most likely out of breath from an intense cardio session.  The fish feel the same way.  They to, will be out of breath.  When you fight the fish for a long time in warm water, you increase the chances that that fish will not survive.  Even on light tippets, (6x and 7x) you can fight and land fish in a very short time.  Getting the fish to the net quickly is critical to its survival.

Landing the Fish

Once you have the fish hooked and ready to land, it is even more critical that you have a net!  Trying to land a fish with your bare hand or even worse, dragging it on to the bank are big NO NO’s.  Using a net and taking the pressure off of the fish will help the fish calm down after you have caught them.  Take care to wet your hands prior to handling the fish and removing the hook.  When unhooking the fish, leave the fish in the water in the net.  Also, before releasing, leave the fish in the net to revive.

Photographing the Fish

If this fish is a fish that you wish to photograph, get your camera ready before you take the photo.  Get all of your settings situated on your camera while the fish is in the net still in the water.  One of the worst things you can do is hold the fish out of the water while you are adjusting your camera.

These steps are important to prolonging the fishes life and the overall life of the stream.  If we do not take care of the fish, especially during the latter part of the summer, we will hurt our fisheries.



Boulder Creek: Our guides have still be reporting favorable fishing especially in the lower canyon.  The earlier you are getting out, the better fishing you will have.  Fishing has been slowing down drastically after 11:30 am.   This time of year, smaller terrestrials are still a staple in the fishes diet.  Hippie stompers, Amy’s Ants, and Chubby Chernobyls are great flies for dry fly fishing.  Drop a Blue Poison Tung, Pheasant tail, or a Frenchie 12-18 inches off the back and you will be in business.

Dog Days part 2


Big Thompson:  Fishing in the morning is proving to be the best time to get out on the water. Most fish are taking nymphs but some fish are looking up at small terrestrials and caddis patterns. Try a JC’s special, X-Caddis, or a chubby #16-18. On the nymph side of things fish a Black two bit hooker (#18), Black or olive zebra midge (#14-16), or soft hackle pheasant tail (#18).

dog days part 2


Rocky Mountain National Park: The park is fishing great. A double dry or dry dropper rig can be a lot of fun. Small terrestrials and caddis patterns have been working great. Some drakes are still popping off the water through out the day as well. X-Caddis, JC special, chubby chernobyl, Zebra midges, tung torpedos are all working well. Size range from #16-20


Keep these tips in mind and increase your odds for the Dog Days of Summer.