How to fish (or not) lakes responsibly during the heat wave

this heat wave turned in to a bigger event than I thought it would for the local lakes earlier in the week when I last wrote a report.
Even Paulina Lake hit 72 degree water temps at the surface yesterday afternoon. We took off early, after a nice morning of catching fish in the safe temperature zone (under 68).
FYI, the 2 previous days stayed in the zone I am comfortable with catch & release activity. But yesterday was still, and hot and it’s not worth killing trout that way. BTW, it was 87 degrees in the parking lot there yesterday.

We have 3 more days of this heat wave coming up. 105 here equals mid to high 80’s at East and Paulina and 90’s at Crane and Hosmer.
So, if you’re planning to hit the lakes from now until Monday, go really early in the morning, as you’ll likely see water temps about 64-66 at the start of the day. By lunch time, it’ll probably be time to scoot as they will certainly be 69 and higher.

In my opinion, I don’t think we can justify going to Crane Prairie or Hosmer and fishing the channels where only inches from the bottom you’ll find the safe water temps until the whole lake cools back down. Crane is seeing really high surface temps and that is a big worry when you have to fight and land a fish through that. Hosmer is really no better today. Those are of great concern.

Better weather is right around the corner. Next week I see Monday through Wednesday forecast highs as follows:
Paulina 78-75-70
Hosmer 73-73-67
Crane Prairie 75-77-72

This week we got fish on Callibaetis nymphs/emergers/duns and spinners, Damsel nymphs and adults, leeches, chironomids, ants, beetles and hoppers around the different lakes in the area.
I suspect if we get the cool off, things are going to improve back to normal really quickly.

I do think the 2 high notes remain 3 Creeks Lake and Todd Lake for tubers, and wade anglers. They are high elevation and have cold snow melt streams emptying in to them. You might find mid afternoon to be a bit of a bust, but dawn to 1, and 5 to dark ought to be a winner.

As for me, I am going to hold out on my other spots until mid next week.

I’ll update our rivers over the weekend, so keep an eye open for that on Sunday.

Stay cool friends!


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