Monday, July 9, 2012

Just Plain Hot

Fish May Cool Off In Florida
guides get new outfits
.. Yes it's hot. And, sad but true, going to get hotter. Heat spikes are fairly common in the high country but it's beginning to look like a heat wave of extended duration. Record heat, (and/or near record heat,) is going to be with us for quite some time.
.. Most visitors think that the weather is wonderful. Yet, when it hits 90° F stress of the entire ecosystem is apparent.
.. Big critters like bison and elk hide in the shade during the day. Little critters like pikas, marmots, and ground squirrels take cover underground or under rocks.
.. Human critters from afar wander around in a daze sporting argyle socks, Italian sandals, short pants, giant cameras, gaudy Hawaiian shirts, and freshly bought straw cowboy hats.
.. The trees just sit and swelter. Their needles shrink. The glossy green of spring becomes a dull shadow. They become hosts to the tiny critters of the forest. Birds, beetles, ants, and several other denizens race around their limbs and trunks.
.. Summer has arrived with a vengeance. Prayers for rain are tempered with curses of lightning. The neighbors seek shelter in a pub and wait for heavy cloud cover or sunset before even thinking of fishing.
.. With a bit of stealth it's possible for visiting anglers to follow the local fishers to the places where the water is cool and the fish are eating.
.. It's best to use a beat-up pickumuptruck. New minivans, fancy crossover vehicles, and shiny black BMW's are a dead giveaway to intent when seen on the dusty gravel roads of the neighborhood.
.. The current conditions have sped up the terrestrial hatch and that can be a good thing. The little hoppers are entering their final molt about two weeks early. Beetles have grown large and glossy. Ants have a fine store of food already and are proliferating at a blinding rate.
.. There are still many aquatic species on and in the water. Caddis is king for now. Midges will come and go. The PMD's should make a few more appearances if we get clouds - or not.
.. It's drake time right now and for a month or so - but don't count on them. Callibaetis are starting on the lakes but the depth and temperature of the water has stunted weed growth - hatches will be more generally dispersed this year, (as last year.)
.. BWO's are taking a break and should reappear in about 6 weeks. The Western Green Drake has made sneaky appearances this week and may continue - or not. A few spruce moths have been seen but no widespread happenings yet.
.. It's coming on time for our terrestrial roundup. We'll give you just a sneak peek here. The ants and big black beetles are very apparent if you look down. Some of the "Flying Ants" have been reported down low on the Gallatin River. Hoppers are present but the population seems sparse - for now.
.. Should you find yourself heading this way in the near future please have a well stocked terrestrial box.
.. Please, also, wear your pink and yellow and turquoise, and lime green tropical fishing shirt. It helps us know where you are. A bright red or blue vest also helps. Newly acquired bleached yellow straw hats are a necessary accessory for visitors too.
.. Good insect repellant is mandatory and sunglasses are more than just a help. A hat that protects the ears is more than just a fashion statement. And, in all seriousness and with our most deadly earnest concern - wear long sleeve shirts. Dress for protection.