Most fishermen give up on trout streams by the end of June. Warm water makes trout sluggish except during specific feeding times; summer brings low water that makes fish wary and gives them time to scrutinize anything that looks edible.
Also, by the beginning of summer most of the stupid hatchery fish have either been fished out or are dead due to inability to survive in the wild.
What is left are the intelligent and wild members of the salmo species that have survived the spring's onslaught of meat-minded fishermen. To catch these remaining but rewarding fish special methods are in order.
The best daytime flies imitate terrestrials and midges. Terrestrials include ants, grasshoppers, crickets, bettles, leaf hoppers, inch worms and other bugs that fall into the water rather than originating in it. Midges are aquatic in origin but so small - usually less than a quarter-inch long - that many anglers don't consider them.
Tiny midge flies require extra-fine leaders tapered to 7x (.004 inches), which have only slightly more strength than human hair. Fishing with such gossamer lines requires delicate and accurate casting. Aquatic mayfly activity still provides some excellent fishing, but in summer it's mostly limited to early morning or evening hours when water is cooler.
Terrestrials are most effectively fished near overhanging bushes or grasses from which the natural insects fall into the water. A trout feeding near overhanging foliage is a dead giveaway. Midges are most effective on trout that rise slowly to sip seemingly invisible food - the natural midges - from the surface.
Finally, summer conditions require cautious approaches by the angler. Fish upstream, since trout station themselves that way, so you'll approach from their blind side.
These better fish that remain are relics of an age before mass-produced, genetically selected and artifically inseminated trout came to dominate most of America's coldwater fishery.
Summer trout are the best of the breed, so when you catch one, think long and hard about putting it back alive. If you do, handle it with care, revive it in a medium current, and when it swims away both of you will be the wiser.