It is that difficult time of year again. It’s the time of year that you find yourself itching to get your line wet… itching so much that you try to get out there no matter how hot it is. It is very important that you fight the urge to be irresponsible and check the water temps. Once the water hits 70 degrees, catching a trout will kill it. When the water hits 68 degrees it is time to get out of the water. No “just one more cast”, or “after the next fish” or whatever your go to excuse to stay out a little longer is. Do the responsible thing and call it a day.
You can pick up a thermometer at your local fly shop. You should also check out your local stream conditions on the USGS National Water Information System. This will provide you everything from water levels to the water temps in real time. Now that I finally have time to spend my days standing in water, I find myself studying these things for my local streams all day long, and checking them one more time before leaving the house first thing in the morning.
This is just an example of what I have been dealing with on one of my local streams: