It's mid-August and, big surprise, the heat is miserable in south Louisiana. But that's no reason to quit fishing. The redfish still have to eat, and the only thing worse that the weather is staying home. Besides, I've had some great fishing in August over the years. You just have to take a few precautions, i.e. wear lightly colored clothing that's really loose so you get plenty of air circulating, use a good sunscreen that's going to stay on as you sweat and drink plenty of fluids (plain water for me).
The problem with standard fly lines is that they melt in the heat of summer. Don't worry, the plastic coatings aren't actually going to drip off the cores, but they get so soft that you can feel the line bogging down in the rod guides. They don't shoot well, and double-hauling becomes difficult. And that was a serious handicap when fly-fishing the saltwater flats in years past.
Some anglers tried to keep their lines from wilting by dropping blocks of ice into plastic trash cans which then served as shooting baskets. That always struck me as an awkward solution but, more than once, I have put my reels on ice when moving from one flat to another.
The problem was eventually solved by the introduction of "tropic" lines such as the Bruce Chard tapers, which incorporate monofilament cores and harder coatings to resist the heat. You might not want to use one of these lines in the cold, because that stiff mono core takes on a lot of memory in winter. But my Bruce Chard lines come out when the jacket comes off, and they're indispensable any time the mercury spikes.
The compound taper is performs beautifully. Far from using a standard weight-forward design, Bruce gave his 100-foot line a front taper of only 4.5 feet to produce a strong turnover that can straighten even long leaders when using big flies. The relatively short belly of 19 feet allows for a quick presentation with minimal false-casting. The 15-foot rear taper, meanwhile, gives you the necessary support for those long casts we sometimes need in the salt, as well as the ability to pick up a long line and cast quickly when a good fish suddenly comes out of nowhere.
Bruce's lines are available in 8- through 12-weight and come in blue, aqua and light yellow, depending on the weight.
Hot tip: Though originally meant for permit, the Bruce Chard lines have the same qualities I look for in a bass taper. That strong turnover is perfect for handling big bugs. But whatever species you target, you're going to love the Bruce Chard performance when the fishing gets hot.