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Believe it or not, the summer of 2019 is officially here. At least the calendar says so. Granted, Mother Nature isn't quite sure. She still thinks it is monsoon season!

Have faith, the rain will eventually stop, and we will all have the chance to get outside again. Granted, it will be hot, humid and downright miserable to be outside most of the time, but that is just a good excuse to get in the water.

One of the beautiful things about this great Mountain State is that you have a seemingly never-ending set of choices as to how to spend your time getting wet and staying cool. The hard part is deciding which one to choose. With a long summer ahead of us, why not make plans and try to fit in as many as you can.

Since we have had more than our share of rain it might be best to start at the headwaters and work our way down the watershed and enjoy the sights, sounds and splashes along the way. The waters in those high mountain streams will be the first to clear up and will still be plenty cold enough to be harboring plenty of hungry trout just waiting to take a fly, spinner or even a morsel of live bait.

A few days spent on a trout stream in late June should just do the trick. By that time the larger streams should have gone down enough so that it will be safe to launch the kayaks or canoe and take a nice float trip and try your hand at some bronzeback fishing.

Smallmouth, black bass and even the largemouth bass should be more than eager to put up the good fight all the way to the boat. Even in the murky water after a few raindrops, there are plenty of fish ready to take the bait. You can even just sit back and enjoy a good float, leaving the rod in the boat, or at home if you dare.

If you are all fished out, plan an exciting whitewater trip down one of the bigger rivers. Summertime showers can help add flow to the rivers and really "up" the summertime excitement. A little extra water can turn up the class level on those high excitement rapids.

Follow the rapids to the flatter sections and the wider rivers and it is time to switch out the gear for bigger water. Catfish, walleye, and bass are filling the bigger water and deeper pools.

You just never know what you will catch on the big rivers, you could even hook into the mythical beasts of the deep such as a sturgeon or a paddle fish.

Believe it or not, they do exist in the waters over our state. West Virginia is blessed with a very diverse aquatic ecosystem and you never know what you might catch. There are literally hundreds of species you could catch when you hit the bigger rivers.

Stay on the stream long enough and you will eventually end up in a lake. Oh no, right out of the frying pan into the fire.

Time to take a break from the fishing. Reel in the lines and turn on the motors. Go for a ride up and down the lake or even jump on a tube or a pair of skis. Heck, just motor on over to the shore or a nice cove and go for a swim.

The sun will be sinking soon, and it will be prime time for those feeding fish again. Wow, is there even going to be enough time to do all these things this summer? I mean there has got to be time for scouting and practice and getting ready for hunting season. We better get started.

Just make sure you take plenty of bait and your life jacket. Fortune favors the prepared, so let's get prepared to have a wonderful summer.

Roger Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing and writes a weekly outdoors column for HD Media. He is a resident of Chapmanville and can be reached via email at wolfeii@hotmail.com.

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