What Is the Best Time to Go Fly Fishing?
It can be challenging to know the best time to go fly fishing and what fly fishing flies to use, especially when you are new to fly fishing. While it is not impossible to catch fish at any time of the day, knowing a few facts can help you fish a lot smarter.
As a general rule, the best time to go fly fishing is:
- January - Warmest Part of the Day
- February - Warmest Part of the Day
- March - Warmest Part of the Day
- April - Warmest Part of the Day
- May - Warmest Part of the Day
- June - Evenings
- July - Dusk, and Dawn
- August - Early Morning
- September - Dusk
- October - Midday
- November - Midday
Many additional factors come into play, such as weather, water temperature, and even the color of your flies. Knowing about all of these factors will help to make your fly fishing experience more enjoyable.
Can you fly fish all year around?
We are often get asked if fly fishing is a sport that you can do year-round. Many people are looking for an activity that can get them outdoors and enjoy all that nature offers.
As a general rule, you can fly fish year-round. March through October are going to be more productive with longer windows of opportunity. November through January will be limited to the warmest part of the day with less productivity.
Of course, there is more to catching trout than just knowing when the majority of hatches are taking place. In order to be successful at fly fishing for trout, you need to know the type of flies to use and when to use them.
Fly Fishing for Trout In the Fall and Winter
The best time of day to go fly fishing for trout can be dusk or midday. The fish eat more, and there are many bugs in the water, so the fish can't resist getting some food.
September is often a great time to fish because the days get shorter and cooler, the trout are starting to show some activity. The best time of day to go fly fishing is at dusk. This is an excellent time to use yellow midges, mayfly, caddis stonefly, and terrestrial flies with a hint of red.
Learn More - Click Here for the Top 15 Flies for September
October is arguably one of the best fly fishing months because it's when brown trout season peaks. You can use red, midges, mayfly, caddis at around midday to catch trout. Eggs and worms can also be used.
Learn More - Click Here for the Top 20 Trout Flies for October
November and December
November through to December is often an excellent time to fish trout from streams and rivers because the water can be cool, still, and clear at this point in the year. In November and December, the best time to go fly fishing is midday. The best pattern during these months are going to be midges and mayfly nymphs. Red eggs and worms are also good choices.
Learn More - Click Here for the Essential Midge Patterns for Fly Fishing
January is often a slow time of year for fishing because many fish are still in their spawning beds. In the cold of January red midges is a good choice whatever time of the day you decide to fish for trout.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Trout Flies for January
The best time during February is going to be the warmest part of the day. In February, you can use green midges, stoneflies, eggs, and worms to catch trout.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Trout Flies for February
Fly Fishing for Trout In the Spring
Always choose the warmest part of the day to fish for trout in the spring. When you start getting toward the tail end of spring you can start fishing earlier, but trout are like me without coffee, they are not in a rush to get up and going until its right for them.
March offers various opportunities in fly fishing for trout because it's when the water starts to warm up and fish start to get more active. This is an excellent time for trout fishing in streams or rivers because these species can be less susceptible to cold currents this month.
In March, try to go fishing in the warmest part of the day, using green midges, mayfly, stonefly, eggs, and worms.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Trout Flies for March
April offers many opportunities in fly fishing for trout. This is due to the warming of temperatures. This provides trout with the right habitat. Again, it is best to choose the warmest part of the day for fishing. Use green midges, mayfly, terrestrial, eggs, and worm to ensure that you catch as many fish as possible.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Trout Flies for April
Fly Fishing for Trout In the Summer
The best time to go fishing is during summer is in the early morning and late afternoon. Hatches typically seem to be more active, and when the hatches are dynamic, so are the trout. Midday during the summer can be hard fishing. I always like to take more extended lunches and enjoy the surroundings before getting too serious about hitting the water.
May is good for catching trout when the day is at its warmest. Yellow flies are the best to use in this season, and you can even use yellow worms. For best results, use yellow midges, mayfly, caddis, stonefly, and terrestrial.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Trout Fly Fishing Flies for May
June offers plenty of opportunities when it comes to fly fishing for trout! The cool water will be the most productive because trout can still be found in spawning beds and along river bottoms. Also look for early morning and evening hatches.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Fly Fishing Flies for June
July also offers some great opportunities when it comes to fly fishing because the weather will be warmer and trout are still active. The best time to catch trout in July is dusk and dawn. Yellow, worms, terrestrial, stoneflies, caddis, mayfly, and midges all will help you catch tonnes of trout.
Learn More - Click Here for the 15 Best Fly Fishing Flies for the Month of July
August can be a fantastic time for fly fishing. But make sure to check your water temperatures. Anything over 68 degrees puts extra stress on the trout. Head to the high country or fish early in the morning before water temperatures rise.
This is also a great time to fish from the shoreline of a lake. As you did in July, use yellow midges, worms, terrestrial, mayfly, stonefly, and caddis to lure the trout so you can get a good catch.
Learn More - Click Here for 20 Tips on Fly Fish Alpine Lakes
Should I Fish In the Morning or Evening?
As you can see, the best time to fish can vary a lot based on the month and the season. As a rule, though, to be on the safe side and to catch as many fish as possible, it is best to pay close attention to how fly hatches are happening on the water.
In early spring, the rule of thumb is that the flies will start hatching in the warmest part of day. However, it is often difficult to predict when the flies will hatch when the weather is not very consistent. Try to be on the water when a lot of flies are hatching since this means that it will be easier for you to catch much more trout.
Matching Your Fly To What Is Hatching
It is important to know the type of fly that you need to use to attract trout. It can be frustrating to see trout grabbing for everything but the fly you are using. This video will help you understand the basics of fly fishing entomology and help select the correct pattern on the water
Fishing for Trout at Night
If you have never fished for trout during the night, it is something you should definitely try. You will often catch some of the biggest fish in the night. When fly fishing at night, it is best to get near slow-moving water since it will be easier to see where you will need to mend your line if necessary.
Make sure that you have a headlamp with red lighting to help preserve your night vision. You will also need it to safely release the fish back to the wild.
Learn More - Click Here to Learn How to Fly Fish at Night
Fly Fishing Gear for All Seasons
Whether a beginner or an experienced fisherman, you always need to ensure that you have the right gear. If you find that one type of rod is not working well for you, then do some research on what would work best for you and the kind of trout that frequents where you are fishing.
You'll also want to invest in an assortment of flies that will be successful for your next adventure! Flies can cost very little or a lot depending on what type you are buying (small nymphs or large streamers). This is why you need to ensure that you make the right choices when choosing flies.
Get Ready for Your Next Fly Fishing Adventure
Fly fishing can be done on any day that you can find a river or stream. The trout will be biting and waiting for your bait at all times of the year, don't let the weather stop you from having an outdoor adventure! Just be sure to choose the right time of the day and the right fly pattern to catch the fish you want.
To ensure that you're always prepared for catching fish, ensure that you invest in top-quality fishing gear. This way, you can always be sure that you won't be going home empty-handed from any fly fishing expedition that you go on.
About the Author
Matthew Bernhardt, a third-generation Coloradan, grew up at the forefront of the state’s fly-fishing revolution, enjoying time on the water, side by side with experienced guides and lifelong anglers.
By combining his passion for fly-fishing with input from other experienced fly-fishers and guides and his fine arts degree from Colorado State University, Matthew spent five years carefully developing the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, built to help every angler catch more trout.
When he’s not spending time with his wonderful family, you’ll find him out on the water catching MONSTER trout, and he anxiously looks forward to the day when his kids are old enough to join him there.