Fly fishing season is a great way to enjoy nature and spend quality time with friends and family. There are so many different types of flies for all sorts of fishing conditions around the world. To choose which fly is right for you, it's essential to know which will be in season when you go out on your trip!
As a general rule, Spring is the most dependent on fly selection season of any of the four seasons you fish. Midges, caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies are all significant players in the game of fly selection. In the fall and winter, you'll want to use midges, mayflies, and caddis patterns.
To determine the correct flies for your season, the first thing you should do is refer to our seasonal hatch chart. As stated above, this will heavily influence your choice of fly and how it has been designed. In this article, we'll discuss which flies are best for particular seasons.
What Flies Are Trout Biting on Now?
Some of the best flies for trout year-round are:
Midges: In the fall and winter, Midges are best at dawn and dusk when they will be most active. Midges are one of the few insects that trout feed on year-round.
Mayflies: Mayflies are best around dusk in the fall and winter, so fishing them in this period is ideal. During March, April and May, they can be fished during the warmest part of the day. In June the best time is in the evening. In July, most hatches are during dusk and dawn. In the hot month of August, look for early morning hatches, and in September through November, look for Midday Hatches.
Caddis: Caddisflies hatch throughout the day but tend to do so more during periods of warm weather, therefore. It would help if you fished them in the morning or evening when it's warmer outside.
Stoneflies: Stoneflies are prevalent in clean, crisp water. They are found in February through March and the summer months from May through August.
Dry-fly fishing in the fall can be pretty successful. The shorter days and colder nights of the fall season appeal to many fly fishers, but that doesn't mean you should put away your 4-weight rod, floating line, and dry-fly box.
During this time of the year, trout feed on mayflies, caddis, and eggs. During colder months, trout usually keep at deeper levels, so you’ll need to use nymph flies to reach their depth.
Dry Fly and Emerger Flies in the Fall
The fall season can be the best time of the year to go fly fishing because many species are on their spawning runs. This means you'll find trout actively feeding all day long, and they will be very eager for a meal if it looks like something that would eat them.
The first step in catching more fish is choosing your flies carefully. With the dry-fly season winding down, now's the time to tie emergers that float along with just the tip of their tails sticking out above water level.
What Flies to Use for Beginners?
The best flies for beginners to use are nymphs. Nymph fishing is suitable for beginners because the flies are easier to cast, and most likely, they will have a more natural movement in the water.
Flashback Pheasant Tail
The Pheasant Tail Nymph, one of the most popular nymphs in North America because it imitates a wide variety of insects equally well. The pheasant’s tail is ideal for tying this fly because its webby fibers create dark bands resembling legs on aquatic bugs.
Hare's Ear Nymph
The Hare's Ear nymph is a popular choice for dry-fly fishing because it imitates midge larvae common in most trout streams. The hare's ear is an excellent choice for tying this pattern because its soft fur fibers create a buggy, bulky appearance that fish readily take.
San Juan Worm
The San Juan worm is an excellent terrestrial imitation and can be used to catch trout in the early Spring when worms are abundant on the banks of waterways. The San Juan worm is typically tied with chenille an excellent material to create these flies because it easily ties around hooks without getting too big or bulky.
What Flies to Fish in Spring?
Fly fishing in the springtime is an excellent time to catch fish. Every fly fisher has their favorite method of fishing at this time, but some flies work better than others when the water temperature gets warmer and the ice melts away from our rivers, lakes, and streams.
The flies you should fish in Spring are:
- Stoneflies, and
These flies should all be fished at the warmest part of the day during the height of Spring. This is because there is a peak of insect activity during the middle to late morning hours, which allows your fly fishing line to sit on top of the water instead of sitting below it.
Midges: The first thing that may come into mind when thinking about flies in springtime is midges. Midges are tiny insects that usually start hatching around March or April, depending upon where you live.
Mayflies: Mayflies are another group of insects that can be caught with fly fishing. Mayfly nymphs live in the bottom sediments of a pond or lake under rocks and other aquatic vegetation.
Caddis: Caddisflies tend to hatch around March through June, depending upon where you live. There are many different types of caddisfly species out there.
These are the best flies to fish in Spring because these insects are naturally active at that time of year.
What Flies to Use Right Now?
Midges and Mayflies are the best flies to use in the fall and winter. Fall mayflies come in a variety of types, including little olive mayflies, tiny olive mayflies, and insanely tiny olive mayflies. That's an overstatement, but small olives are by far the most numerous Mayflies throughout September through November.
Midges are abundant in the winter and fall months, but they vary significantly from species to species.
Once you get into April and May, caddisflies start hatching throughout most of North America. Caddis larvae live in freshwater, where there is little current. Once these insects complete their development (usually within two weeks), adults crawl up banks or vegetation nearby rivers to mature fully before emerging en masse at dusk for mating purposes.
Flies for spring fishing come primarily from two sources: caddisflies and stoneflies. Read up on these two insects before heading out onto the stream! Caddisfly larvae generally hatch during March through June, depending upon where you live. Stonefly nymphs may or may not be active this time of year; again, it depends on where you live.
Fly fishing season is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy nature. The right fly can make all the difference when you're out on a trip. However, not every type of fish has flies that correspond with their eating habits in every season. So it's important to know what species will be available during your chosen area for fishing before deciding which fly to use!
A fly fishing season can be as diverse as the people who participate, but some flies work for all seasons. It's important to know what type of fish you will encounter when going out on your trip, so you have an idea of which fly types might catch their attention best!
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.