A knowledgeable angler can fish successfully year-round if they know the right places to look and the right equipment to use. That means that fly selection is crucial. Fly fishing flies that work well in summer might not get you the results your looking for in the colder months.

Read on for our guide on which fly fishing flies to use, the best times of day to fish, and the fly fishing seasons for the most commonly fished species.

As a general rule, the best fly in season for fly fishing will depend on the location, seasonal hatch pattern, and technique used when fly fishing. Seasonal hatch charts can be extremely useful for your region and area.

Fly patterns are designed to mimic specific life stages of insects and other aquatic lifeforms such as baitfish, egg patterns, leeches, crawfish. Some patterns are designed to be attractors that don't represent any specific lifeform but are intended to get a predatory reaction from a fish.  


Still curios? Click here to find out the Best Flies to Use - A Full Year Calendar Guide


Unless you're traveling the world to fish in warmer climates continuously, the most productive time of the year for fly fishing is between March and October. Fishing outside of these times is still possible, and you have to try and fish during the warmest times of the day and use the most effective fly fishing flies.

Throughout the year, you'll have to change your fly to mimic the most abundant hatches.


  1. January -  Red Midges
  2. February - Midges, Stoneflies, Eggs, And Worms
  3. March - Green Midges, Stoneflies, Mayflies, Eggs, And Worms
  4. April - Green Midges, Mayflies, Terrestrial Flies, Eggs, and Worms
  5. May - Tan Midges, Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddis, and Terrestrial
  6. June - Tan Midges, Mayflies, and Stoneflies
  7. July - Tan Midges, Worms, Terrestrial, Caddis, Mayfly
  8. August - Tan Midges, Worms, Terrestrial, Caddis, Mayfly
  9. September - Tan Midges, Mayflies, Caddis, Stoneflies, and Terrestrial
  10. October - Red Midges, Caddis, Mayflies, Eggs, and Worms
  11. November - Midges, Mayflies, Red Eggs, and Worms
  12. December - Red Midges


Still curios? Click here to find out the Best Flies to Use - A Full Year Calendar Guide


As a general rule the peak season for fly fishing is between late March to the end of October in the US, assuming that their temperature is within typical averages for this time of year. Unseasonably hot or cold temperatures can affect the spawning and activity levels of fish.

It also depends on the type of water you are fishing in. For example, if you're fishing on a lake or river that is 'stocked' every year, this can affect when you are likely more successful.

The time of day you choose to fish is also very important. As a rule, you should follow the following guide.

  1. January - the warmest time of day
  2. February - the warmest time of day
  3. March - the warmest time of day
  4. April - the warmest time of day
  5. May - the warmest time of day
  6. June - the evening
  7. July - daybreak and dusk
  8. August - early morning
  9. September - dusk
  10. October - Noon
  11. November - Noon
  12. December - Noon

If you’re fishing for bass, they are the most active during the spring, when they head to warmer, shallower waters to spawn.

During the summer, the heat will push the bass into deeper waters and around shade and vegetation.

Carp Caught on Fly Fish

Carp are becoming a popular fish with many. Carp fly fishing begins as early as late May and is thriving through the summer months in the US. The Fall months are ideal for carp fishing as they start to feed before the long winter.

For those looking for bonefish, high catch rates are usually found between March-May.

Striper fish are best caught between April and July when they spawn as the water warms up on the surf side.

Fly fishing can be a year-round pursuit if you're prepared to follow a few recommendations on the times of day to fish and the best fly fishing flies to use. Each angler has developed their techniques and routines over the years. If you fish the same rivers and lakes regularly, you'll get to know the particular nuances and behaviors of the fish there. Each area is different.

At Drifthook, we're always dedicated to bringing you the best advice from seasoned fishers and a comprehensive range of equipment. Head over to our blog for all of the latest information.


Click here to learn more about the Fly Fishing Season in the US

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