What is the Best Time of Day to Fly Fish for Trout
October 10, 2020
Imagine standing on the edge of your favorite creek or river first thing in the morning. You have butterflies in your stomach as you prepare to cast your fly rod for the first time of the day. There’s so much anticipation leading up to that first cast, you want so badly to start the day off on a high note.
This is how every fishing trip starts, high expectations, and a desire to land fish fast. In this article I will tell you the best time of day to fly fish for trout.
Fly fishing for trout can truly be one of the most rewarding fishing styles out there. It requires the perfect approach, the perfect cast, and an even more perfect presentation.
In order to give ourselves an advantage over the fish, we have to take advantage of the best time of day to fly fish for trout.
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No one of these fishing times will guarantee results, but they will most definitely increase your chances.
The best time of day to fly fish is sunrise and sunset. Fly fishing during an insect “hatch” will produce great results as well. A “hatch” is when insects mature into adulthood on or near the water’s surface. During summer months, cloud covered days and night fishing can be advantageous as well.
As the day goes on and the fish have filled their belly’s, the warmer and hotter weather will may turn the bite off for a while.
This is normal when fishing. The trout typically will not eat all day long if food is plentiful. Just like humans eating dinner, trout need to eat dinner also.
The sun is about to set and they will not get another meal until the it comes back up in the morning.
I like to start fly fishing heavily about two hours before the sun goes down. This is when the temperatures start to cool down and once again the insects become active.
Just as we did when fly fishing at sun rise, we want to again observe our surroundings for insects.
Usually this is a great time to use caddis flies, stimulators, or hoppers.
A hatch happens when larvae, usually midges or stones, hatch near the surface and begin to fly around.
“Match the Hatch” During the Hatches
Hatches are typically very noticeable if you are paying attention. Hatches can occur at any time of the day.
It is vital to always be watching the surface of the water scanning for trout busting the surface. I can’t tell you how many times I have been fishing midge patterns or stone flies when I notice there are hundreds of small flies buzzing the surface.
FLY SELECTION TIP:When you see the hatch start, pay close attention to the size and color of the insects. Do your best to “match the hatch” for best results.
Cloud cover can be a good thing when searching for the best time to fly fish. The Clouds offer protection form the sun, and in turn, lower temperatures.
A slight fluctuation in temperatures can turn the bite on if the weather has been consistently warmer.
Conversely, if the weather has been cold and we get cloud cover, this could cause a negative effect.
Often times when cloud cover presents itself during warmer seasons, I find sub surface flies work best.
Night Time Fishing
On occasion I have tired my hand fly fishing at night. Although I have not had much success personally, I do have friends that have done quite well.
Night fishing can be effective when the temps have been above normal, and, when you have good lighting form the moon.
The moon place a huge role in the feeding cycle of fish. Some species of fish have been known to feed at night more than others such as trout.
You can find lunar tables for best time of day to fish here.
Closing Thoughts – Best Time to Fly Fish
Keep in mind that the best time of day to fly fish is when you can. Anytime you can sneak away and get a line wet is a perfect time to fly fish. That being said let’s recap some of the key points we covered in this article.
While an Insect Hatch is Occurring
Fishing at First Lite
Fly Fishing at Sunset
Fishing with Cloud Cover
The most important tip is worth repeating again,
MATCH THE HATCH!
The best time to fly fish is when an active hatch is happening. Keep your eye balls pealed and on the lookout. Not all hatches are huge swarms of bugs.
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