Best Time To Fly Fish in All Seasons

Fly fishing refers to using artificial fishing lures such as flies to catch different types of fish in either saltwater or freshwater bodies. To catch your target fish, all you need to do is cast your specialized lure into the water and hope your target fish bites the bait. That means that you need the right fly fishing rod, flies, a weighted line, and a fishing reel. The best time to fly fish is between April and October, but technically, fly fishing is a year-round sport.

Even the species of fish you’re targeting is a critical consideration. But no matter the season, there are several places where you can cast a fly rod and catch your favorite fish. Read on to learn more about the best time to fly fish with your friends and family.

The Afternoon is the Best time to Fly Fish in Spring 

The cold winter chill provides for a warm spring breeze when fish in ponds or rivers are most hungry, and flowers are blooming. This is a good time to rig up your fly fishing rod and go for the rainbow trout. However, you need to be very cautious because the weather can be unpredictable on some days. 

Fly fishing
Afternoon fly fishing

The temperatures can suddenly change from 60 degrees to extreme coldness followed by a blowing wind that can pick up a surprise snowstorm. Therefore, you should have a rain jacket and a winter coat, and probably a lanyard, before you hit the waters.

Pre-runoff often creates excellent fly fishing opportunities if you’re targeting big fish, and fewer bugs hatch in the cold waters after winter. Therefore, to catch more fish, you need to rig up your rod deeper. With a long leader, you should throw bead heads and add some weight to get your artificial flies deeper. Warmer spring days are great for finding the afternoon hatches; this is when bugs come off the water. 

Generally, warm weather raises the water temperature that might trigger a dry fly feeding frenzy. Spring brings a lot of run-off water as the mountains become roaring rivers. So, you should focus more on the lakes and tailwaters. However, you need to be specific about the destination of your next fly fishing trip and plan a few days before you head out.

Nighttime is the Best Time to Fish in Summer 

Seasoned anglers prefer hitting the water when the weather is warm to enjoy fly fishing. Even an hour of fly fishing is so much rewarding. The peak summer fly fishing season is friendly to both new and experienced anglers, particularly those using fish finders.

Fly fishing at night
Fly fishing ay night

The cool nighttime air and the protection of darkness give you more leverage over your target. Fly fishing at night with a flashlight or headlamp will make your fishing experience so memorable. Consider rigging up more than one rod to increase your chances of catching your target. While some anglers might argue that the warm summer months are great for hatches, your targets are more lethargic, making it hard for them to recover after a fight. So, you shouldn’t keep your catches outside the pond water for long.

Mid-morning is the Best Time to Fly Fish in Fall 

Early fall, during the terrestrial football season, brings the best fly fishing action. In other words, your best fly fishing season is in late summer and early fall. This is an epic fly fishing season for you to hit the waters and enjoy your holidays. Open fields are full of terrestrials such as crickets, ants, and beetles in September. 

Since fish go crazy on the terrestrials at this time, you should throw your line and make big catches during these times. The Brown Trout is known to spawn and begin to get territorial at the end of the summer months. You should throw a streamer to mess around with the authoritative fish. Start your summer fly fishing experience in the mid-mornings when the fish tend to feed most.

Mid-mornings and Early Afternoons are the Best Times to Fly Fish in Winter

When the highest temperatures are still less than freezing, fly fishing might not be that enjoyable. Casting a fly fishing rod in the middle of a river on a cold winter day might seem awkward. But if you perhaps don’t like the mid-summer crowds, you can still enjoy your fly fishing trip in winter. Furthermore, you can find warm weather saltwater destinations that offer incredible fly fishing opportunities. You can even target hard-fighting fish such as bonefish. 

Salmon Fly
Salmon fly

If fly fishing in the cold months of winter starts sounding like a pretty idea, consider coupling it up with skiing to get more fun. Ensure that you bundle up in several layers of protective gear to protect your butt from freezing off in the middle of nowhere. You’ll less likely enjoy your fly fishing experience if you don’t bring along warm clothing.

Bring a lighter leader and tippet because the fish will likely be skittish. This is a recommendable fishing technique when fly fishing in lower waters. You can rest assured of breaking off some more fish if you’re patient enough. This is a great tactic because the fish tend to pod up in the deep waters that are moving slowly. 

Throw as many casts as possible whenever you find such a run. Also, learn to practice extra patience to allow the fish to get active. Overall, fly fishing is more challenging in winter because your target may only hit your fly after several casting attempts. That is why fly fishing in winter may not be the perfect option, especially for first-timers who are not used to the discouraging fishing moments in the water. Avoid moving so quickly or even staying at one location for a long period when fly fishing.


While it may be easy and more enjoyable to go fly fishing during the warm weather, every fishing season comes with unique opportunities. When you set out to fly fish, you need to choose the ideal location. Even though mountain streams are great places for fly fishing, you can still enjoy fly fishing in the warm waters of lakes, rivers, and ponds. 

When warm water bodies are in abundance, you can take your fly fishing experience anywhere you feel like. In general, the best time of the year to go fishing is a matter that has more to do with your personal preferences than what your friend may consider being perfect timing. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions of the best time to fish. 

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Brian Hopkins

Brian is an outdoor writer and the youngest member of our team, but he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishing and different techniques for catching different species. He shares valuable information that the younger generation can relate to. When he is not fishing, you can find him hanging with his friends and gaming on his computer.

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