Best Time of the Day to Fly Fish for Trout
There is no definite best time of the day when it comes to fishing on any specific day, however, fishing in the morning usually produces the most strikes. This blog post will cover the best times of the day to fish for each season, matching the hatch and fishing when a hatch is on, different hook patterns to use throughout the year and more.
I think I speak for all anglers when it comes to the fact that catching fish and lots of them is way better than fishing all day and getting skunked. We fly fish, bait fish, spinner fish, ice fish, and net fish everything and anything, but our focus is fly fishing for trout.
When it comes to fly fishing for trout, every little thing matters. From the fly patterns, drift, presentation, line, leader, tippet, weather and more. One of the most important aspects is the time of day though.
Let’s dive in!
What are the best times of the day for fishing?
The two best times of the day are first thing in the morning, within 1-2 hours of dawn. The second-best time of the day is in the evening, within 1-2 hours of dusk.
I know what you are thinking, its unfortunate that the rest of the day isn’t as good. There are some days where fishing at noon or 3pm is great, but most days just aren’t that good.
There are numerous reasons why the morning and evening are the best.
- Natural insect hatches normally happen at these times
- The fish like to hide when the sun is out because of birds hunting them
- Lots of trout like colder waters, so they tend to go deeper when the sun is shinning hot
Does the season change the best time of the day for fishing?
If you live somewhere like me, where the seasons are very different from each other, then the exact time of the day will change, but the same rules generally apply, unless you are fly fishing in the winter.
- Spring: The weather might be all over the place in the spring, but generally early morning and dusk are the best times.
- Summer: You will need to get up earlier and stay up later as the days will be longer. Again, early morning and dusk are the best.
- Fall: The weather will start getting cooler, but we find the early morning and dusk still the best. You may be able to extend it an hour each way as well.
- Winter: We find that between 9:00am and 4:00pm the best as the sun warms up the water a bit.
What is an insect hatch?
Zinger Fishing has a few blogs on different hatches and a break down of what they are. Insects start their life on the bottom of water bodies. From there they grow until they reach the surface of the water. Once they reach the surface, they become adult flies, commonly known as mayflies, caddis flies, midges, drakes, stoneflies and others. Once they finish growing, they will fly away from the surface and normally return to it to die.
Why is fishing when a hatch is on so important?
Fish love to feed, so it only makes sense that when a hatch is on, the fish will be on a feeding frenzy. If you can match your fly pattern to the natural insects, you might not be able to keep the fish off!
Can I fish all stages of a hatch?
Yes! If the fish are feeding sub-surface, try to match the insects in the water with your nymph, midge, or chironomid fly patterns. The majority of a fish’s diet is on sub-surface insects, which is why nymphing is one of the best forms of fly fishing if you are looking at catching as many fish as possible.
Once the fish start feeding off the surface, it is safe to say that your emergers or dry fly patterns will be best. Unless of course they are grasshoppers, then you will want to tie on hopper patterns.
How do I match the hatch?
Matching the hatch normally takes all of a few minutes. There are a few key things you need to do.
- Head down to the water.
- Look to see if there are any insects in the water or on the surface. Are there a ridiculous number of them? If there is only a few, a hatch may not be on at that moment.
- Are the fish rising to the surface to feed? If there are flies on the water, but the fish aren’t rising, you will probably want to stick with sub-surface fishing.
- Match your fly pattern to that of the natural insect.
There are many different hatches that occur on any given waterbody. This means that as an angler, you will want to have a solid collection of different fly patterns. Experienced anglers have hundreds of different fly patterns, so that they have the best chance of matching the hatch. That and so they can try different things if there is no hatch on.
Buying the right fly patterns for trout
Different fish strike different flies. The same goes for different types of trout and the different waterbodies that they are in.
Zinger Fishing has made a few different fly assortment kits to help anglers get diversified with classic fly patterns, increasing their chances of catching more trout.
Quality flies are one of the most important aspects of fly fishing. If your fly is a weird random color and shape, fish won’t be likely to bite it. Quality flies are made from expensive thread and materials that mimic the natural flies. Most new anglers tend to cheap out at the beginning, but when they learn that quality flies produce way more fish, they soon change over.
Zinger Fishing Assorted Fly Fishing Kits
Currently, Zinger Fishing offers 3 different fly assortment kits.
The 121 kit is made up of nymphs. This kit is tailored towards anglers that love fishing rivers. Nymphs are the main food source for fish, which makes nymph fly fishing so amazing. I would say that 75% of the fly fishing I do is with nymphs because of how many fish I can catch while using them, compared to dry fly fishing or using wet flies.
This assortment kit sells for $179.99 CAD at the Zinger Fishing store.
The kit comes with 39 different fly patterns which drastically increases your chances at catching fish. Everything from Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Brassies, Water Boatman’s, Scuds, and many others.
The 75 kit is perfect for anglers looking to increase their fly collection. It includes wet flies, hoppers, dry flies, streamers, and nymphs. The combination of flies is perfect for having a rounded balance of flies when you are out fly fishing. It is a great all around starter pack as well.
This assortment kit sells for $119.99 CAD at the Zinger Fishing store.
The kit comes with 25 different fly patterns. World famous Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Mosquitos, Woolly Buggers, and Hare’s Ear’s plus others are included.
The 60 kit is the most sold kit that Zinger offers due to its cheap price and simple selection. It is filled with some of the world’s most popular flies so it is perfect for the most experienced angler or someone just starting out. The fly patterns are what every angler needs in their collection.
This assortment kit sells for $89.99 CAD at the Zinger Fishing Store.
The kit comes with 19 different fly patterns. Royal Coachman’s, Light Cahill’s, Blue Quill’s, Caddis, Pheasant Tails, Copper John’s, Hare’s Ear’s, Wooly Buggers, and many more are included.
Fishing throughout the day
Most anglers don’t just go out fishing for one hour in the morning or one hour in the evening. They tend to head out for 3-8 hours. The best thing you can do is to make sure you either get to fish the morning or the evening when you go out. If you are only fishing the mid day portion, your chances will go way down. I see far too many anglers doing this.
The same goes for ice fishing and other types of fishing. Normally, it will be red hot in the morning and as the day progresses, the fish tend to strike less and less.
Best fly patterns for each season
This can be tricky as it depends on where you live, what season you are in, what types of fish you are fishing for, etc.
When it comes to the season, it usually boils down to the fly hatch that is happening. Different insects hatch at different times of the year. The most hatches will happen between spring and fall.
Fly patterns tend to change with seasons due to the hatches, but usually certain trout will go for certain patterns more than others. It will also depend on the weather and type of water you are fishing in.
Having a solid variety of fly patterns is best, so you can fish for all the different types of trout, making sure to not miss out.
Can I fish for trout at night?
Absolutely. Some anglers prefer night fishing, but I find that it is no better than in the daylight, unless of course there is a hatch happening. Some hatches will occur in the later part of the day and evening, making night fishing insane. This typically happens in the heat of the summer and after a steady rainfall.
Overall conclusion with best fishing times
We prefer the morning and we usually will fish for 4 hours. Our second choice is heading out around 4:00pm and fishing until 8:00pm or 9:00pm. Increase your chances of getting fish into your landing nets by going out on the water at the best times. Keep in mind that you can fish all day and some fish will feed throughout the day. Good luck out there!
If you like reading about fly fishing, our Zinger Fishing blog has a wide variety of different articles. We cover places to fish, what patterns to use, techniques, gear, and everything else to help fellow anglers land more fish in their nets.