Trout: a species notorious for being as finicky as a fish can be. Trout can be quick to pick apart any flaws in your bait or presentation. So, then when is the best time to fish for trout? When do trout bite? Well, there are certain times that they’re more prone to making a mistake than others, In this article, we’ll answer some of the questions you might have about when to fish for trout.
Of course, there are many factors that play into when the best time to catch trout is. It’s possible to catch a trout 24 hours of the day, 12 months of the year depending on where you are in the country; however, there will always be a period of time when their activity level is at its peak, and sometimes when that is can be surprising. For example, in the heat of the summer in the western part of the country, the dead of night can sometimes be the best time to trout fish. Large brown trout are commonly taken casting mouse pattern flies in pitch darkness. At night, the fish can’t make out any flaws in a fly that make it look unnatural nearly as well as they’re able to during the day. They just see movement on the surface and instinctively strike. I have also consistently caught Great Lakes steelhead and brown trout at night in September and October at the mouths of the tributaries they plan to migrate up to spawn. Cool shallow water and the protection from birds of prey at night draw them up to the bank. Of course, night isn’t always the best time to trout fish.
Early morning is widely considered to be the best time of day to fish for trout, and for good reason. Low light conditions make a trout feel comfortable to sit out in the open and also doesn’t allow them to scrutinize your offering so intently. For these same reasons, evening can also be one of the best times of day for trout fishing. If the primary forage in your area is insects this will also contribute to morning and evening fishing success. Morning is also a stellar time to fish for trout when on highly pressured bodies of water. The more trout are caught, fished for, or just disturbed in general the harder they become to catch. Morning offers a time when the fish haven’t been recently disturbed which can play a large factor in a trout’s decision to bite a bait. There are still times when morning and evening aren’t prime time though.
The middle of the day is usually synonymous with tough fishing, but that truly isn’t always the case. In some scenarios, it can be the best time of day for trout fishing. In the frigid months of late fall and winter when the morning is bitterly cold, trout may not reach their peak level of activity until the middle of the day. The sun emerging and warming the water up a degree or two is sometimes all it takes to turn a tough morning of fishing into a banner day. The middle of the day isn’t just exceptional in winter, however. The flash of the sun off of a spinner or spoon blade can drive trout absolutely nuts. This bite is sometimes best when the sun is at its highest point of the day.
Trout can be a challenging species, but we hope this article helps you bring more to the net on your future fishing trips!