When is fly fishing season? (Starting and Ending)

When does the fly fishing season start and end?

The fly fishing season varies across the country. But generally, it is between May and September.

This is when there’s adequate precipitation and the water is warm enough to support the growth of trout and other fish.

The duration of a specific season depends on the geographical location and the particular species you’re after.

It can also range from the first of the year to a couple of months later, but generally, fly fishing seasons are most active during the spring and summer.

I am going to cover every season in detail and discuss the best months and days to fish for different types of fish.

But before we start…

If you haven’t invested in some sort of fly fishing rod or reel yet, and you’re reading this guide I would highly recommend you to check out my best fly rod under 400 review post if you have a moderate budget.

If you are just starting fly fishing and have a limited budget, check out my best fly rod under 200 review page.

I have also a dedicated separate review guide for the best fly rod under 500 and the best fly rod combo under 300 that you can check out if you have a slightly high budget.

I hope this review will help you make a better decision when choosing your next fly rod.

Spring Fly Fishing Season

The spring fly fishing season begins from mid-April to mid-June in most parts of the world. This varies based on local regulations, however, so you should consult with a local fly fishing guide to ensure that you are getting the right season.

It is a good time to catch trout, salmon, catfish, bass, crappie, etc. Trout and bass are typically the most common fish caught during this period.

Spring is a magical time of year to catch fish. The snow melts, and warm weather brings out fish in areas where they usually lay low until the summer months. As a result, fishing is much easier to find and even easier to catch.

As an angler, spring is a great time of year to take advantage of the abundance of fish. It’s easy to find fish because they move around in warmer waters. Fish previously hiding are now active in the warmer waters and making themselves available for your rod and reel.

Benefits in the Spring Fly Fishing Season

  1. There are some definite advantages to fly fishing in the spring over the fall. The first is that the fish aren’t as hungry. There is fewer bass around in the spring, usually in deep water. This means they won’t fight each other over food as they will in the summer.
  2. The second advantage is that it’s easier to see and hear the fish. The water is crystal clear, so you don’t have to worry about standing up and peering into the murky depths.
  3. Spring also has the advantage of being the time when you’ll have a better chance of catching fish. Although fishing is never easy, in the spring, it is easier. When the weather gets cooler, and the fish move downriver, it’s harder to catch fish in the fall.
  4. And finally, in the spring, there are fewer people around to fight over the few fish that are left. Because fishing is not as popular, the streams are less crowded. This means you’ll have a chance to catch more fish.

Summer Fly Fishing Season

The summer fly fishing season is from May through August. During this time, anglers have access to a wide variety of freshwater fish species, including trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and carp. 

Whether you’re looking to fish for the first time or you want to refresh your skills, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and fish.

With the weather heating up, the number of lakes, rivers, and streams open to public access also increases. This means a greater chance of finding fish. It’s also the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Benefits of the Summer Fly Fishing Season

There are several other reasons why fly fishing is a great choice for summer travel. Here are a few of them:

  1. More wildlife to see: It doesn’t take long to realize how much more wildlife you see during the summer months. Not to mention, there’s always more variety in the wildlife you might spot.
  2. More solitude: You can often fish daily with very little human interaction. An air of peace comes with fishing in the middle of nowhere.
  3. Better weather: If you’re lucky enough to catch a big fish, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a spectacular sunset while relaxing on your boat. If you’re planning a longer trip, bring plenty of light gear and other essentials along.
  4. Water cooler conversations: You’ll have a chance to strike up conversations with fellow anglers. You may even meet someone special at the local campground if you’re really lucky.

Fall Fly Fishing Season

Fall fly fishing season starts in August and ends in November. Fall is a time of transition in the fly fishing world as new gear hits the market and a flurry of the action takes place before the new trout season begins.

Benefits in The Fall Fly Fishing Season

There are many reasons you should begin planning for fall fly fishing now.
Here’s a short list:

  1. It’s time to make sure your equipment is up to snuff for the season ahead
  2. It’s a great time to start planning for winter fly fishing
  3. It’s the beginning of the fly fishing season, and you’ll want to take advantage of the best days and conditions
  4. It’s time to stock up on new rods and reels.

Winter Fly Fishing Season

One of the most popular types of fly fishing is freshwater fly fishing. There are many rivers and lakes throughout the United States where you can fish.

Most of the lakes are stocked with trout. Some states even allow you to fish in your backyard!

In addition to trout, you can also catch bass, catfish, and many other species during this season.

Winter fly fishing is done in the late fall and winter months.

This is generally done in colder, northern climates where you can expect to see fish from mid-November to mid-May.

These are the months when the cold, rainy season sets in and the fish migrate to deeper waters.

Most fly fishing trips are about four hours long and generally involve hiking to remote locations. It’s a great opportunity to spend quality time outdoors with your family or friends.

Benefits in The Fall Fly Fishing Season

The best time to fly fishing in winter is not when it’s cold but when it’s raining! Winter fly fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy nature.

  1. You can bring your fly rod, waders, and even a fishing chair to enjoy the sport. You can even bring your dog along for the ride.
  2. When the weather gets cold, you don’t want to spend your time outside running back and forth between the car and the river.
  3. You can start to get a feel for the water conditions by watching the weather. If there are big storms or heavy rain, you’ll probably be unable to fish.
  4. You’ll need to use different fly fishing gear in winter. You’ll need a fly fishing vest, hat, and waders. You can also bring a jacket and gloves. If you want to fly fishing in winter, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right equipment. 

Fly Fishing Season for Trout

The fall fishing season for trout starts on the first Saturday in September and ends on the first Saturday in March.

Trout are cold-water fish, so think of cold weather and deep pools when you think of fishing for trout. You won’t find many dry flies here but streamers, spinnerbaits, and spinners.

When choosing lures for your fishing trip, the good idea is to match the water temperature.

When the water is cooler than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, go for a light-coloured lure. When the water is warmer than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, choose a lure that matches the colour of the water.

Fly Fishing at High Altitudes

Fly fishing in the Rocky Mountain states is a special experience, especially at high altitudes. Fly fishing at the lower elevations requires a lot less gear and knowledge.

Without a boat, waders, and an expensive reel, you can fish the waters. This makes fly fishing accessible and affordable for many. In comparison, fishing at higher elevations requires a few extra steps and a bigger commitment.

Let’s dive into the top two things to keep in mind when fly fishing above treeline.

First, there’s no such thing as a bad time to fish. Just because you’re a little higher up doesn’t mean you should expect to catch fewer fish.

Second, the weather. I like to think of weather in three categories. Cold, mild, and hot. Let’s break it down.

Cold is when you can be sitting in the shade and feel like you’re sitting in a sauna. Mild is pretty much in between cold and hot. Hot is when you need a good windbreaker to stay warm.

Some best spots for Fall/Winter Season

It’s a fact that the cold and dark days of winter are the perfect time to go fishing.

However, not all places are created equal. We know that the weather is colder now than in years, but it can still be tricky to find the best spots, particularly if you are trying to get the most out of your fishing trips.

Here are the top spots that we recommend for fall and winter fly fishing trips in New Jersey:

  • The Passaic River is still running well in the early year. It is also where many of the smaller and less popular fish species are found, so there is a good chance you will see some nice fish.
  • If you are looking for larger species, look no further than the Passaic River and Toms River. Both have good trout fishing, and some species are stocked. We’d recommend checking out the area around the Wading River (if you are doing fly fishing) and the Indian Brook Reservoir (if you are doing spin fishing).
  • If you are looking for larger species, look no further than the Passaic River and Toms River. Both have good trout fishing, and some species are stocked. We’d recommend checking out the area around the Wading River (if you are doing fly fishing) and the Indian Brook Reservoir (if you are doing spin fishing). 

5 Things to Know Before Your First Season of Fly fishing

There’s a lot to think about before your first season. Let’s go over the five things to remember before you get out on the water.

1. Make Sure Your Gear is in Good Working Order

Whether you’re fly fishing or bass fishing, having the right gear is key. I’m sure you’ve noticed how many anglers don’t know how to use the rod, reel, or waders. This is a big mistake, especially if you’re an expert angler or if you’re casting in a public venue.

Make sure that your gear is in good working order before you head out to the water. Don’t forget to check the warranty!

2. Gear Up with the Right Clothing

Even if you’re an expert, clothing is important. Angling is a physically demanding activity. You’ll be casting, reeling, and fighting fish at times. When you’re in the water, you’ll be wet and cold, so you want to make sure you’re wearing the right clothes.

Here are a few tips to help you stay warm and dry:

  • Wear a hat that covers your ears.
  • Wear a t-shirt that’s lightweight and tight-fitting.
  • Wear layers.
  • Wear socks.

3. Learn How to Cast

Learning how to cast is one of the best investments you can make. If you’re going to spend all that time at the lake, you might as well learn how to cast right?

You don’t need to take a lesson from someone else, just take it to step by step and learn how to do it properly.

Make sure you know how to cast to the left, right, and center of the fly. This will save you frustration and keep you from getting tangled up.

4. Practice!

Fly fishing is a sport where mistakes can cost you. So you’re going to want to get some practice in before your first outing.

Spend some time practicing your technique and get used to casting to various distances. You can also practice with a friend or family member and see how it goes.

5. Know Your Limits

This should be obvious, but being aware of your limits is critical. If you don’t know your limits, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. This isn’t like other sports where you can let off a little steam. Fly fishing is a physically demanding sport.

If you’re not careful, you could end up in trouble. Know your limits before you head out to the water.

Now that you’ve learned the basics, you’re ready to hit the water. Don’t forget to pack your gear, put it all together, and head out for the day!

When is fly fishing season Summary

The key to a successful fishing trip is to plan. It’s important to know where the best fishing is located to go there.

To do that, you need to know what time of year it’s going to be warm and what time of year it will be cold. You also need to know when the best time to go is.

If you are likely to fish in saltwater, you must also know what type of water you are likely to encounter and the season for it.

Additionally, you can check out my blog post on the best time to go saltwater fishing followed by another post on the best budget saltwater fly rod if you are looking for the saltwater fly rod for money and value.

As a reminder, if you’re in the market for a new fly rod, don’t forget to check out my best fly rod under 400, best fly rod under 200, the best fly rod combo under 300, and best fly rod under 500.

Knowing all this information will help you plan your fishing trips and ensure that you have the right equipment with the suitable length rod. It will also help you choose the best spots to go.

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