Best Time to Fish for Trout: Expert Tips and Advice

In general, spring is considered the best time to fish for trout. This is because the temperature is balanced and ideal plus the abundance of food is unkempt. However, it must also be noted that trout can essentially be caught year-round. You just have to know the best time and temperature as to when to catch one.

Best Time to Fish for Trout

In this post, we give a rundown of the tips on the best times to fish for trout. As a popular game fish, this is something that you have to master if you ever endeavor to fish for one. As such, read on.

Pro Tips on Fishing for Trout

Before we get to the specifics of the best time to fish for trout, there are three important tips that you should know of first when it comes to fishing for this fish:

Pro Tips on Fishing for Trout

  • If you are looking for large to extra-large trout, cast your rods and reel during late spring. They have amply fed and spawned by this time.
  • Late in the season, trout hide themselves in thick river grass and bushes. They know that anglers and fishermen come late in the season so they have adapted well to how they could avoid lures and bait during this time.
  • Trout is a cold-blooded fish. Like humans, their bodies feel discomfort and imbalance when it is too hot or too cold. Go for trout fishing during temperate times of the day.

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Best Time to Fishing Trout?

As has been mentioned, generally, spring is the best time to catch trout. However, this should not be taken conservatively. Any time is a good time for trout fishing but you must know where and specifically when you should cast out your rods to catch one.

By Time of Day

As per tip of trout fishing experts, two of the most important considerations for trout fishing are cloud cover and water temperature. Thus, the best time of the day to fish for trout would be during the following:

By Time of Day Best Time to Fish for Trout

  • In water temperatures ranging from 34-67F. At this range, they are usually actively feeding and are cramped up in groups. This temperature would be between 6-10am.
  • When the water temperature is cooler (at least 30-35F), the best time to catch trout is in the morning or late afternoon when cloud cover is thick. You can find them in shady areas, mostly where there is vegetation.
  • It is also common to fish for trout before dark and until dark. Expert anglers say that this time of the day to fish trout is best done during the full moon. The water is temperate and different kinds of fish come out to enjoy the warm waters.
  • When the temperature is 60F and above, move upstream or in cooler waters during day time. Resume again before dusk.

By Season

There are different considerations when it comes to fishing trout depending on the season. In this section, we look at some trout behavior and pro tips to lure them in during different seasons.

  • Spring

It is considered the best season to fish for trout. Aside from the viable temperate water and abundant prey to feed on, it is also the trout’s spawning season. As such, you can find them almost anywhere in the water because they are actively feeding.

Spring Best Time to Fish for Trout

It is also a time when they are very aggressive and would attack anything bright, flashy, and erratically moving. They also have the tendency to eat each other’s eggs so during summer, you may use rounded baits to lure them in.

  • Summer

The most important consideration during the summer season is the temperature. Once the temp reaches 60 F and up, trout visibility becomes sluggish. Strikingly, experts believe that there is a direct relationship between heat and trout activity.

Summer Best Time to Fish for Trout

During this time, you can catch trout upstream or in cooler waters. Check the water temperature before casting your lure. Go for at least 53F and up.

  • Fall

It is said that it is the second-best time to fish for trout. Others say that it is both the best and worst time for trout fishing.

Fall dramatically eases the summer’s heat and it is the time when trout come out of their hiding places and begin feeding and spawning again. Bodies of water also recede and shrink so you can catch them abundantly in shallow waters.

Fall -Best Time to Fish for Trout

At the same time, it is also a challenging time for trout fishing. As the fall season progresses, the temperature shall hit lower. This brings in the reality of the upcoming winter so the trout shall look for other hiding places again too.

  • Winter

While this could be considered as an off-season for trout, you can still catch them through spinner bait, fly fishing and ice fishing. As a matter of fact, fall and winter are the best times to fish for trout for regions with warmer climates.

Winter - Best Time to Fish for Trout

They normally stay deep, in hunkered down places where the water is considerably warmer. But during feeding time, they are in shallower parts.

If you are fishing trout during winter, just cast your lure 2-4ft in the water at any time of the day. They are shallow feeding and it would not be so much of a challenge for you.

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The Best Time to Fish for Trout Depending on Location

There are three major types of trout: the lake trout, the river trout and the rainbow trout. The latter is the most popular and most abundant. The following are some specific tips on how to catch the most endemic trout in your area:

  • Lake trout

The best time to fish for lake trout is when the temperature is significantly cooler. Nonetheless, you can still catch one year-round with the following tips and considerations:

Lake trout

  • A depth finder is an essential tool in locating lake trout.
  • During summer, lake trout is abundant between the first light of day up to 11 am. This is when the lake water is at its calmest, the skies clear and the water pressure is high.
  • If you have a depth finder, cast your lures at 10ft during winter, 35-45ft depth during early to mid-spring and 60ft during late spring. During summer, cast your lures where there is a 53F thermal layer.
  • It is a myth that lake trout become dormant during summer and spend the season in the deepest part of the lake. Experts say that they are niching in layers where at least 53F temperature is stable.

This is where they actively pursue suckers and white fish. Use these as baits during this time.

  • River trout

Due to its popularity as a game fish, always check your location’s requirements for trout fishing. Prepare licenses and mandated gears if necessary. The following are some pro tips on the best time to catch river trout:

River trout

  • The river trout has specific preferred baits: canned corn kernels, earthworm and salmon roe.
  • When the river is erratic and with high current, use a heavier gear. Calm, stable rivers for fishing trout require lighter gears.
  • Upstream casting is the best way to make the bait appear livelier, hence, more attractive to trout.
  • Allow at least 20-minutes of casting interval every after you catch trout. They are spooked easily. You have to trick them for a significant period of time.
  • Aside from checking the weather forecast, you can also trick them with the right food which they usually feed on during a specific weather. For instance, use insects as bait on a windy day and worms after a rainstorm.

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  • Rainbow trout

In North America, the rainbow trout is considered as the easiest and most common trout catch. You can find it in lakes and rivers. Here are tips on how to catch one:

Rainbow trout

  • Pack as many lures and baits as you can. You would be mesmerized as to what size of rainbow trout you can get every hour, at any time of the day. 
  • The best spoon to use is a small and silver one. It is attractive to many fish species. Rainbow trout specifically love its jerking action and shininess.
  • The best bait to use for rainbow trout is one with a playdough consistency. Just mold it straight into the hook.

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FAQs about the Best Time Fishing Trout

There are also some FAQs for the best times to fish for trout. They might come handy later so might as well mention some of them.

Is trout fishing during night time advisable?

Trout does not have a good night time vision. They are active particularly in the reduced light of early mornings and late afternoons. Hence, they do not actively feed during this time. An exception however, is during full moons. The light is ample for active feeding hence, a very good time to fish for trout.

Is it effective to troll fish trout in reservoirs?

Yes. As a matter of fact, you can fish large to extra large trout in these smaller, narrower bodies of water. Unlike fishing in lakes and rivers, the water in reservoirs is stable and shallower. You need not cast your lures too deep to catch trout.

Is it good to fish trout after a heavy downpour?

Interestingly, yes. Trout love the rise in water level because the current floods in critters to prey on. As such, they aggressively hunt for prey after a heavy downpour. Taking advantage of this is a good idea to get as much trout as you can.

The Bottom Line

While it is undisputed that spring is the best time to fish for trout, they can still be caught year-round. The only thing that you must understand is their spawning behavior, feeding time and most importantly, temperature. They are cold blooded and they would not fare well in too cold and too hot water environments.

We have covered all the important tips that one should know about fishing for trout. It is up to you to try each and see what is most convenient for you.

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