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Know the Best Times for Trout Fishing

Know the Best Times for Trout Fishing

Fishing for trout can be an exciting and challenging experience for both novice and experienced anglers. With careful research and preparation, the reward of a successful fishing trip with this prized species can make a lasting impression. One key point to remember when planning your trout fishing adventure is to pay attention to the best times for trout fishing.

Different species of trout have different spawning habits that change throughout a year as well as with different water temperatures. In order to give yourself the best chance of a successful catch, it’s important to be aware of when to best target these fish. Knowing the optimum times for trout fishing will give any angler an edge on their fishing trips.

Know the Best Times for Trout Fishing

Understand Your Trout Species

Before planning your trout fishing trip, it’s important to research the species of trout inhabiting the areas that you plan on fishing. Different types of trout, such as rainbow trout, brown trout, steelhead, and brook trout, spawn and feed at different times resulting in optimal fishing conditions for anglers.

For example, brown trout spawn from October to December, with their peaks of activity being in November and December. Trout feed in the spring of the year with the rainbow trout having its prime time from late April to late June. Later in the summer, anglers should paddle out and target steelhead in river systems and brook trout in the slightly cooler streams.

Seasonal Patterns for Trout

Knowledge of the seasonal and migratory movements of trout can help you understand when to target them. Different species of trout have different migration patterns that anglers can use to plan their fishing trips.

For example, brown trout typically migrate to larger bodies of water meters during summer while they spawn in tributaries and backwaters of a river system in the winter months. These migratory patterns occur because of the temperature preferences of the trout. Different species change in behavior when the temperatures dip below or exceed their comfort levels.

One key point for anglers to note is that trout will almost always head for deeper, colder and faster waters during the hot summer months. Brown trout usually migrate to deep oxygenated lakes and calm coastal waters and remain there until the cooler months when they migrate back to rivers and streams.

Water Temperature

In most cases, trout feed actively in water temperatures around the 50–60 degree Fahrenheit range (10 to 16 Celsius). During early spring, anglers should be wary of water temperatures around 38–40 degrees Fahrenheit (3–4 Celsius) as trout become fairly inactive when the water temperature drops below this benchmark.

Some species of trout, such as brown trout and steelhead, will become active during slightly higher temperatures, in the 50s and low 60s Fahrenheit (10–16 Celsius). Anglers should also be mindful of excessively high water temperatures as trout become much less active when the temperature exceeds the 70–72 degree Fahrenheit (21–22 Celsius) range.


Tides also play an important role for anglers targeting trout. During low tide, trout often locate to deeper waters to remain cool and feed, this is natural behavior as tidal fluxes let more current and water rush into the shallower areas, leading trout to deeper waters. During high tide, trout are pushed back into the shallower areas where the saltier water is much more conducive to the habitat of the species.

Knowing the time of tides and water temperatures can give anglers an edge in catching these fish. The usual general rule of thumb is that the best time for trout fishing is during the rising and ebbing tide.

Best Time of Day

The best time of day to catch trout is also an important factor to consider. Trout become more active at night, so anglers should consider fishing in the evenings or mornings when cool items blanket the water and trout begin to feed. However, due to the limited light conditions, morning and night fishing trips should be considered with caution as tough conditions and weather can present a challenge for new anglers.

In the case of angling for brown trout, some anglers prefer to stay out and fish around the clock as brown trout are known to become much more active in the waters at night.

When it comes to trout fishing, many anglers do not take into consideration the natural movement and feeding habits of the fish. Knowing the peak times for these species, such as the best times for trout fishing, can make all the difference when trying to land one of these fantastic fish.

With knowledge of the seasonal patterns and migratory movements of the different trout species and careful understanding of the local environment, any angler will have a greater chance of success when targeting these fish. From picking the right times of the year to understanding the best times of the day, there is always something to consider when trying to catch trout.

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