Best Time To Go Trout Fishing

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

best time to go trout fishing

When should you go trout fishing? While most anglers will tell you that the best time to go fishing is during the summer months, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. I’ll let you know what time is the best time to go trout fishing.

Summertime is great because it’s warm and sunny, but winter and spring are the best times to go fishing. Why? Because the fish are hungry and active. They’re feeding on the insects that hatch as the weather warms up.

The water temperature is more relaxed during these seasons, and the fish are less likely to spook. Also, the fish are more active and easier to catch. Many experts say that the best time to catch fish is from March until May.

If you want to learn how to catch trout, then read on! 

Best Times of Day to Fish For Trout

Trout fishing is best from before sunrise until roughly two hours after sunrise. Trout fishing is most productive during the second half of the day, between three hours before sunset and dusk.

Trout have a very good low-light vision which allows them to distinguish colors better in lower light and better depth perception. Trout fishing is best during the early morning hours and then again later in the afternoon.

Trout fishing is most productive during the hours when insect activity is at its peak.

Early morning in the hours immediately following sunrise is the best time of day to catch most species of trout in rivers or lakes.

Trout are out and hungry after having not fed much overnight and they can spot much better in the reduced daylight than their insect and baitfish prey which are starting to come out.

What are the Best Times to Catch Trout in Different Bodies of Water? 

Reservoirs and Lakes

Trout do well in lakes and reservoirs because they prefer cold water. They can be found in almost any kind of water during the summer months. Trout are active throughout the day.

The best time of day to fish for trout is during the night. This is because trout need to be near the water’s surface to catch food.


Trout is also like cool water rich in dissolved oxygen. Trout do not like direct sunlight and therefore dislike midday.

Trout like to eat bugs, therefore, the best time to fish for trout is early morning or late afternoon. Trout prefer cool waters, and they’re most comfortable when they’re resting.

Trout don’t like to be active during the middle of daylight hours. They’ll avoid bright light because it hurts their eyes.

Rivers and Streams

Rivers and streams remain cooler than non- moving water found in ponds and lakes. Trout still don’t like being active during the mid-day.

Direct sunlight hurts their eyes, makes it difficult for them to see things above them in the water, and causes them discomfort. Trout will still feed at the bottom even if the water is too murky for topwater lures.

When is the Best Time to Go Trout Fishing

Trout fishing is done at sunrise and sunset, but you should try to catch them during the twilight hours. This is because these are the best hours for fishing.

There are so many variables that affect fish behavior and feeding that predicting the best time to go fish is next to impossible. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of catching fish.

You need to know about the different seasons, and you need to be aware of the environmental changes that occur throughout the year. Most people go fishing when they have free time. Some of them know what they’re doing, while some don’t.

When is the Best Time of Day to Fish for Trout?

As we mentioned earlier when it comes to fishing for trout, the best time to fish is usually early in the morning when there is still some light left in the day and the last few hours before sunset.

During these periods, fish are naturally more active, so anglers have better fishing opportunities. There are plenty of other factors that can affect the best fishing times, but there are also some times when fishing can be lights out (e.g., the spawning season). 

Best Times to Fish for Trout by Fish Species

The best time to fish for trout varies depending on the species of fish. There are two types of trout: rainbow trout and brown trout. Both types of trout live in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. They also live in the lakes. 

Lake Trout

When fishing for trout, keep in mind the temperature of the air and water. Trout are most likely to be found at warmer temperatures. A good way to fish is to use a depth finder, which allows you to adjust your fishing depth depending on the season.


Lake trout spend the summer months in the deep water at 53 degrees Fahrenheit, where they follow schools of their prey.


Use a depth finder to determine where to drop your bait/lure. Drop your bait/lure between 10 feet and the water’s surface during winter, between 35 and 40 feet deep in mid-summer, between 50 and 60 feet deep in late summer, and at the 53 degree temperature layer in the fall.

woman fishing in river with man in the distant background

River Trout

It’s important to know the regulations for fishing with wild populations of trout, as they may be stricter than those for fishing with hatchery populations. 

The smaller the river is, the less weight you’ll need for the lure. However, if the river is moving fast, you’ll need heavier lures.

Always cast upstream so that your lure/bait drifts with the current and appears more lively.

If you want to know which bait to use on a particular day, look at the weather forecast. To simulate the type of food that the trout would be eating that particular day, feed them fish worms after a rainstorm, and insects on more windy days.

Best Time to Catch Trout by Season

Trout are cold-blooded creatures. Their optimal water temperature is around 40-67 degrees Fahrenheit. They need warm temperatures to survive.

They also prefer cloudy or rainy weather. During the summer months, there are many insects around. This makes them very hungry. 

You’ll want to cast your line into shallow pools and riffles. 

Summer Trout Fishing

The best times to fish for trout are early mornings and dusk. Trout prefer cooler water, so they’re most likely to bite early in the morning.

You should avoid catching trout in the heat of the day because it can really stress the fish, this is important if you are practicing catch and release. Catch them before or after the hottest part of the day.

Trout are fish that love to eat insects. They are usually found near streams or ponds. Their favorite foods include worms, mosquito larvae, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and other bugs, and as we all know summer is primetime for insects

Early Spring and Autumn Trout Fishing

The best times to go fishing are afternoons and during warmer weather. Colder weather makes for fewer insects and less activity by fish.

Warm weather brings more insects and therefore more activity by fish. Fishing during the warmer daytime hours will be most productive.

Winter Trout Fishing

The best times to catch trout are early mornings and afternoon. Cold temperatures cause them to eat less and become sluggish.

Matching their feeding habits helps you land more fish. Slow down your retrieve and match what they’re eating.

But remember, even though the water temperature may be cold, the fish aren’t. So, if you’re planning on catching any fish, bring along your waders or better yet, a kayak.

And while you’re at it, why not take along a friend? That way, you’ll both get more enjoyment out of your trip.

close up of a trout swimming in a river just below the water's surface

Best Times for Fishing for Trout

Trout fishing is a great sport because you get to enjoy nature and catch fish. You can use this information to figure out the best times to go fishing.

  • During sunrise and nightfall
  • During the rise and fall of the moon
  • When the barometer rises consistently
  • When there are consistent weather patterns
  • When there is a hatch
  • When the wind blows from the west rather than the north or east
  • It’s cloudy out.
  • Low lighting conditions

This is just a general guideline that should help you get started. When targeting trout, there are several factors that affect the best time to target them.

Best Time To Go Trout Fishing: Summing it Up

In conclusion, if you haven’t yet tried trout fishing, now’s the perfect time to give it a shot. There’s nothing better than sitting back after a long day of work, relaxing with a cold beverage, and catching dinner right off the end of your line. And when you throw in some live bait, you might even catch a few fish. You have to find a stream or lake where the trout are biting.