Time is a precious commodity for many trying to get on the water to wet a line. Unless you are a fish bum or perhaps a retiree, with that window in life to fish when ever…where ever, life is too compacted with duties, obligations, honey do’s and just mental/physical fatigue to overly plan re the question: “When is the best time to fish for trout?”
Barometric pressures trending up or down…moon phases and light…temperatures (water/air)…sunlight and cloud cover…time of day (dawn, dusk, midday) all enter the discussions as indicators of when, where and how to fish. I won’t refute any of those considerations.
In the end, I go when I can get there for as long as I can be there…then I consider the above within the window of time I have been allotted. Some of my initial considerations are do I know what insects and food sources are in the water I am standing beside, in or on this time of year? Do I know under what circumstances they will hatch, emerge, crawl, forage (temperature, light, location) this time of year? This requires some in advance studying.
If I have not been able to do the home work then I just relax, study, observe, experiment and have fun trying to solve the puzzle. On many camping trips (multi-day events) my first day is a wash. By the second or third day, I am most often dialed in to location, timing and the what/how.
Otherwise, I am well armed (fly pattern options…don’t freak out), patient and observant and make the most of the moment. I accumulate knowledge over time for certain locations and then note if my observations lead to consistent results. We know enough that strategic certainty is sometimes elusive. So be it….. Sometimes my propensity toward OCD over planning and thinking robs me of the greater picture, the greater experiences. How about you? Trout Caught & Safely Released