When is the best time to fly-fish in Montana? When is the prime fishing season in Patagonia? When should I fish for bonefish in the Keys? There are subtleties to the fishing seasons in every location around the world. Whether it’s a change in ocean currents bringing more food in-shore, or a big snow year causing runoff season to last into the summer, determining exactly when to plan your trip can be difficult.
Your best resource will be a lodge, guide, or local fly shop—though working with the first two to book your trip will most likely yield more detailed information. If you know where you’d like to plan your trip, contact a desired lodge or guide service as soon as possible. Let them know what your ideal trip would involve and ask them when you think you should plan to go. Previous bookings by other anglers will also affect which weeks will be available to you, so consider booking as early as possible based on the best information you have at the time. Often, the most accurate runoff predictions can’t be made until runoff is upon the rivers, which is too late to book most trips. But indicators like a deeper-than-normal snowpack in the northern Rockies in February can help you estimate that you should hold off on a wading trip on the bigger rivers until later in July.
With that said, guides are committed to getting you on the most fish possible, whenever you visit. So listen to their wisdom and plan accordingly—you’re sure to enjoy the experience, no matter what it brings.