Best Fly Fishing Environments

Published on:

Every fisherman has their prized fishing hole. Often times it’s a secret destination, the location of which they’ll guard with their lives. If you don’t have a favorite spot you return to time and time again, don’t give up looking. Continue reading as we cover some of the environmental factors to look for when searching for that perfect fly fishing destination.

Perfect fly fishing environments


Although fly fishing always involves some similarities, the environmental factors you’ll look for will ultimately depend on the kind of fish you’re trying to land. A hunter doesn’t look for the same thing in environments where he’ll find bears as he does for environments where he’s more likely to find deer. Fly fishermen should think the same way. So let’s take a look at where to fish based on the kind you’re hoping to land.

If you’re out to find little fish like crappies, sunfish and bluegills, you’re best off searching lakes and ponds with relatively warm water. They can also be found in rivers with warm water too, though you’ll have to cast by weedy shorelines and bays. In the spring, panfish are easy to find along the shoreline where they congregate to spawn. They form oval nests that appear like light colored depressions. These fish are also attracted to just about any manmade structure. Docks and duck blinds are often good places to throw a cast around.


When people think of fly fishing, they almost always imagine a trout on the other end of the line. If this is the type of fish you’re looking to land, you’ll want to head to coldwater. Any body of water trout live in must be cold all year round.

Finding that cold water, though, is only half the battle. If your line isn’t getting any attention from them, it’s possible the trout are resting or hiding from predators.
Trout take to the bottom of deep pools when they’re resting. There they can hide under the currents. They’ll also seek out logs, foliage, large rocks, holes and other shoreline features that provide cover.

It’s often easier to first check if they’re feeding. Areas where trout feed include eddies, around weed beds and portions of the body of water where the current moves slowly. If it’s early in the morning or late at night, your best bet is the shallows of a stream.

Bass and Pickerel

These two fish both make meals out of panfish, so you can usually hope to find them the same way you find their prey. Of course, they’re also known to go after minnows, frogs and crayfish too. In a river, you can expect to find these fish wherever there is a break in the water’s flow. Predatory fish often hide in these types of places and let the food come to them.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

If you design your own lures, be sure to keep in mind the season you’ll be fishing in. During the colder months, the insects your fish hunt will be of darker color for example. When spring comes, you’ll start seeing brighter colors.

It’s ideal to find your fishing hole closer to home. That way you can get there more often and you don’t have to be too disappointed by days when the fish aren’t biting. Before you go driving hours at a time, be sure you’ve checked all the options close to home.

Most fishermen look to get out on the water as soon as possible and set up so they’re ready for the fish when they start coming out in the sunlight. This is a judgment call on your part, as other fishermen think late morning or early afternoon, when the sun is already out, is ideal. Experiment with the best times.
As the goal of fly fishing is landing fish, your ideal environments will depend completely on where those fish are. Of course, knowing exactly where they are won’t be of any help if you can’t create a convincing lure and make it sit on the water like the real thing.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

AnglerWise Avatar


Leave a Comment