Most Popular Fish For Fly Fishing

If you’re new to fly fishing, most likely, you will start fishing for salmon or trout first. Here in the US, they are plentiful and fun to catch. 

The best time to fish for these species varies by species and location. Some of the most popular locations are in the Western United States and Alaska. 

If you have never been fly fishing before, you may be wondering what does a beginner fly fisher need to know. 

Here is a quick rundown. 


Salmon is considered among the best game and sport fish by anglers all over the globe. 

Five species of Salmon are native to North America, which are Atlantic, Coho (silver), Chinook (King), sockeye (red), chum (dog), and pink (humpy). 

Among these species, Sockeye salmon is the best-tasting, while Coho and Chinook are the most popular game-salmon. Chinook is the largest of the Salmon species, while Coho’s has an impressive jumping ability.

Salmon fishing

Salmon Fly Fishing

Fly fishing for Salmon is best between May and September, but Silver salmon can go as long as November.

The most exciting time to fly-fish Salmon is during “salmon runs.” Being anadromous, salmon return to their freshwater birthplace to spawn. In different states of the US, these runs take place at other times. 

Spring Rivers, Summer Rivers, and autumn rivers can provide optimal fly fishing spots during this entire season.

The US is native to five pacific Salmon species. Each species has a specific time during this season when they are ideal for fly fishing. In some northern areas, 15 July to 15 August is considered sufficient time for fly fishing for Salmon. 

In Alaska, each species is fly fished during a different part of the season, depending on their spawning or migratory patterns. 

The best time of the day to fish for Salmon in summer is from 6:00 to 7:30 AM, and at dusk, when the sun is setting, from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Salmon have an excellent nocturnal vision. They can be fished after sunset. 

Salmon fly fishing

Best Salmon Fly Fishing Locations

The Wildman Lake Lodge, Alaska Peninsula

The season starts here on June 15th and ends on October 25th. The place preserves the fishing spirit as it was in Alaska about 30- 40 years ago. 

Guests can roam around in fast boats with the help of their guides to find the perfect spots for fishing in nearby rivers, such as the Sandy, the Bear River, the Meshik, or king salmon creek.

You may be asking yourself, “Is fly fishing difficult?” Well, it’s not. Even little kids can do it. 

Different Salmon species found are Chinook salmon (king salmon), sockeye salmon, Coho salmon, and Chum salmon. The season is sub-divided for the species. 

The Wildman Lake Lodge, Alaska Peninsula

Best Dates For Each Species

  • June 15th through July 15 for King Salmon
  • July 15th through August 15th for Chum Salmon 
  • August 15th through October 10th for Coho Salmon

The Ocean River provides a crystal clear environment to fish for Coho and Silver Salmons. This sport-fishing stream will even provide a great catch during heavy rains, as the water remains clear no matter the conditions.

Freshly arrived silvers can be fly fished when the “salmon run” is made from the sea. A large number of Coho can be caught on the surface using flies as well.

When fishing here, anglers recommend a few different flies. The most commonly used flies are Fat Freddies, large intruders, and large bunny leeches with different color variants. 

Ayakulik River, Kodiak Island – Alaska

The season runs from June to September. 

This remote area is an ideal spot for sport fishing. Anglers can fish alongside the road, in one of the largest brown bear populations in the US. 

The island provides access to remote rivers such as The Karluk, the Sturgeon, the Ayakulik, the Uganik, Dog Salmon Creek, and Olga Creek. Anglers should see great action at any of these locations.

Best Dates For Each Species

  • June 15th through July 15 for King Salmon
  • August 20 through September 15th for Coho Salmon 
Salmon catching

Trout Fly Fishing

Fly fishing for trout is what most people think of when they think of fly fishing. Not only are they fun to catch, but they are also delicious.

Trout are fished all year round. Trout can be best caught from spring to fall, which is from June through September. In the Spring, the trout are hungry and are aggressive. They will strike familiar flies quickly.  

Throughout spring, fly fishing for trout is ideal. The best time to fish is from 7:00 to 11:00 AM, or from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. 

During summer, look in hiding places where the trout hide to avoid the sun. The best time to fish is 6:00 to 9:00 AM, or after 5:00 to dark, especially if there is strong moonlight.

In the fall and the temperature starts getting colder, trout get lazy. They are still active during the warmer part of the day. The best time to fish them is from 7:00 to 11:00 AM or late afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 PM.

Trout fishing

Best Trout Fly Fishing Location

Kvichak River, Alaska

This place is a legendary spot for trout fishing. The average length is from 20 to 26 inches. They can grow up to 30 inches here. The aerial acrobats of these beautiful creatures are also mesmerizing.

Best Time For Trout

The season starts from June 1st to October 15th. 

  • In June, large rainbow trout invade the water to feed on small sockeye. 
  • From August 15th to October 30th is excellent for rainbow trout. The biggest trout are caught during this timeframe.
  • June is the best time to catch trout on streamers, from August 15th to September 15th for larger trout.

Good luck and happy fishing!