Fly Fishing in the Rain – Tips and Tricks

fly fishing in the rain

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A picture-perfect day for many fly fishers may be filled with blue skies, a gentle breeze, and copious fish ready to bite. However, when the first sign of grey clouds appear, and the temperature dips, most of us pack up and retreat. But, what if I told you that a little rain could actually be your secret weapon for a successful fly fishing expedition?

Let’s delve into how barometric pressure changes and a bit of rain can move the needle on your fishing day. Of course, if it’s a deluge and the river is awash, it’s game over. But, if it’s a light shower, the trout could be more inclined to take the bait.

Fly fishing in the rain-before, during, and after

Pre-Rain Fishing

As a storm brews on the horizon, two critical factors can alter fish behavior, namely low light and a drop in barometric pressure.

Low Light: It’s a well-known fact among fishing enthusiasts that low light conditions are a favorite, particularly for trout fishing. Trout streams buzz with hatches and active fish at the first hint of a setting sun and approaching bad weather. The dimmed light provides more coverage for predatory fish to hunt and feed before the water color and clarity decrease.

low light

This is the time to deploy dry flies for trout. As the hatches start, it’s a feeding frenzy, and your standard techniques with a dry fly will reel in the fish.

Barometric Pressure: The impact of barometric pressure on fish behavior is a topic of debate among anglers. One theory suggests that baitfish and aquatic insects sense the drop in pressure and move closer to the surface to feed or hatch, prompting predatory fish to follow suit. The other theory postulates that fish interpret the pressure drop as a sign of worsening conditions, leading them to feed voraciously in anticipation of decreased food sources.

Fishing During the Rain

during the rain

As the rain begins to fall, your approach needs to shift. In conditions of steady rain, plenty of food washes into the water from the surrounding environment, making large terrestrial flies an excellent choice as hungry trout hover near the banks. If the rain intensifies and the water starts to muddy, it’s time to switch to large, noticeable streamers.

Post-Rain Fishing

The real reward comes to those who persist through the heavy rains. Fishing immediately after a storm can yield some memorable catches, thanks to the long-lasting hatches and active trout. Be ready to switch back to your dry or nymph rig, depending on the water clarity.

Rainy Day Gear

Gear needed for fly fishing in the rain

When it comes to gear, the essentials for fishing in the rain are no different from a sunny day. However, your attire should include a warm, waterproof jacket and, if possible, waders to keep you dry and comfortable. It’s also a good idea to pack a change of dry clothes for after your wet day on the river.

Safety Considerations

Heavy rain can quickly change river conditions, so it’s crucial to know your limits and avoid any risks. Murky water can mask potential hazards, and the water level can rise rapidly. Stay safe by familiarizing yourself with the water conditions and how they’re affected by heavy rains.


In conclusion, don’t let a little rain dampen your fly fishing spirits. Embrace the change in weather and adjust your techniques accordingly. Remember, it’s not always the sunny days that bring the best catch. So, next time you see a storm brewing, don your rain gear, and get ready for a potentially rewarding fishing expedition. Tight lines!

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