trout fishing in the rain

Trout fishing in the rain (Is it worth it?)

Is trout fishing in the rain worth it? Many anglers believe they can make a good catch during heavy rains or in low lit cloudy weather. Is this belief true or another old wife’s fable? Let’s find out.

Monitoring variations in daily weather patterns improves any fisher’s angling tactics. It is particularly important if you specialise in trout fishing. Trout are more active during low lit, cloudy conditions than in bright sunny weather.

This is because the cloudy weather affords them protection from aerial predators, making them more confident to feed in the clear waters of the tailwaters or streams. It explains why some anglers will go fishing in the early cloudy mornings.

Conversely, it is difficult to catch trout when it is sunny because they hide under rocks, fallen trees and cut banks where their predators can’t find them. Also, during sunny days, the water heats up, reducing the amount of oxygen; trout move to colder areas that have more oxygen.

How does rain affect trout fishing?

Trout fishing during rain that is heavy even more productive as the rain triggers lots of trout activity. Insects on the banks and the streamside get washed into the water and are the main sources of food for the trout. Large foam dry flies like beetles and hoppers make great bait as they mimic the ants, worms, grasshoppers and beetles consumed by trout. Several factors contribute to successful trout fishing in the rain.

Cold Rain

In this case, the rain is colder than the water temperature, triggering a lot of feeding activity. The rain may also have a counter effect in that it shuts out the trout completely. This behaviour is triggered by the rapid change in water temperature, which creates the much-needed oxygenated water. Large amounts of hail also trigger trout activity.

Heavy Rains

While fishing in this kind of weather is extremely risky, you can make a pretty good catch. You need to keep the dry fly floating for a while to trap the trout. When I first tried fly fishing in the rain, it was a little frustrating as I couldn’t see any activity for a long while.

A buddy who I had accompanied advised me to use the nymph rig instead of the regular dry fly, and it worked. I noticed most of the trout food had been washed off the trees and the banks during the heavy downpour hence, the trout rarely came afloat looking for food.

Worms are also effective baits because they are up and about when it is raining. You also want to try bright coloured flies if the rainwater has changed the colour of the river. Evidently, you may need to change the bugs you were using before the rain completely.

Light Rain

Light rain does not trigger much activity as heavy or cold rain. The rain only moderates the high water temperature, cooling the warm flows of the day. Only a few fish will appear after a light downpour. The best hatch activity during such weather is immediately after the precipitation.

fly fishing in the rain

Lures Used for Trout Fishing in Rain

Dry Flies

Fishers use a range of dry flies that match the hatch when trout fishing in the rain. Darker coloured flies give more contrast against the grey sky, which helps the fish identify bait much better. You can buy an assortment kit with different colours of dry flies that allows you to pick the appropriate one for fishing excursions; Croch 60pcs / 120pcs Fly Fishing Dry Flies Wet Flies Assortment Kit with Waterproof Fly Box for Trout Fishing is an excellent example. Trout eyes adjust rapidly to light intensity and using a contrasting colour helps catch the fish faster.

Fishing Nymphs

If you are not a fan of dry flies, fishing nymphs are more effective. A double or triple nymph rig is an excellent choice in the rain. Streamers are also very effective when fishing in the rain. It is ideal when you want to catch fish when they have stopped hitting the surface. Start off with dark streamers or those with olive-coloured patterns.

Topwater Baits

The topwater bait is another great lure you should use when catching trout. Naturally, fish are more willing to pursue bait, which causes them to roam on topwater. Lures like the stick baits work exceptionally well for topwater baits.

You also want to focus on the classic schooling areas like the ledges, current seams, ditches or points but keep the topwater bait afloat- you never know when a group comes schooling. The main mistake fishers make when using topwater baits is that they set the hook too soon. As a result, the bait is pulled away from the fish before making a strike. The trick is to avoid setting the hook until you feel a pull on the line.


Spinners that look like small fish with similar colours as those of trout also make great lures. Copper, gold or silver are most fishers’ favourite. Spinners that have hooks hidden in faux fur are believed to catch more trout than normal hooks.

Be sure to cast the line slightly up and across or upstream. Reel the lure in slowly as it reaches downstream. You can bait the lures with red worms or small earthworms.

Rubber Jigs

They are ideal for fishing in shallow creeks with clear water. Most experienced trout fishers hardly use rubber jigs. It is important to attach a small float to the line to adjust the depth of the rubber jig when it is in water.

fly fishing landed brown trout

Where do Trout Sit when it Rains?

Anglers place flies on the slow-moving water along the banks. Most trout rest here after heavy downpour because it’s easier for them to deal with the changes in the water conditions. Trout that were hiding undercut trees are likely to roam more when it’s raining.

Fishers are not limited to this area; they can experiment with different kinds of baits to find out the place with most fish. The idea is to cover as much water in a day. Trout are more aggressive during rain, so you shouldn’t work too hard to catch one. If you are throwing a worm, avoid soaking it too long.

Do Trout Bite in Rain?

Yes, if the item looks like the type of food that trout eat. When it is raining, the river develops strong currents, and the trout has to make a quick decision about things that look like food to strike before the item swims past in the current. That’s why it is important to use lures that create the illusion of a lifelike item, e.g. dry flies that have fur or feathers


You don’t want to cringe in your crib after a heavy downpour when you can catch lots of trout fly fishing in the rain. The discussion offers great insight into what to expect in different weather conditions, how to go about it, the type of lure you should use and the best place to fish trout in the rain. Remember to share the post with your friends. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or ask questions regarding this topic.

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