Trout Fishing After Rain – Expert Guide Tactics And Tips

Trout fishing after a rain can be one of the best times to fish

Is Trout Fishing After A Rain A Good Time To Fish?

Trout fishing after rain is often the best time to be on the river and as a river guide I will tell you why trout fishing after the rain can be so good, or why it can be so tough, and I will share the tactics that I and other river guides use to catch more trout after a rain.

These 3 reasons why trout fishing after rain is good. 1. The rain knocks bugs off vegetation and into the river and the runoff brings in extra food for the trout that wasn’t there before. 2. The rain will reduce clarity which makes the trout less cautious. 3. Big trout will start feeding more because the smaller bait fish become more active.

I have experienced days when the fishing was very slow for hours and then after a brief rain shower, all of a sudden it seems like every trout in the river is eating everything.

Make sure you read through to get my bonus tip on catching more trout in dirty water after a rain.

Trout Fishing After Rain Means Lots Of Food

Lots of bugs like this get knocked into the river during a rain
Lots of bugs like these get knocked into the river during a rain and this can cause a feeding frenzy for the trout.

Raindrops will knock bugs out of the air and off the grasses and bushes along the river bank creating a false hatch or an influx of insects in the river.

It can go from limited bugs in the water before the rain to bugs everywhere after a rain, and the trout know that it won’t last long so they often go on a feeding frenzy.

As a fly angler, this works to your advantage because you have a box full of flies and often after rain all kinds of flies can work especially beetle, worm, and grasshopper type patterns.

Don’t worry if you are a spin angler because you can still take advantage of trout fishing after rain because you can fish flies with your spinning rod using two very effective methods. In fact, these two methods are very effective even if it hasn’t rained. Go to my page How To Fish Flies With Spinning Gear: 2 Best Methods

The rain also causes runoff from the hills and banks and small insects like ants can get carried into the river adding to the insect already there.

Reduced Water Clarity Can Be Good or Bad

A river after a rain
This river is usually gin clear but my client is fishing and catching a lot of trout because of the reduced visibility from last nights rains.

The runoff from clay banks, farmer’s fields, and other areas can cause the water to start to become less clear and this can be a good thing when fishing for trout. As long as it doesn’t go muddy brown the fishing can be excellent. I discuss my tactics for very muddy water below in my bonus tip.

A combination of an influx of food and the water becoming less clear is great for fishing. Big trout tend to lose some of their cautiousness when the water is less clear and they can be very aggressive and easier to catch.

After very large rains the river can go muddy and the visibility to can drop to only a few inches and this makes it very difficult for the fish to see your bait.

During this time you’re not going to catch any fish so it’s best to wait until the water starts t drop and clear up which can be a time when the fishing is excellent.

Big Fish Feed After The Rain

Big trout fishing after rain
This big brown trout was caught on a 4 inch streamer pattern and was the 3rd one of this size in 20 minutes. Most angler are lucky to even catch 1 a year like this from this river.

I know that I and many of my buddies will often make sure we are on the water and fishing for trout after the rain because this is a time when the biggest trout will feed and can be easier to catch. Not only is the water less clear, but all the fish, the baitfish, and the trout will start feeding.

There is more food for baitfish like minnows, chub, and smaller trout that those big trout like to feed on. And while those little fish are quickly feeding on tiny bugs and letting their guard down, those big trout start hunting.

Best Tactics For Trout Fishing After Rain

Float fishing for trout after rain
Float fishing for trout after rain with baits like a worm or a fly can be very effective

Depending on the river the best tactics for trout fishing after a rain will be different. Fly fishing with small flies and big streamer patterns can be a great method. In fact, streamer fishing is my go-to choice when trout fishing after a rain because it produces some of the biggest trout.

Float fishing with baits like worms can also be very productive because the trout are looking for food.

Spin fishing with lures is a lot like streamer fishing and can produce some big fish after rain.

Best Lures For Trout Fishing After A Rain

Lures for trout fishing after rain

When the water is off-colored, or dirty and the visibility is lower it’s better to use lures that are slightly bigger and ones that make noise, like the Vibrax Spinner or a crankbait with a rattle in it.

The fish will be able to detect the bait with their lateral line and move in close before they even see the bait.

A larger lure gives them a bigger target in the dirty water but brightly colored lures can also be a great choice in off-colored water since the trout can see it better.

Another lure that works very well for trout fishing after a rain is a lure called a Kwikfish, It is slow-moving so the trout have time to see it in the murkier water and it has a very enticing wobble that trout, steelhead, and salmon can’t resist hitting.

You can get the Kwikfish at Bass Pro Shops – HERE

See Best Lures For Trout Fishing

Best Baits For Trout Fishing After Rain

A trout with a worm fly in it's mouth
A trout with a worm fly in its mouth. Worms are a great for trout fishing after rain.

After a rain, the fish can be feeding on anything but there are some baits that might work better.

Worms are an excellent bait when fishing after rain because there may be a lot of natural worms out at that time. For advanced tips and advice on fishing with worms check out my page Fishing With Worms For Trout and Steelhead: 10 Guide Tips

Pink plastic trout worms are my go-to worm when fishing for trout after a rain and I find that these 3-inch plastic worms will fish better than live worms most of the time. I prefer the 3-inch trout worms from Berkley or the Mad River worms. I have also done very well with red worms when the water is off-colored.

Larger baits and bright-colored baits that stand out more in the off-colored water can also be a good idea. Even baits like spawn bags can be good or trout beads can be a great option. Check out my pages Fishing With Beads: 5 Guide Tips For More Fish and Spawn Bags – Guide Secrets For More Fish

As mentioned earlier flies are an excellent choice when trout fishing after rain. Large flies like woolly buggers, stonefly nymphs, and egg-sucking leeches can be a good option. The larger flies stand out more amongst all the debris and other bug coming down the river.

Best Flies For Trout Fishing After Rain

These are some of my favorite flies for trout fishing after rain:

Can You Catch Trout After A Heavy Rain?

As long as the river is not too dirty then you can catch trout after a heavy rain.

Fishing for trout after a heavy rain can actually be very productive because of how much nutrients and food that can now be drifting in the river.

If the river has gone very muddy and there is very low visibility you will struggle to catch trout after a heavy rain but I have a few tips for you that might help you catch trout after a heavy rain.

Bonus Tip – Fishing Dirty Water After A Rain

This trout was caught in the clear water from the creek that enters behind me in the picture
This rainbow trout and a few others was caught in the clear water flowing in from the creek that enters behind me in the picture.

When the river gets really muddy the trout simply can not see your bait and that makes trout fishing after rain very difficult and catching trout can be almost impossible.

When the water is this dirty, you can keep on trying, move to another river, go home, or you can try to find clearer water on that river. My bonus tip is to try to find clear water near smaller creek mouths that enter into a bigger river.

Sometimes these small creeks won’t get dirty after a rain, or they will clear up quickly.

The outflow of the clear water will eventually mix with the dirty water but often just below where the creek enters the bigger river it can be clear enough and it can often hold some feeding fish.

I have caught a lot of fish at these creek mouths when the rest of the main rivers is to muddy to fish.

Got A Question About Trout Fishing After Rain

If you have a question or tip or methods that works for you when trout fishing after rain, just let me know in the comments section below.

Tight Lines


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