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Optimum Water Temperatures for Fly Fishing

Part of the Fly Fishing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Fish don’t do much if water is too hot or too cold, so you might not want to waste your time fly fishing in certain weather conditions. Use this guide, (along with a thermometer) to decide if you’re going to fish or stay home and clean your fly gear. (All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.)

Type of Fish Lower Limit Optimum Upper Limit
Freshwater
Bluegill 58˚ 69˚ 75˚
Brook Trout 44˚ 58˚ 70˚
Brown Trout 44˚ 56˚– 65˚ 75˚
Channel Catfish 55˚ 82˚– 89˚ na
Coho Salmon 44˚ 54˚ 60˚
Lake Trout 42˚ 50˚– 59˚ na
Largemouth Bass 50˚ 65˚– 75˚ 85˚
Muskellunge 55˚ 63˚ 72˚
Northern Pike 56˚ 63˚ 74˚
Rainbow Trout 44˚ 61˚ 75˚
Smallmouth Bass 60˚ 65˚– 68˚ 73˚
Walleye 50˚ 67˚ 76˚
Saltwater
Bluefish 50˚ 62˚– 72˚ 84˚
Bonefish 64˚ 75˚ 88˚
Cod 31˚ 44˚– 49˚ 59˚
Dolphin Fish 70˚ 75˚ 82˚
Fluke 56˚ 66˚ 72˚
Red Snapper 50˚ 57˚ 62˚
Redfish 52˚ 71˚ 90˚
Snook 69˚ 70˚– 75˚ 90˚
Speckled Trout 48˚ 72˚ 81˚
Tarpon 74˚ na 100˚+
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