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VermonterMay 16th, 2008, 6:19 am
Posts: 15An excellent book on night-fishing is James Bashline-Night Fishing for Trout. I use dry flies at night and Bashline used almost all wets. The book mentions using wets even during a hatch. I enjoy dry flies so I have never been able to switch to wets but I thought I would get some other thoughts and ideas from people. I know night-fishing locations and tricks are looked at like trade secrets but I thought I would post night-fishing as a topic b/c it is that time of the year.
SofthackleMay 16th, 2008, 12:30 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
I've tried it and find it difficult. I believe wet flies WOULD work best since most of what you are doing at night will be based on touch or feel rather than seeing the fly being taken by the fish. If you can find a copy in a local library or used book store, a book called "TAKING LARGER TROUT" by Larry Koller is excellent reading on trout fishing with a wonderful section on night fishing. Mr. Koller was a meticulous fisherman and hunter. He left out no details, and while this book virtually goes unread, today, it ranks with Bergman's TROUT as one great book on trout fishing.

My best,
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
QuillgordonMay 16th, 2008, 12:43 pm
Schuylkill County, PA.

Posts: 109
The library is a good choice as 'Softhackle' suggests.
If not there............ try here:
Amazon link
Flyfishing is a state of mind! .............. Q.g.

LittleJMay 16th, 2008, 12:49 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
With exception of 2 hatches on 2 streams i've all but given up night fishing w/ dry flies. These days I prefer 4 1/2 to 5" big uglys and a 7 or 8wt. If it were tolerable to fish dry flies on those 2 streams during those 2 hatches during daylight hours I would give them up as well. Plus it is a lot easier to pull a fly out of the tree that I WILL get stuck in when it is attached to 1X tippet. Just my $.02 on the topic.
Al514May 16th, 2008, 5:45 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
I have considered doing the same thing this summer - 5'' black leech on my 7wt with sinking line maybe? - not sure about what line yet, but my question to you, is how successful have you been with this technique?
VermonterMay 16th, 2008, 7:25 pm
Posts: 15I'll find the Koller book on trout, thanks. I have his Shots at Whitetails-excellent book. I guess we should mention Joe Humpherys and George Harvey two night-fishing legends. An excellent video is The Night Game by Joe Humphreys.
I started by fishing the Hex and now just enjoy using big dry flies. The size and number of fish at night is part of what drives me. It does seem crazy sometimes and I'm glad more people stay with day fishing but when you start catching large trout it seems worth it.
Night fishing is a different "game" to be sure. Not all water is great for night-fishing but when you find the right spot it is worth it.
LittleJMay 18th, 2008, 1:11 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
I have to admitt that I am far from an expert w/ streamers, but I have done well. I don't catch the volume that I would during a spinner fall and a dry fly, but those aren't the fish I'm after when i'm throwing these things. My best advice it that you can't throw a streamer that's too big.
WbranchMay 19th, 2008, 5:54 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
"My best advice it that you can't throw a streamer that's too big."

This is very good advice. 4" is okay but you can easily go to 5"- 7" streamers with 15# tippet and #1/0 or #2/0 hooks.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
VermonterMay 19th, 2008, 6:59 pm
Posts: 15I'll give the streamers a try when the hatcch slows down. Thanks. I have had some luck on the Pine river with streamers during the day.
BrookloverMay 20th, 2008, 4:32 pm
chester county pa

Posts: 20
How do you guys see what your doing? I have a hard enough time bait fishing at night. Heck, i have a hard enough time fly fishing during the day!
LittleJMay 21st, 2008, 9:16 am
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
I wear an LED headlamp, but you really should fish streams that you know really well. Strike detection is pretty easy with a big streamer when it starts going the other direction you have a fish:)
VermonterMay 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm
Posts: 15Night fishing takes some work. The best advice is start with a place you know well. Of course if you can go with someone who knows the game it is best. As far as flashlights go it is good to start with two (and /or a headlamp)and as time goes on you will use them less and less. On many nights you can see more than most people would think. Many night fisherpeople(?) do not use a light at all, and some think it spooks the fish and should only be used when need to get to the water or off the water.
I started by just staying out later and having more luck as time went by. I fish out of a canoe most of the time and if I have a partner the person in the bow just fishes and we move to active fish or productive runs. All I can say is give it a try if you get the chance and you might be surprised. Good luck!
Al514May 22nd, 2008, 5:26 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
Has anyone ever tried it on a small stream in hopes of a bigger fish? I would imagine that that would be a little harder because of less space and the fact that you would have to move around a lot to get to holes you want to fish. You would really have to know the stream you're fishing I guess. But has anyone had any luck on a smaller stream at night?
VermonterMay 22nd, 2008, 6:35 pm
Posts: 15I'm sure small streams would work but more work as you mentioned.
CaseyPMay 22nd, 2008, 7:00 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
But has anyone had any luck on a smaller stream at night?

yes. went at sundown to my favorite 10x40 foot pool on a nifty little run, fished the hatch at dusk, and then having lucked out in position and fly, just kept fishing. when it was completely dark with a light summer sky, THE BIGGEST TROUT IN THE WORLD grabbed my #16, bent my 3WT double and took off. my reel made the most amazing noise i have ever heard. feel alone was not enough to guide my stripping and release of line, and as i frantically tried to turn on my hat light so I could see which way the fish was going, something got snarled. after one more yank, he was gone.

what i learned: trout are much bigger at night than in the day time, and grease the light switch.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Shawnny3May 23rd, 2008, 6:47 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Great story, Casey.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Jmd123May 23rd, 2008, 8:45 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Hey guys, I haven't been on here in a few but I figured it's time, now that we are on one of my favorite topics. I LOVE dries at night! Not just the big Hexes (which I actually haven't fished for a while, gonna make it this year though!), but try the Rifle River around the same time of the year with Light Cahills - the hatch peaks around 10:00 p.m., just like the big guys. Actually, a size 10 White Wulff works exceptionally well, too...not to mention a Royal Wulff in the same size, should there be no active hatch. Hell, I LEARNED how to fly fish on the Hex hatch (Maple River, Emmet Co., MI) - in the beginning, that WAS fly fishing to me!

My best advice for night fishing with dries is use something you can see as long as possible! The above-mentioned White Wulff has always done it for me.

Something I've thought about but never done: chucking a deer-hair bug around on trout waters at night. I like to tie some pretty small (size 10 standard dry fly hook) deer hair bugs that are just deadly on bass & panfish. Hey, Mr. Brown, here's a little froggy for ya...


P.S. Fishing update: just local warmwater for me so far this year, but it has involved several nice 14-16" largemouth (two of them earlier today), black crappie on the dry fly, a few little smallmouth (up to 10"), and a big fat 10" rock bass (last night on the Huron River behind my apartment). Both mayfly and caddis hatches are on heavy in the Huron but no surface feeding activity yet...

P.P.S. I have Jim Bashline's book as well - interesting reading, but I think I'll stick to the dries myself. I did tie a bunch of patterns out of that book, haven't gotten anything on them yet.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
VermonterMay 25th, 2008, 7:03 pm
Posts: 15Light Cahills - on some rivers after the cahills the later hatches start. I use White Wulffs (all sizes)and other colors- pink and black, brown and gray. I have some black but never had much luck. In Aroostock County in Maine one summer I went into a grocery store and looked at the local fly options and all they had was a hugh tray of Wulffs in all colors and sizes-I guess if it works why fix it....
Another good book is Brown Trout Fly Fishing A Practical Guide by Chris Francis. Focus is on large Brown trout- has a chapter on night fishing. Interesting points- the only knot he uses is a double surgeon's loop for attaching fly to tippet (smaller loops do come with practice as he mentions). I have used it for about five years now and never had any problems.
BGrnFlyfishMay 28th, 2008, 2:11 pm

Posts: 37
When you are fishing at night, If you are on a smaller river and dont' have to be in the water to fish, do you still have to be as stealthy( crouching and crawling to get to a spot?) or can't they just plain not see in the dark? I will be giving it a try in 2 weeks or so!
Seth-Big Green River, WI
Shawnny3May 28th, 2008, 2:17 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
You still have to be stealthy in that you don't want to splash around and make lots of noise or movement, but you can definitely approach trout more closely at night. I believe trout to be much less wary of predators at night, and on pressured water they are also less used to having fishermen around at night, both obvious advantages to you. Remember though that the night sky may not be as dark as you think, and you will probably still form a silhouette against it.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

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