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Old 10-26-2011, 01:40 AM
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Default night fishing

how many of you guys out there fish at night when its almost totally dark? i was fishing tonight and it was more difficult to cast and just fish period ive seen people with head lamps but does anyone do it with out that? i know i fish in the dark alot when just regular fishing with bait or lures but i just couldnt get it with the fly rod maybe its because im still a beginner but i would just like some input haha thanks
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: night fishing

Hi.
You get used to night fishing as years ago the only fishing we did was late afternoon & night Fly Fishing mainly after work during the week,the main thing is to get some casting practice beforehand,also it's important you periodically check your Leader & Tipit for Wind Knots,however you will from time to time still get the occassional knot.
You can tell when you have had one & not checked The Leader or Tipit,it's usually when you loose a nice fish as it breaks the Tipit & takes the Flies.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: night fishing

I fished only at night for browns out west, and fish a lot at night, or into the night for tarpon. As Liphooked said, you get used to it. You can also fish shorter leaders and slow your reverse timing down some.

The head lights are only used to re-tie flies or hunt for something, and should not be shining on the water.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: night fishing

I fish at night (midnight to dawn is best) for stripers in the warmer weather.... and I don't even own a headlamp.
While casting, you need to listen to what your line is doing. You can tell by the sound if your fly is fouled, you've got a tangle, or if you've picked up any weed.
Also get used to counting the number of strips you make on your retrieve so as to know when it's time to pick-up for the next cast. You can also whip a thread bump onto your line for the same purpose, but I've never found that necessary.

Keep your light off whenever possible, but when you do need to use it, turn around and face away from where you're fishing. Even better, walk away
I carry 2 lights all the time. A tiny one, like a single LED for changing flies or whatever plus a mini-mag on a cord around my neck for finding my way around. Having the two lights is also handy when one fails.

---------- Post added at 10:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:48 AM ----------

more..
Not only can you use a shorter leader at night, but you can get closer too and fish with a shorter line. Larger than normal flies too which is especially handy when dry fly fishing
Most people will tell you that a black fly at night will show a sharper profile.
I not only do I not believe that, but on one occasion that I vividly remember the fish would only take a fly that was all white. That was hard to figure out since it was so contrary to the "common knowledge".
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

Yup, good advice from the guys. You will get used to it and it's surprising how quickly your eyes will adjust to the available light--

It's a good idea to really be familiar with an area in daylight before heading off to fish at night so you're not stepping into any holes and have a sense of where everything is-- both the snags to avoid as well as the "fishy" parts to cast to.

Like the others have said, use a light only when absolutely necessary -- I use a simple Ray-O-Vac head lamp (that I wear around my neck, not around my head) with 3 LEDs-- the first switch turns on a red LED that allows you to see enough to tie knots and navigate slowly down a trail but doesn't ruin your night vision. the other 2 LEDs are white one for close up and one that's a bit more powerful and bright-- which I avoid if I can. They're only $17 or so and include 3 AAA batteries.

If you're new to fly casting and fly fishing in general, consider pinching down the barbs-- the hooks will be a lot easier to get out of your backside-- Many folks feel this is good practice anyway to make it easier on the fish they catch and release, but it's a good safety precaution for us humanoids too, especially when hooks are flying around in the dark.

If you don't want to spring for a Head Lamp and have a small mag light flashlight, you can loop it on to some heavy string and wear it as a lanyard around your neck-- this will let you use it hands-free to tie on flies etc.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

another point..

Fishing after dark is not the same thing as fishing at night.
Unless there's an active ongoing hatch, any dusk initiated feeding push is going to die right off once it's fully dark.
The main reason for this is that just like us, it takes awhile for the fish's eyes to adjust to the darkness.
A second reason is that the fish are changing feeding patterns. Trout may even move to a totally different section of stream.
Fish feel a lot safer in the dark and may feel safe enough to move to somewhere that they wouldn't go during the day. Somewhere where there's more food than cover.
Usually this all takes at least an hour and then things s-l-o-w-l-y build up to night time feeding levels. In the summer this is often close to midnight.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

I did some night fishing in the early fall, and the best time was around 2am. Rip is absolutely right about the fish's eyes having to adjust and the bite switching off for a while.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

thank alot guys yeah i am fairly familiar with the area and i was there a few nights ago and its crazy the ammounts of fish jumping and eating off the surface thats when i caught my first fish but it was only like 6 inches away from the shore so i didnt have to cast at all but im going to try there again as much as i can at night (they close at 7:30) ive been locked in a few times and had to jump my way out
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

Ray Bergman, in his omnibus "Trout" posited that night fishing for trout was illegal in certain jurisdictions out of kindness to anglers, not out of protection for the fish.

I haven't flyfished at night, so I don't have any opinion for or against. But I did find it a humorous observation.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: night fishing

I have fished at night almost every night for weeks. Most nights I don't stop till midnight or later. There are a couple things that help. Get those little clip on LED lights for your hat, or better yet a cap with them built in. In previous years, I used the clip on type. They, as small as they are have a tendancy to pull your hat down over your eyes, or at least in that direction. This year is the first year I have used the ones built into the brim of the hat. They help you see things like rocks where you are wading. I have been seriously been considering a wading staff as well. I just about went down the other night, and up here, night has been below freezing for a while. Not a good time to going for a swim. I use a spey rod most of the time and finding the marker is a tad ...... frustrating on my Albright. When I use my Meiser, most of the time, it has a piece of shrink tube as a marker for the head on my line. I can feel it go through the guides, and can feel when it hits the tip. With the cap light I can use either line. Trust me the cap light is a good investment. Most of them have all kinds of stupid things you don't need, Blinking red LEDs, nonsense like that. The best ones have white and Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet charges glow in the dark stuff better. I have an ice fishing UV light on my lanyard that is apparently a different wavelength than the typical headlight. It seems to charge my flies brighter and faster. If you use glow in the dark flies, and I would suggest you at least give it a try, you may want to find one of those as well. Its made by custom jis and spin. It's about as big around as a nickle and maybe 3/16th of an inch thick. You squeeze it to light it. Night fishing is pretty interesting in a number of respects. I used to do it gor Largemouth all the time. You can go to a place and catch 2 and 3 pund Bass all day long. Come back to the same spot at night and never get a Bass smaller than 4 pounds. The big Walleye here right now have all been after dark. Generally at least an hour after dark. There was one evening that was an exception, but just the one. You may need to change a few things around to adjust to being in the dark. It's worth it most of the time though. Here's a photo I took the other night with my hat with the light built in. The reason it's lit is because it's almost impossible for the guy with the camera to tell where you are in the frame without the light on when it's pitch black out.
Click the image to open in full size.
In this picture I was experimenting with putting the cap light on the strap of my waders. Like I said, they kind of pull your hat down no matter how light, and I mostly use them to charge flies anyway. They do help wading.
Click the image to open in full size.

Also, wear safety glasses.
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