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Old 02-07-2009, 11:47 AM
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Default Night fly fishing

I'm new to fly fishing with some success over the past year. I will be taking our yearly trip to the white river in Ark. in about 1 week. In past years we have fished at night useing a spinning reel with a top water plug like a rattle roge, catching some niece browns. Could someone give me some advise on fly fishing at night Thanks Gregg
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

I'm sure other folks could give you good advice on fishing the White specifically, but just in general as far as fishing at night goes:

1. Be familiar with the area you're going to fish, scouting in daylight first, and if you are wading out on bars, make sure you know landmarks and can find you're way back to the bank.

2. If it's a tailwater make sure you know the generation schedule (or in SW the tides) and wear a watch you can see.

3. I'd also recommend an head lamp (to wear around your neck), so you can have light with arms free. I prefer LED lights which flick from off to Red light first-- they don't destroy your night vision or spook fish as easily as white lights. You can always flick it to the white if you need more light, and for traveling on land back to the car.

4. I would keep rigging fairly simple, and if you're going after big fish, use heavy leaders with big honking streamers.

5. I'd also recommend trying some night fishing locally before your trip. Get used to using moonlight to tie knots, finding stuff in your vest, get a feel for distance based on the feel of the rod load, and just get some shake down cruises under your belt. It's often surprising how much ambient light is around even at night.

It sounds like you'll have a blast. Good luck, looking forward to your trip report.

peregrines
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

Peregrines has this pretty well coverd, the only thing I would say is I have had good luck with big black woolies at night. Like size 4 or 2 in all black.
Good luck
Bear
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

Thanks guys for the suggestions. I have done a lot of night fishing but not with the fly rod. I think I will get buisy tieing some black woolies. I will post pictures when I return. Gregg
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

try something with a big deer hair head like a muddler or a zoo cougar in black that will push a lot of water. Heavy leader too. straight mono works fine.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

Around here, in Brown Trout waters, night fishing is all about throwing big dark stuff on top... big black wulff's or small mice. The best way to practice familiarization with your gear for dark is to do it during the day with your eyes closed (this coming from a photographer who has spent a few hours in darkrooms...) so that you can open them to see where you are going wrong... it's a lot easier to dial in those corrections this way than actually practicing in the dark.

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Old 02-07-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

Gregg-

Don't know the area at all, but if you have boaters zipping around you might want to have a whistle on a lanyard too, along with some sort of waterproof top with a wading belt cinched tight to keep water out if you step in a hole. You can put a vest on over it. Since you're going with friends it would be a good idea to at least keep in voice contact with each other while your in the river.

In addition to buggers you may also want some big flies that push a lot of water-- black rabbit strip or muddler/sculpin type patterns in size 2 and 4, and depending on the line you're using, some heavily weighted ones to fish deep with a floater or unweighted to fish with a sink tip and short leader, which might be a bit easier to manage at night, and also very effective. Casting heavily weighted flies on long leaders at night can be a little hairy, so you may want to pinch the barbs down. If you're throwing big stuff like that a 7 or 8 weight wouldn't be out of place if you have something like that.

I'd add some shad patterns in the event there is a shad kill after a cold snap that can trigger binge feeding.

There are some very big fish down there so throwing some meaty stuff might really pay off.

Not to put the cabosh on it, but I'd also try to give some thought as to how and where you'd land a fish if/when you hook one, and at least have some sort of plan before hand. It can turn into a real circus in the dark, but if you make a mental note of where you can beach a big fish, or where potential snags are to steer fish away, routes you can take to follow it downstream if you need to chase one (without breaking your neck) it might help make a difference if you get a good one on. Better to have a plan and not need it than... Up here in the NE I've seen guys lots of times fishing in SW for stripers casting from places where the chances of landing a hooked fish are exactly zero--- and that's in broad daylight. It can be worse in the dark.

Scouting in daylight also may give you a good idea of stretches of water you can cover by moving, casting three times or so and swinging flies taking 3 steps repeat, to cover a lot of water. It would be good to know where ledges are before hand so you don't step off one at night, or spend lots of time standing where you should be fishing while casting out to unproductive water (And BTW, I've done both more than once.)

And, if you're fishing around rocks, get in the habit of checking your hook points periodically. It's easy to roll a point, or even break off a point on a backcast. I've done that too. You can easily check with your fingers without a light.

It's surprising how much your other senses kick in when you're fishing at night. You should have a great time.

Good luck.

peregrines
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

This all sounds like great advise. Hope to be posting some good pictures in about 2 wks. Gregg
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

All great advice above, i fish for Sea Trout in the UK at night all the time, my most productive fly is a black foam fly, shaped like a small fish, large yellow eyes, crystal flash underbody all tied on a longshank size 8 with a flying treble out the back.
This is the most exciting fishing when you see your fly being retrieved and creating a small wake followed by a larger wake behind it!!!
Cheers and best of luck
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Night fly fishing

gregg, thanks for the ideal man, took the wife and son fishing last night, belive it or not at 10:30 at night it was still 65 here, anyway I caught teh biggest brown I have caught in about a month 18"er.
Bear
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