fishing after dark

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 5 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #6414

    partsman
    Participant

    Tuesday, my day off I went up to one of my favorite northern Michigan streams. I arrived about 11:00 am, and began fishing upstream using a attractor pattern of which I’m not sure of name for orgin, it was given to me by a guy I used to work with who had a place on the Ausable, and had a good knowledge of local patterns. During the day wading upstream there decent hatches of sulpurs and some other larger mayflies and I had some great fishing. After sundown closer to odark 30 there was a great hatch of larger mayflies. The air was full bugs and there were fish rising everywhere. Unfortunatley for me I could not see my fly even at 15 ft. to figure out if mine was getting bit or not. That was a parachute borchers drake. I guess I need to go bigger on the parachute. I was surprised I could navigate the river as well as I did. All and all a great learning experience, I love still learning everyday. Anyone else fish at night?

    #6415

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Not in Colorado. There are areas on the plains like the tail waters of the Arkansas River outside of Pueblo you can do that, and the Saint Vrain below my house you can as well, but the fishing isn’t that good in that area because the fish seem to stop and hang out in Longmont just west of me.

    The areas that I go are so rough and rocky, and footing even in broad daylight is questionable sometimes. You can’t ( or shouldn’t ) move one foot till the other is firmly planted. We get that rock snot in many areas which makes wading even harder. The wild trout waters on the Poudre River get it bad, and it’s almost enough to make you give up just because of the danger involved.

    I stepped around a big rock near the bank one day as I was wading, and I stepped in a hole where I went under. If my son wasn’t standing on the bank reaching for me, who knows what would have happened.

    Our freestone waters are just too dangerous to wade at night, which is too bad because I have heard many reports that in the Cache’ La Poudre River giant browns come out to play grabbing mouse patterns.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Scotty MacFly.
    #6417

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    Sounds like a great experience with or without catching fish. No, here in New Brunswick, fishing is closed from 2 hours after sunset to 2 hours before sunrise. As with many of our unusual rules, I believe this one was devised long ago to address people poaching atlantic salmon at night with lights, pitchforks, nets, you name it. Unfortunately, it applies to ALL waters including lakes that hold only bass and pickerel, and rivers that never saw a salmon.
    I must say, though, my limited experience with night fishing would fall in line with what Scotty said and what you experienced. For me, so much of the angling experience is visual that I just am not interested in the stumbling and bumbling. Even on a lake in the dark, I’d rather just ‘be’ there than attempt to fish. Just me, though. I know people DO love it.
    brent

    #6418

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    Unfortunatley for me I could not see my fly even at 15 ft. to figure out if mine was getting bit or not.

    Night vision goggles! 😉

    My dad loved to fish at night from a boat, mostly jigging or trolling for walleye in N. Ontario. I went along but pretty dull business to an adolescent. Much more fun casting a cork popper for largemouth and pike in the morning.

    Tried night fishing on my (former) home spring creek once. A stream that was difficult to wade in the daytime became dangerous at night – deep muck, sunken branches, etc. Not to mention there seemed to be double the number of fly-catching trees in the dark. The legendary monster night feeding browns failed to make an appearance as well.

    I’ve fished from dusk well into the darkness many times and many places, but getting back to the trail while there’s a little bit of light left is important for my own safety (except very familiar spots where I know where all the potential problem areas are)

    #6419

    partsman
    Participant

    For most of life I had the same outlook about fishing at night, but I have decided its time to try some of things I have heard about all life here Michigan. The hex hatch is the big draw for night fishing and giant browns are the target, also mousing after dark is very productive. Our rivers here are not quite like those of yours out west, more freestone with lots of sand and some clay, and lots of wood from the lumbering days. The muck creates great areas for mayfly larvae and then of course the great hatches we have here. My favorite river to fish is pretty easy to wade as long as you slow and easy, others like the ausable and Manistee have areas that aren’t so forgiving. Any ways the fishing has been pretty good here although I hate to say we need some rain.
    Mike.

    #6421

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    The Poudre is in flood advisary right now, and I heard that the Gunnison is at 15,000 cfs. I do hope I heard that right. My wife did spell the numbers out to me because it seemed unreal, so I do believe it is at 15,000. I wonder what the Arkansas is like where Creek lives? I bet it’s just nuts. I remember as a kid the Arkansas in Canon City would roar this time of year, but this year, I would imagine it’s even louder.

    I’ll be back on the Saint Vrain tomorrow, but who knows for how long.

    #6423

    partsman
    Participant

    Scotty, be careful that’s a lot of water, I was going on a rant but decided its not worth it. Enjoy your fishing my friend.
    Mike.

    #6424

    Creek
    Participant

    Good fishing on the Arkansas River is 200-350cfs. Right now it’s at 3200cfs. Very dangerous.

    #6427

    partsman
    Participant

    After fishing this past Friday on my favorite N. Michigan river I’m not sure I can even fish effectively during the day light hours. I foul hooked 3 fish missed I don’t know how many and lost another very respectable brown very early into the battle. I may be to geeked I don’t know, I’m looking for suggestions on hooksetting. Anyone have a favorite pattern for hook sets?
    Thanks Mike.
    Happy Fathers day!

    #6429

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Well, I can only speak of myself here, but when I foul hook a fish I believe whats happening sometimes is a fish is actually rejecting my fly and swiping at it, causing it to be foul hooked. At other times, but more rare with more normal looking takes, I think the fish just misses to fly, which to me seems unlikely, but I guess can happen, and by therefore getting foul hooked. In our fast freestone streams & rivers I suppose it can happen. I don’t know about the waters you fish in Mich..

    Under normal conditions, normal being a matter of opinion, when I see the fish take the fly, I just give it a second or two before I lift the rod. It’s almost like the bass fishermen who fish top water lures. They have to pause and feel the pull before they set the hooks. I basically do the same, but don’t wait to feel the pull because a fish will spit the fly out very quickly.

    Now, I fish casting upstream with dries, and when a fish see’s the fly I notice, when I fish the boulder gardens in a river, they will turn and go with the current going after the fly. When they take the fly they will turn back around and face the current again looking for food coming towards them from upstream. It’s when they turn upstream is when I set the hook, and by doing that I see the take, count to two and set the hook giving the fish time to turn which in turn gives a very good hook set.

    But that’s for casting upstream or up and across. If you’re letting your fly drift below you, it’s a whole other ball game. You will end up missing more fish because they are already facing upstream, so it’s very easy to pull the fly out of their mouth before setting the hook. Also, if you do set the hook, since the fish is generally facing still upstream during the fight but downstream of you, all the twisting and shaking will loosen the hook even quicker because there isn’t the tightness of the leader and tippet going against the pull helping to keep the hook in the fish like if the fish is upstream of you. Catching fish downstream can give you lots of issues creating an opportunity for the fish to spit the fly.
    In other words, hooking a fish upstream you will pretty much have constant tension unless the fish gets below you, then you have to fight to keep the tension even more, but can lose it at any given moment if you lose focus or play the fish too long. That’s why you see people losing Atlantic Salmon often because they allow the fly to swing down and across. I see no difference in trout fishing catching fish downstream. You’re going to lose more fish….period.

    I have also said things like hot dog after seeing the take and before setting the hook. That works well too.

    So if you’re casting upstream, give it a second, then set the hook. If you’re casting downstream, I suggest you turn around and cast upstream. Maybe the others here can give you more in depth advice than I can.

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