I’ve read a lot of fishing blogs, and I can’t recall any accounts of a complete shut out. I’ve seen lots of hero poses with gorgeous slabs of wild trout spilling over wet, dripping hands with the flash of a fly rod reflecting in the sun. My RSS feed is filled with accounts of banner days, perfect trips and fish with the feed bag on. How about this …..
I’ve night fished a hell of a lot this year and I plan to keep doing it all through the winter. Why? Because nobody else is, and because I’m curious. I was talking with my buddy Matt Grobe after my last night trip, and he suggested that I should travel more often and put myself over bigger fish for bigger payoff. In truth, I’ve fished my home stream on about 75% of my night outings through the years. In large part,that’s because of the simple convenience — I can be on the stream in less than five minutes — but also because I know that water inside and out. It’s far and away the most consistent creek I’ve ever fished, and if I strike out I know that it certainly isn’t because there were no fish around.
Night fishing is like learning to fish all over again, and my plan has been to fish my home stream often, developing the night skills in the same places where I learned just about everything else about fishing. As the weather has turned colder, I’ve questioned whether I will still be able to find active fish feeding in the dark, and my plan for winter night fishing was to keep fishing my home stream more often than anywhere else, just to try to keep that one friendly element in my favor. However, last night I traveled to a location that we know for a fact holds Whiskey Drinkers and wild brown trout looking for a name.
Three hours. Never had a bump. I had a plan to fish about five sections that I knew well, and I worked all of that water hard; swinging wets and streamers mostly, and then mixing in some dead drifts. The highlight of the night was the monster that I spooked out of some thin water while walking through to the bank. He waited until I was about to step on him before he bolted, leaving a large wake in my red beam and a fantastic “BLUNK” sound. Yes, I had just fished that shallow pretty hard.
Ready for the excuses? How about these: it was foggy, the water was cold, the bait-chuckers raped and pillaged that water over the weekend, the sky was too bright, barometric pressure was low, and “them fishes just wasn’t bitin’.”
Fish count – zero. Redemption awaits.