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Night Fishing

Trout after dark, on a fly rod. Night fishing for trout is accompanied by legend. Tall tales are easily masked in shadow, and the truth is dimmed once the sun sets over the horizon. In this category are many tips and tactics to break through the legends. There are also some tall tales.


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Night Fishing Tips/Tactics

Night Fishing for Trout: Part One — People, Places and Things

on
July 11, 2018
The allure of night fishing arises from a mystery. We pursue unknowable things into the darkness and sort through the unpredictable behaviors of trout to catch them after the sun goes down. There are no experts in the night game, and that itself is what secures the puzzle — a simple lack of information. There is no treasure map after dark.

In large part, we fish because of what might happen. While night fishing, we begin to realize that anything can happen.

The best night anglers harbor a deep humility that black water and shadowed trout have forced upon them. Night fishing is full of failure, and any effort to spin it otherwise is foolish and transparent.

Most often, it takes an angler who cares more about the journey, about discovery and learning, than tangible results. Because night fishing beats down even the most ambitious among us. The empty net grinds on you. The bleak loneliness takes a toll. It’s the anticipation — the anxiety. You’re left exhausted by forever pushing a natural fear of the dark to the back of your mind. The late hours and early mornings make you feel thin — because the rest of life doesn’t wait for you to catch up with it. Night fishing trips are the only times I drink coffee after 9:00 pm.

Truth is, there are so few dedicated night anglers out there that good first-hand information is scarce. Second-hand information and hearsay, however, is rampant. Mousing, big black streamers, new moon and low water: these are the oft-repeated expressions and tactics that are supposed to work. But do they? . . . . .

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Night Fishing Philosophy Stories

Hell-Hot Sun and the Strawberry Moon

on
June 29, 2018
I’m not a big fan of summer.

It’s the heat. Thing is, you can’t really get away from it. If you want to be outside in all seasons (and I do) you have to somehow make friends with or tolerate the weather. Against the cold of winter, you can add layers to fend off most discomfort, but in the summer heat, once the shirt is off and the flip flops are on, your done — that’s as cool as you're gonna get. So there’s no option but to mow the grass, play baseball and have the family picnic in a thick, wet blanket of summer heat. People still tell me that I’ll get used to it. I doubt it.

The same people also tell me how much they love summers. I don’t believe them. I think they like the idea of it, and they like the parties, the parades, the fireworks, the longer daylight hours and the lax work schedules. But the actual season? The weather? Nah. Bitching about the heat (like I’m doing here) seems like another common summer recreation from the list, and I see a clear majority looking for the next air conditioner, cold lake or swimming pool.

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Night Fishing Stories

Night Shift — Tracks

on
January 19, 2018

** Note: This January 2015 post is rewritten and revisited here.
So many of our favorite waters are accompanied by railroad tracks, and walking the…

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Night Fishing Stories Tips/Tactics

Back in Black — The Night Shift

on
July 11, 2017

Night fishing requires some sacrifice. High catch rates are exchanged for a couple fish large enough to fill out the net — a hopeful…

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Night Fishing Philosophy Stories Tips/Tactics

Of Mice and Fishermen

on
June 26, 2017

Night fishing isn’t for everyone. And for that I’m thankful, because the prime attraction for me is solitude. I like the exquisite loneliness of…

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Night Fishing Stories

The Shallows Below

on
August 16, 2016

— This is the companion chapter to The Shallows Above, published a few days ago.

… I’ve done this nighttime thunderstorm thing before. Two summers ago,…

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Night Fishing Stories

The Shallows Above

on
August 12, 2016

The thunderstorm came from nowhere.

I’m not much for weather reports, and I hadn’t checked. I’d simply walked out of my garage and looked at…

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Night Fishing Philosophy Stories Tips/Tactics

Calculated Fun

on
August 9, 2016

 

The other day, my friend, Austin, mentioned something about me being a calculated fisherman. I guess I come off that way. The real truth…

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