When the sun goes down.....


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Now that you have that song in your head, I have a question for those that start early and end late. Yesterday made a suicide run and drove 4.5 hours to fish for 3 hours, hoping to hit an evening hatch. Well....the clouds never materialized nor did the spotty storms. Bright and sunny, with very few bugs. Saw a few small sulphurs and that was about it. Saw 2, maybe 3 rises the entire time. Figured what the hell I drove all this way lets see what happens when the sun goes down maybe the hatch will come off. Well apparently it did...I changed locations, got to the spot and every 15 seconds you would hear a fish take something off the surface.

Turns out fly fishing in the dark can be even more frustrating than in the daylight. Who would of thought. After a few fly changes I took out my light to try and figure out what they were eating. The air was full of insects, mostly super tiny (think like a size 30). And I couldnt pick out anything bigger.

Couldnt even tell if I had a decent drift. Nevermind if a fish ate. With my fly in the water I would lightly set whenever I heard a fish in the general area I "thought" my fly was in.

Is anyone really successful after the sun goes down? Not just lucky? Should I of just tried stripping a streamer? Or is the dry fly game basically impossible in the dark unless theres a good bit of ambient light from a full-ish moon?
My BIL likes to fish buggers and rubber legs - something that splashes and has a lot of movement. Me - time for something cold and wet...

If you are in an area where there are mice, they make an excellent 'dry fly' you can be successful with. If they are just sipping tricos and the like, forget about it...


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Besides the suggestions Rock Creek mentions, I also watch for spinner falls near dark and after. Flies tied with spent wings using Organza have been money at times. It's very hard to see the wings on the water but if you try some, you'll know if you hit it right.
I have had rises all around me right at and after dark , many times it was spinners. Hard to tell sometimes but a size 12-16 rusty spinner will be effective.


Active Member
Yea, I didnt notice any spinners when shining my light. Plus the trouble I've had with spinners is keeping them afloat means a completely drag free drift in slow water. In the dark when you cant see your line 5 feet in front of you, I find that near impossible.

I read elsewhere that one guy likes to use Goddard caddis and swing them.
I used to fish dries/spinners/emergers with some success. But when I lost a fly, trying to tie on a size 16/18 is next to impossible. The eye of a hook on a size 4/6/8 hook is a lot easier. Plus fish like a full meal just as much if not more than an small appetizer. Just sayin'...


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I like fishing a certain LWR and the difference after the sun gets off the water is amazing,like a totally different piece of water.I actually prefer to get there and get set up at that time and fish until it gets too dark.If your water has a good caddis hatch,I highly recommend fishing a diving egg-laying caddis at that time of day.I have had some incredible evenings doing this.


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I make sure to have my fly of choice tied on before it gets too dark, because once its dark you are locked in to your smaller flies.

I have some klinkhammer flies I tie with a neon pink post. I can see them much longer than white posts. I try to time my sets with the sound and partial sight when possible, but once its full dark I try to rely on a tight line to possibly let them hook themselves.

This is very spot dependent, because as others mentioned, once bats come out I am done.

I would also swing a wet fly or streamer in the dark, not a bad option at all and is less risky with the bats.
I fish emergers right after dark at the local lakes.
Keep the line tight and set when you feel the take.
I have fished a dry at the same lakes, but feeling the take is not as good

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