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In any weather -- Fishing at night

Use black or dark colored flies and fish them close to the surface. The fish will see the pattern as an absence of light. This is a time that you can get away with fishing larger sizes of flies and you won't spook the fish as easily as you will during daylight hours. The bigger flies give the fish an easier visual target to locate. If in doubt as to which pattern to use, go with a Black Muddler, Black Woolly Bugger or a black egg sucking leech with a red or chatreuse head. The deer hair Mice and Rats fished close to the shore are also very productive for big browns. Many folks tend to fish the lighter or white fly patterns assuming they show up better. Yes, they may be more visible to the fisherman but not to the fish. Keep the cast short. Remember, if you aren't a water thrasher, the fish will settle back in around your feet. It takes some practice to get your timing and to develop a feel for the bite at night but the potential brown trout action will make you a believer. Anyone else have any favorite fly combinations at night worth sharing?
:professor
 

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Thanks for the info, Half Buck. I'm going to fish Pass next Saturday and plan on fishing after dark. Haven't had tremendous success at night there, but I'll take your advice and use dark big flies and see what happens!
aaron j
 
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I really like bunny leeches in the dark colors for bass at night. The first striper I ever got on a fly rod was at night on Ana Reservior. I actually landed the fly on the bank and just pulled it to the water. I couldn't see very well but the bass couldn't have been more than 10' from the shore. I thought I was pretty smart casting to the bank until I checked the condition of my hook points. I've also been on Merrill a few times in the dark and caught some decent browns on big, dark caddis flies. I have to agree with Hikepat on the Browns in Merrill though. They really do seem to be on the decline. Its a one fish limit and I think people are keeping them.
 

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Stephen Mull
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I fished Pass Lake last night from about 10-12. I swear, that lake and I don't get along. I have fished it all times of the day using all different types of strategies. I had heard good things about using white zonkers at night at Pass so I was using mostly those. Maybe that was my problem. But, even during the day I can't catch a thing. I have tried chiros, wooly buggers, muddlers, zonkers, floating line, type III line, intermediate line, etc. After getting frustrated at Pass Lake today, my buddy and I headed towards Lone Lake where we got a ton of hits and quite a few landed. What is it about Pass Lake?
 

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1. Pass Lake is actually very technical water. Some of the finest fly fishermen in the country fish it, practice C&R, and the fish become very educated. Consider yourself a damn good fisherman should you get a few.:thumb
2. Night fishing is really good in some places, particularly with a black leech.
3. It can be very dangerous and should never be done alone. Things happen at night that are very unexpected and you might need help quick.
4. I have trouble night fishing because after hitting the water hard all day, I like to get into my cups, have a nice, big fat dinner, and then roll into the sack. Let the young do this. They are crazy and will do most anything. Me, I've had enough of that stuff.:beer1
5. I'm working on a new fly just for night fishing. I'm going to call it, "Babs Secret Nighttime Killer, the Stuffed Starling. Don't give me a ration about starlings; everyone knows they are taking over the world so a few less here and there is no big. And yes, I know it's illegal to possess any song bird.
Actually I use black chicken rump feathers for my imo. I use a 5/0 hook (Mustad #8846) and black thread. No tinsel or plastic crap. Just a natural looking dead starling who fell in the stream or lake or whatever.
Absolutely essential that the fly not me moved. Remember, fools, that dead birds don't move!:rolleyes Babbo
 

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Stephen Mull
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Bob-

Thanks for the ego boost. Pass Lake really poops me. Especially after reading some of the stuff and seeing pics about/from Pass. How deep are teh fish feeding after dark? What does one do on technical stillwater? I understand what makes a river or stream technical, but how does one begin to conquer the technicalities (please dont question the terrible usage of that word) of a technical lake. I am one of those young whipper snappers that is "crazy and will do almost anything" although I would put it in different terms :beer2
 

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After having spent many days in my high school years getting skunked at Pass lake, I finally met a man who gave me some good advice bit by bit over time. Here's what I learned.

1) Where is the wind blowing? There is almost always wind at pass lake. Anything on the water will get pushed that direction.

2) What depth are the fish at? Go to where the wind pushes the water to the shore, go into the wind about 30 yards. Start with a chironomid, blood worm, etc. and fish a foot off the bottom. Let the wind push you into shore. If you don't get a bump, go 30 yards out again and a foot higher. Repeat and you will eventually find the depth but may not get consistent strikes. Even if the fish are feeding pretty selectively, if you are fishing the right depth you will generally get a bump from a smaller stupid fish.

3) What are they feeding on? This is the hard part and it changes constantly at pass. Chironomids are a big part but don't be afraid to mix it up. The New Zealanders love to use a blood red to almost purple color (hemoglobin) for emergers. I've had good success modifying standard patterns (prince, hare's ear) to include these colors and have had success.

4) What retrieve do I use? If I'm not fishing chironomids, the next question is what retrieve do I use. I have no clue with this one. I have had success dragging a bugger around pausing, rowing super fast, pausing, etc. and on other days, couldn't catch a thing doing this. I've gone low and very slow, and have had success and other days nothing. That's part of the challenge of this lake. It's never the same the next time I go.

I don't live by it anymore so I don't get to fish it as much as I like. It's always a treat though.

Hope this helps.

Pete
 

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Alot of good info there. I actually don't do alot of night fishing. Probably mostly like Bob, I fish hard all day, I just want to get a nice cup of Joe, or my favorite "beverage", get a nice hot meal, then relax. I'm still young (but just hurt so can't fish right now), so still am adventerous. The above info it right on though. I use strictly black/brown for night with virtually no flash. I read an article several years ago (must've been around 89') that said to use dark as possible. I had been using as bright flashy as I could. BUT, there is a new trick that has worked for me the last two seasons though. But this is STRICTLY on steelhead. It goes COMPLETELY overboard on the bright side. I tie up with flourescent glow in the dark materials. The WHOLE fly. Maybe some hackle that will absorb the glow. I don't fish BC that often (I hate the Cow), but we have group get togethers there, so I don't try to party poop (plus the campfire discussions/dinners are awesome, I'll be running the turkey deep fryer this year :D ). But, have experimented there last couple years. You can see the fly drift through (but still can't see the fish. You'll see the fish approach in reflective zone and take the fly. I usually wait a couple seconds to see if it actually takes it and set the hook. Haven't foul hooked on yet. I also don't plan to do it much either. Maybe for the dusk hours, but not pitch black. I don't like being in total darkness fishing. I'd rather be snuggled up next to my girlfriend. LOL
 

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Patrick
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Only the Rainbows and Rainbow cuts were on the scawny side. The few Browns we did catch and the many Cutts were all well feed and fat in the middle. The Cuttthroat seemed to be doing well and using the streams to make more of them. I guess the small creeks being dry so much of the time do not allow the Browns to breed. I still enjoy that lake alot and had fun taking one very large Brown on a sparkle green leech pattern. I could not get it up the last 2 foot on the 6x I was using but got a very good look at a very nice fish very thick through the middle.
The Rainbows seemed to be not getting any food at all the were quite snake like in shape and had little fight to them.
I still need some work on the big fish on 6x. 5 large trout over 16" hooked in the last 2 weeks and only 2 landed. The rest broke the line in the middle so at least its not the knots giving out. Even the one landed on Sunday a nice rainbow taken at Rattlesnake forced me to replace the poor worn out line after its photo and release. But the fish so red in color along its side was worth the cost of some 6X.
 

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Stephen Mull
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I feel like the biggest variable I have had problems dealing with is what depth the fish are feeding at. When I am not fishing chiros, I was using a type III line and felt like that was too fast of a sink. So, I bought the Cortland Camo intermediate sink, thinking that my problems were solved. Now I feel like my fly is not low enough. I was going to give up on Pass Lake, but hearing these replies makes me want to keep at it and figure it out.
 

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I fish Pass Lake pretty often, almost once a week and I have always had good success on white colors at night. After reading the previous post last night my buddy and I did a little experiment. We both used floating line, he used a black zonker and I used a white zonker. We both caught fish, but at the end of the night the white zonker ended up proving itself with the victor taking the largest fish a big 20+ brown and also got about 2 to 1 takes. However, this doesn't mean this will happen everynight, but from experience don't rule out using white at night.
 

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I think it may have more to do with where the fly is in the water column as to which one is more visible to the fish. If it is on the surface and the fish is below, then it makes more sense to use the black fly to give a better silhouette. But if the fly is submerged and at an equal or lower level than the fish, a lighter color against a dark background is going to show up better. But I'm a human; it's not easy thinking like a trout("What to eat today-bugs or baitfish? bugs or baitfish? bugs or baitfish?....) Aaron J:dunno
 
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