Sometime last week I said that I was done night fishing for the year unless a good warm front came through. Well, earlier in the week we had a warm spell and night fishing was back on my mind. My buddy Gabe was coming up from Utah for the weekend and I thought to myself, what better way to get the weekend started than a little night fishing. I had planned on hitting our usual spot but decided to try elsewhere when Chris showed me another potentially awesome location. Chris and I scouted it out earlier in the day and found the water looking just as awesome as expected. We only threw a few casts because both of us had places to be. We did each land a fish, which was a good sign for the trip back. Chris wasn’t able to make it last night, but we were both pumped to see what beasts would come out to play once the sun went down.
Gabe rolled in to Rexburg around 9:30 PM. We got rigged up and wadered up at my apartment and headed off to the river. In case anyone was wondering, walking through a thicket of bushes in the dark is a rather intimidating experience, especially when the area is known to be thick with moose. Despite my scouting of the trail earlier in the day, it took us twice as long to get to the location, but we finally made it there around 11:00 PM. The fishing was a little bit slow at first, as it usually is when fishing a new spot. My first set up wasn’t getting any love so I switched to a new pattern I had tied up the day before. It was nearly pitch black so I decided the bigger and darker profiled fly would be easier for the fish to see in the water. A few casts later and I had hooked into my first fish of the night.
At first, I could not really tell how big the fish was. He ran pretty good for a while and then he rocketed straight out of the water. That’s the first time I’ve ever had a 20″+ brown jump out of the water. They usually dive straight for the bottom of the river. Anyhow, I could tell by the splash that it was going to be a big fish. I searched around for him with my headlamp and was able to catch my first glimpse. I started hollering like a mad man for Gabe to come over and to bring his net with him. The fish made few more runs and eventually tired out and I was able to land him. After a little celebration and snapping a few pictures we sent the big guy on his way.
My Biggest Brown Trout To-Date
Quite the Kype!
My happy bucket was more than full after landing the fish. We kept fishing the run for a little while longer but thought it’d be best to head downriver a while and let the hole rest. In the process of searching for the fish with my headlamp, I spooked a whole lot of other browns. They aren’t too fond of the headlamp shining in the water. We fished the lower end of the run for quite some time without much luck. Gabe had a couple of hits but they were short striking the fly. 45- minutes had gone by and we figured we could head back up the best part of the run again. A few minutes later, Gabe hooked into his first fish of the night.
Gabe’s Brown Trout
We continued fishing for another hour or so but didn’t have any more luck. There is one thing that I attribute to us catching any fish and that is the use of a stinger hook on the flies we were fishing. Both fish were barely hooked in the corner of the mouth by the stinger hook alone. This means that the fish were really short striking tonight. Stinger hooks are a great way to eliminate the problems you get with short strikes. The fishing never did turn fast and furious but we were both able to catch a fish. Night time is when the big boys really come out to play. This past warm front was enough to get me out again and I’ve decided I’ll probably keep night fishing until it is too cold to do so.