Night fishing is not for the faint of heart. Night fishing in February? It could be considered border line crazy. Double hauling into the wind, hearing nothing but the sound of your streamer whizzing past your head can be a little frightening to say the least. Despite the risks involved and at times uncomfortable conditions, throwing flies in the dark definitely has its perks. Chris and I showed up at the river a couple hours before sunset with the plan to stay well after dark in search of some trophy trout. It didn’t take long to hook into a couple beautiful wild ‘bows.
White Tipped Fins and Beautiful Colors
Soon enough, the sun set and we began targeting fish in an area a little more conducive to night fishing. The first hour after dark went by without as much as a bite. This wasn’t too out of the norm, as things usually seem to pick up 2 to 3 hours after the sun has gone down. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we headed upriver to our next destination. With the air temp a meager 3 degrees above freezing and the wind howling like crazy, we bundled up and made our way back to the river, hoping for the best.
Perfect Weather for February Night Fishing
It didn’t take long to locate where the fish were holding. Chris was the first to hook up. One of the most exciting aspects of night fishing is never really knowing how big the fish you have on the end of the line is. During the daylight, you can usually catch a flash or glimpse of a trout and from that gather a general idea of it’s size. Night fishing requires the aid of a head lamp, and until you see what is on the other end of the line, images of monstrous trout will be running through your imagination.
Chris with a Silver Rocket
Another one of my favorite things about night fishing is how dependent you become upon your sense of feeling. The fish don’t hold anything back in the dark, and most takes are violent. With that said, it can still be difficult to get the hang of hooking a fish. Learning to strip set makes all the difference in the world. There’s nothing quite like strip setting into a big ‘bow, and hearing it rocket straight out of the water in the darkness.
One of my First of the Night
The fishing continued to pickup as the darkness really set in, and catching a fish every 10 to 15 minutes became the norm. As we walked along the shoreline, we noticed that the water’s surface was littered with dead baitfish. Although annoying at times, the wind was actually helping us in this case. Each toppling wave brought the snack sized meal a little closer to the shoreline. It became evident why the fish were concentrated so heavily in this area. What fish doesn’t want an easy meal?
Chris with Another Chunky ‘Bow
My Best ‘Bow of the Night
The fishing never slowed down, but around midnight we decided to call it quits. Chris had school the following day and I had a few things I needed to take care of as well. Of all my night fishing trips, this one was by far the most successful that I’ve ever had. Although we didn’t catch any river monsters, I’m already looking forward to braving the cold and doing it again.