Fly fishing at night produces fish. It always has and always will. However I have found that, for me anyway, that as far as fly fishing goes it is without consistency.
In an effort to tie a fly that ups catch numbers I firstly looked at all those triggers that weren’t visually based – what helps make a fly more ‘edible’ in low light or murky water? Bulk – its ability to ‘push water’ was at the top of the list, and sound (a rattle or similar) were the only two I could think of that didn’t rely in some way on what the fish sees.
A fly being used at night is mainly reliant on a single trigger – the vibrations it sends through the water via bulk and rattle. I wanted to bring back vision to picture.
So how to increase the visual stimulation on the fly? In comes the rock and surf community. It has been standard practice for a long time for the guys to put a glow stick into their baits when fishing at night. They seem to make a real cocktail of a glow stick and pilchard wrapped in squid. A bit messy for me but a lesson was asking to be learned. Plus the guys I’ve spoken to really feel that the baits that had the glow sticks had a definitely higher hookup percentage.
So it was to the drawing board. First challenge was to find a way in which to not have the glow stick as permanent fixture – it seemed a waste tying a big fly for it to last only one night. Eventually some creative thought and tying using a glowstick clip or light holder and I had a means to replace spent glow sticks. The rest was simple; a standard brush fly tied around the clip and we were A-for-away.
The mount for the glow stick also doubles as a mount for a rattle for those extra vibrations during day light fishing. Unfortunately glass rattles break fairly easily but I have just heard that brass and plastic models are available at some fly shops.
TESTING: The first outing was brief and more to test the castablity of the fly. It was a little heavy but I was still throwing almost a whole line on my #9.
The next night I waited until the tide turned and walked to a deep area know simply as the “big hole” and got fishing. It was slow going and I was on the verge of heading back to the boathouse for a beer when a solid hit got my blood up. A few minutes later another good knock removed the the second glow stick from the fly. I had doubled up on the sticks using a tight fitting piece of plastic tube provided with the glow sticks. I flogged the water for another full hour but no more joy. The weather didn’t play ball for the rest of the week and I found that a whisky in a dry boat house held more appeal than casting in the middle of the night in the rain.
I am confident that with more time, tweeking and flogging of the brine I’ll see some results.
The next test site will be on Farquhar Island during the first week of March. 🙂