Fishing at Night & Murky Waters

by Fly Fisherman

Night Fishing
Bucktails and streamers, which imitate minnows both in looks and action, are especially good for night fishing, as that is the time big trout do most of their minnow feeding. If you really want big trout, you should learn and use night fishing methods. The first requisite is to know your water thoroughly. Make a study of it in the daytime. Spot just where you think the trout will be, where you should stand to cast, and how long a line you need to fish each good stretch of water.
Incidentally, you should learn to measure the distance you are casting by the line you have stripped off your reel and shot through the guides of your rod. This is one of the things you learn in tournament casting; it certainly comes in handy in night fishing.
Casting with a bucktail or streamer at night is done just as in the daytime. Use a slightly heavier leader at night. Better use one tapered to .011 inch diameter, as you don’t need as light a leader to keep the trout from being frightened and you may have to stop fish short to avoid logs and rocks you can’t see. Besides that, the trout you get run larger. Be sure to take a flashlight with you. Don’t use it when fishing but for changing flies or leader, and for taking fish off the hook —you hope!
Sometimes at night you can get good results fishing a buck-tail much as you do live bait—letting it drift down into the good holes on a fairly slack line. You may vary this by twitching the line rhythmically with the rod tip. Watch closely for signs of a trout; strike quickly and firmly, but not with a jerk.
If bucktails don’t produce for you, put on a lively minnow. There just isn’t any other way of catching so many big trout as by night fishing for them with a bucktail—or live minnows or worms.

Bucktails are also good for fishing the murky water that comes with a rise in the water level of the stream. An action retrieve is even more important here. A spinner-and-bucktail often does well in these conditions. One of these methods, or the use of live bait, is usually the only way to take trout in high and murky water.
Try to fish the early part of the high water stage before the water gets too muddy. In the early stages, trout feed ravenously—underwater and close to the bottom. Later on the water will be so discolored that the trout can’t see to feed. In murky water, watch for the mouths of feeder brooks. If the water is clearer there, they should produce. The water near stumps, logs and rocks is usually clearer than the rest of the stream.

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