Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Of Mice and Men

It's something that I've wanted to experience for a while...the rush of hearing your fly being crushed by a large predatory trout, in complete darkness. Little did I know such an event would be so hard to create.

Fly fishing with mouse patterns turned out to be a tough gig. Last night around midnight, Cody, Garret, Chris, Riley and I (yes, that many people), all headed out in hopes of enticing a large brown trout to crush a mouse pattern. All of us had never done the midnight mouse thing, and we were excited just to experience throwing big flies in pitch darkness. We had done some research and talked to some people who are practically pros on the topic. The only thing left to do was try and put it all together.

Greeted by the glowing eyes of many deer, we walked our way carefully to the river. Splitting up was a must. Cody, Garret and I all went downstream, while Chris and Riley started fishing from the top. Even with friends, the darkness was a little creepy. The eeriness began to set in as we turned off our headlamps and began to fish. We ignored the sounds of deer running through the bushes as we fished for a trophy brown.

About an hour into fishing, it happened... I heard the splash of a fish taking my fly. I set the hook only to miss, and re-casted. I heard another splash of a fish but missed again. Then, nothing. It was quite the moment, to hear something hit your fly and not know what it was or how big it was. Could it have been the huge brown I was after? The world will never know.

Fishing in the dark was a whole different world. Despite not being able to see, it felt like I was casting a lot smoother than in the daytime. Eventually as you get used to not seeing where your fly lands, you develop a sort of sixth sense of how much line to cast with and the placement of your fly. It was a very cool experience. A while later we met up with Chris and Riley, just as Chris hooked up with a fish which turned out to be a large pike minnow instead of a brown trout. Still a very cool catch.

Chris with his pikeminnow (Photo by Riley)

The temps were getting colder so we decided to head back. Besides, it was approaching 4 o'clock in the morning. A lot more can be learned about this night fishing deal. I'd like to say that last night I learned a lot, but I know I haven't learned anything until I actually catch some fish. This surely wont be the last time we are out fishing in the middle of the night.


  1. Until I read this post, I had never heard of fly fishing in the middle of the night! Sounds scary, but I want to try it! I'm surprised that the fish rise when they can't see the fly. Congratulations to your friend for catching that large pike minnow! That's great!

  2. Thanks Kim. It was a little scary, but a ton of fun. Typically, Brown Trout are nocturnal feeders and do a lot of "hunting" after the sun goes down. Hopefully we catch some browns the next time we go night fishing.