Fly Favorites for the Moonlight

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot many people are familiar with the concept of fly fishing at night, but believe it or not, you can actually find some nice action with a fly rod after the sun goes down. If you’ve never tried it before, though, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Today we’ll list a few flies that are great for the moonlight, which will help you start things off on the right foot.

Bass anglers who know what works will be quite familiar with mice. The same concept works with flies. Work the banks with a mouse pattern by making it act like a panicked rodent that suddenly found its way into the water. Twitch it, pop it, swim it—basically, make some noise—and you’ll be pleased with the results. The finer details of the pattern won’t matter too much; just be sure it has a tail.

You don’t have to fish dry flies only to get action on the fly at night. Streamers can actually turn some big trout after the sun goes down. Great patterns include the meat whistle, the kraken, or the widely popular zoo cougar. The key, though, is color. After the sun goes down, nighttime fly anglers recommend going with dark-colored flies, not light-colored ones. In low light, you must remember that fish usually look up, and the water’s surface will be bright, even at night. To capitalize on this, you’ll need those dark streamers to cast a solid silhouette.

While dark patterns work great, your ability to see the fly and adjust accordingly in darker conditions can be as important as a fish’s ability to see the fly in the first place. Buoyant flies like the clown-shoe or elk-hair caddis, or white or royal wulffs are perfect, especially when the water is a little choppy.

Nighttime fly fishing can be a great way to enhance aspects of your skills that may have otherwise remained dormant and untested. Relying on senses other than sight will challenge you, but the flies outlined above are great go-to’s for the situation. Use them well and you’ll have moonlight success on the fly in no time.