Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

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Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by OneHairyArm » Thu May 22, 2014 12:22 pm

It’s 7.00pm on a manic Monday night. The kids are finally in bed – the 2 year old has been awake since 5.30am, and is well and truly passed it. His 4 month old sister is still up to her old tricks, and has passed out on her mother’s boob. The dishes are done and I’m making my way riverside to REM’s ‘Night Swimming’, the song has just enough time to fade out, as I kill the engine and pull the handbrake.
As I set up riverside, the cold air leaves me breathless. The incessant noise of SH2, slowly been drowned out by the …… river. I spend the first half an hour trying to capture a night photo, worthy of the evening, but many failed attempts later the allure of the water is just too much, stuff this thinks I. I’m going fishing. This is the realm of men, for whom personal time is an anomaly.

From the end of the summer season the fishing around here can become increasingly harder. The bigger fish are moving on up to do their business, the fish that do hang around are maidens. Fish up to 2lb, will be your mainstay. This year has been better than most. The floods that in the past devastated the younger fish, have thankfully been absent, and good stocks of small fish have flourished. Much to the advertisement of F&G. Never before have I seen so many fisherman on the Hutt during the day. Luckily for me they vanish with the sun.

The beauty of the Hutt really comes out at night. The street lights on SH2 act as both your friend and fiend. Too much light across your beat means lining your fish even in the relative darkness is still possible. Finding a run is as simple as parking your car. The fish move into the shallows, in the knowledge they will be hidden from any threat. For newer members to the sport swinging wee wets down and across can be the easiest way to get on the board. Minimizing casts by water loading the rod first means fewer wind knots and less chance of fly’s becoming imbedded in an ear. Building the confidence of casting by feel rather than sight.

The system is very basic. Starting in close, a cast is made 45degrees across and down, the fly is allowed to swing across the current, following the line with your rod tip. Once the fly(s) has finished its swing and the line is parallel with the bank you are standing on, strip the fly in slowly a couple of meters. Nothing? No! Cast again this time a bit further across stream, and again let the fly swing across the current. 90% of the time a fish will hit on the swing, and all it takes is a quick flick of the wrist, or a strip with your stripping hand to set the hook. After searching the water step down stream and start again. I usually take a step after each cast.

I tumble though my depleted fly box , not too many to choose from. A few meters down from the starting point, my fly ceases to swing, a quick tug from a nice Hutt brownie, embeds the barb of my March Brown into the first of the night. A short time later I release a 3lb fish and smile to myself for doing absolute nothing to warrant such a pretty fish.

My fly choices are as basic as the method itself. Anything small and dark will surely result in fish. My favorite the simple Red Tag has resulted for more fish than I care to remember. Tied on a size 12 or 14 long shank, a tuff of red wool for the tag, peacock hurl body and a twist or two of black soft hackle and you ready to go. I have found with newer dubbing material, my old favorite has received a makeover. I now tie it with black ice dubbing instead of peacock hurl, with deadly results.

With the fish safely back its time for a fly change. I swap to a Red Tag, and smile to myself, as the next section of river is splashed with light from SH2, and experience tells me what this means... An iridescent swirl, tug and a miss, fish number 2 gone, well beaten my friend, well beaten.

One magic night, while trying out my new adaptation to the Red Tag, I was well rewarded with six fish in quick succession. By the third fish I was intrigued as to the success of my new found favorite. Then it dawned on me. The fish were hitting the fly once it came into the luminated area under the street lights. The next 3 fish confirming my suspicions. Whether or not the fish were waiting in the lighter areas due to it being easier to see food or not I do not know. I believe the dubbing creates a shimmer when in these areas that is a trigger for the fish, as I have fished the same areas before with the normal peacock hurl Red Tag without these exceptional results. Maybe it was just one of those red letter days.

As I release the third fish for the night, I thank the night, snip off the fly and head towards the dew covered car, not another person in sight. A siren screams down SH2, a truck’s engine brake reverberates through the valley, the constant noise of life rings back into life as the peaceful sounds of the river dissipate into the fog.

Swinging wee wets may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly hasn’t been trendy for many years. I like to think of it like this. If the Switchers are the hipsters, and the nypmhers the jocks, us wet fliers are surely the C grade students, we will never be in the lime light. We wee wetter’s are the forgotten, never to be called glamour hogs. A hooked fish will most probably result with a calm quiet ‘Hmmph’ than the wild ‘Wahoo-ing’ of our brethren. No camera clicks of a heroic release or the obliging grip n grin. No a fish to the net would most likely result in the flick of ash off a cigarette, than the flash off a canon. Wee wet fishing will never make ESPN, but it is perfect for people who work late, or in my case who have young family, who once finally all in bed can race out the door and within 10minutes be catching a few fish. And if you are really lucky then maybe, just maybe they would be caught on a piece of bamboo.

"If you want to catch beasts you don't see everyday.
You have to go places quite out of the way.
You have to go places others can't get to.
You have to get cold, and you have to get wet, too" Dr Seuss.

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by piwakawaka » Thu May 22, 2014 12:35 pm


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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by SteveO » Thu May 22, 2014 1:25 pm

Very cool read. Thanks Matt

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by J D » Thu May 22, 2014 3:08 pm

Very Nice Matt! You are definitely a man of many talents! Excellent read!


"When My Ship Comes In, I'll Probably Be At The Airport"

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by Whio » Thu May 22, 2014 7:30 pm

:) nice Matt. I could just visualise you out there having a blast!

Some of my life I spend fly fishing, the rest I just waste!

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by Secret-Creek » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:13 pm

Nice work Matt! And it is hard work, especially a well thought out story like that. Thanks for sharing. 8-)

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by the_skunk_whisperer » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Really nice read. I dunno how to do quotations here but I especially liked this bit:

"A siren screams down SH2, a truck’s engine brake reverberates through the valley, the constant noise of life rings back into life as the peaceful sounds of the river dissipate into the fog."

Gave me flashbacks of the time I roughed it in my car a stone's throw from the Little Grey bridge and a convey of mining vehicles drove over the bridge about 4am with all their little sirens flashing through the mist. Was a real shit trip that one, probably why that's all I can remember about it. :lol:

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Re: Night Fishing Derves a Quiet Night

Post by Wacker » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:50 pm

very nice, enjoyed that!

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