Hermit Island, Me [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hermit Island, Me

07-05-2000, 10:12 AM
Well as usual, I underestimated how much camping with young children can dominate a trip and keep you from fishing. I did wet a line a bit and explore. Basically the word down there is (as expected) everything is 2-3 weeks behind.
Water is cold, mackeral are just starting to show up. Striper fishing is very slow. What a nice place though.
Did some night fishing too. It's probably just be me but it just seems like flyfishing at night is just plain dumb. Good to be back. Now...about those tunoids....


i'm so outta here
07-05-2000, 12:01 PM
Terry - I understand the sentiment regarding night fishing. Intuition says it's insane to hurl a sharp hook around at 50 m.p.h. in the pitch black. However, with a little practice and some common sense the risk can be drastically reduced.

First and foremost, know the spot you are fishing very well and use a head lamp. Walking on slippery rocks is hard enough in daylight, in the dark it can be deadly. A good bright light that can be operated hands free is crucial for both getting to and fishing your spot (ever try to tie a clinch with your eyes shut?). Second, reduce the amount of line you attempt to throw. 70 feet in the dark is next to impossible and in most cases unneccessary. The cover of darkness has an added benefit: you don't need a hell of a lot of distance between you and the fish. I've had strikes in the dark three feet away from the rod tip (usually on the lift for the next cast). Your frustration level is greatly reduced if the amount of line you attempt to work with is kept under 40 feet. Also, when casting, open your loops a bit. This makes night fishing in the wind a bit tough but keeps the wind knots in the leader to a minimum. Third, get used to <b>feeling</b> your cast. Try casting in the back yard with your eyes closed. It will take a few tries, but eventually you'll get a decent one out there. Try to remember what it felt like and feel for it again on the next cast. A lot of times fishing at night you're never really sure that your getting it out there except that it feels right and -- oh.... fish on!!

Some of the best SWFF I've ever done was done at night. If it's dumb to do then I guess I'm prince of the imbeciles

Bob Pink
07-05-2000, 02:00 PM
Terry, I speak from a limited experience base but I've got to echo Al's comments. I've night FF'd both from the boat and shore and feel that I'm much more in touch with my casting stoke at night. I seem to be more patient, feeling the rod load before starting the next part of the cast. No argument that when things go wrong, tangles in the basket, tip wrapped line etc, etc... it's incredibly frustrating. Of course all this would be moot if it wern't for the fishing. Again Al hit's it on th head, these fish are much more acessible from shore at night. You don't need to rip out a hero cast to reach them (most of the time). Finally for me the aesthetics of fishing under a summer moon with a beach or stretch of water virtually to myself, heightens all my fishing senses, anticipating when a hit will come, sensing the fly moving in the water all add up to a great segment of our fishing opportunities.

$ 0.02

07-05-2000, 03:59 PM
I'll reiterate the safety factors. Fish places you know or have at least scouted in daylight. Avoid Rocks, Cliffs, Jetties & quick drop-offs. Use a head lamp. Fish during the moon. Take advantage of "back lighting". Watch out for wind. Avoid heavy clousers. Fish with a partner. Carry a compass. Bring bug juice. And so on.

I really like to fish quite bay beaches, estuaries & inlets at night, particularly on outgoing tides. If you come from a spin fishing background "Bass & Blues at night are the rule, not the exception." To each his own.

07-05-2000, 03:59 PM
All right you guys. I've heard these same sentiments in overwhelming majority the last time I whined about night FFing. Before I get another trouncing, let me say in my favor, the ffishing I've done with you guys at claves has shown very little evidence of productive night FFing. You guys talk a good game but results are weak. Remember when you all flew out of the campsite at Nickerson? What were your rewards? (inject sound of crickets creaking).
Yet, on your advice I still try. I got a nice headlamp, I throw less line as Al suggested above and still, snags, mishaps.
I say all this in good spirit. I like a lively discussion and remember I still try to night fish. But geez, it seems so insane when I'm out there. I think to myself.."I should be in bed resting for the REAL fishing of daylight!"


07-05-2000, 04:43 PM

I'm not forcing anything on you. I'm just saying what I like. I'm a night owl by nature & not a particularly good morning person. There is however an old striper addage "for every striper caught during the day 10 are caught at night." I don't know if that's true, but I remember that 47" beast that we saw come off a certain RI jetty one evening last fall.


i'm so outta here
07-05-2000, 06:51 PM
Terry - I'm not saying there aren't nights like the one at Hardings, but man! you should have seen the action the night before at the Race! I personally didn't too well, but Greg hooked 20 and landed 14 on spin gear and Gregg and Mike did nearly as well on the fly. The fact that I did rather poorly has a lot to do with the state of mind I was in. My head was everywhere except in that spot.

My point is not to make excuses for myself but to echo what John M said on the subject a few threads ago: "if you think you're not going to catch fish, chances are you won't." Fishing really is a state of mind. I would say keep trying and don't give up on it just yet.

I absolutely love fishing at night for many of the reasons Bob mentions but also for the sheer energy of the fish at that time of day. I think there's no question that stripers lean on the nocturnal side of the circadian cycle. I know you're a man of action so I'll forego amy further attempts at persuasion. We'll just have to drag you down to the Cape with us for our next crazy all night adventure and let you see for yourself just how much fun this can be.

07-05-2000, 08:22 PM
Terry, et. al. -

I am not the most enthusiastic night FF'er either but (a) I've had incredible fishing at night along the southside beaches, Outer beaches, and Chatham light - including some of the biggest bass I've landed on the fly (b) Harding's was a slack high situation and as soon as the first part of the ebb started Chuck landed several 10 pound blues with ease on bait. Roop and I were there on a nighttime ebb (same spot) and I hooked a number of good fish that night (c) There's a great guy named Tony Stetzko on the backside beaches who would show us how deadly night fishing is any day of the week.

The reality is that night fishing is more likely to produce cow bass from shore on flies than any other time of day... but night flyfishing requires a new level of learning and familiarity that is not as intuitive as daytime FFing. For me, it's not as enjoyable as day fishing but there have been some nights that are far more enjoyable than many days.

I planned on adding a few notches on my night fishing statistics this season; so far I have been working on my Monomoy frequent flyer card. Monomoy is diametrically opposed to night fishing... sun high, shallow, stealthy flies... visual. Night fishing is done by feel, casting, stripping, and &gt;thwonk&lt;. Both can result in huge bass.

Anyway, this thread has rekindled an interest in doing some hardcore night fishing... my initial call would be Morris Island refuge, half moon clear night with light wind, work toward Stage outlet particularly on the sandy shoals along the nape of the last lobe. Tide... I'd think ebb for holes; flood for shoals and short to shore. Free parking all night. Known presence of large bass, my son got his first keeper on a fly today across the channel at the extreme tip of North Monomoy flats just a couple hundred yards away (photo coming!). Clear white sand to use as a background for a dark fly, moon for fish looking up. And yes, this is just across from Hardings

07-05-2000, 10:27 PM
See new thread. It needed renaming badly.