The Graveyard Shift

Night Fly Fishing for Striped Bass info from TGS

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Don’t wait to cast flies at night. Just start with shorter casts. Learn to fish by feel and sound. During the day, make a cast and retrieve to the point where you normally pick up to make another cast. Take some 12 pound mono and tie a little uni knot at that point and trim the ends close. Don’t tie it too tight, it’ll cut into the line. Put a drop of super glue on the knot. Now you’ll hear the knot tick on your retrieve when it’s time to pick up and cast. At first you might want to wait until the knot reaches your hands. 

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Swim test got the right results so this is my final version: "Skinner Special v2.0" in Alewife color.  This is an 8" 7/0 jig hook paddle tail baitfish pattern.

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 Its a combination of other tiers ideas:

1. The head and body fibers are a Rich Murphy conomo special.

2. The channel lead keel weight on shank for easy of casting distance is based on Mark Sendotti slammer weighting.  

3. Using Gunnar Brammer Jig dropper system to keel fly for correct swim action.  The bottom shot is epoxied on  and the room left on dropper above can allow me to add more keel shot in rip currents for better control.  Or to sink faster. 

958C8FF1-E654-4515-A7D3-DD4A6BA3DEE2.jpeg.ebcfbe45c43ab8ca9c017fe114fcf86b.jpeg

4. The EZ Body rattling tail assembly strategy comes from Rich Murphy's Rattlesnake pattern.

5.  The paddle tail was designed by Carl Harris and is now sold by Pat Cohen's RUSUPERFLY website.

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Just hope I can find some time to fish and some areas that are not closed with all this COVID craziness.

 

 

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I’ve been doing my best to join the dark side this year and do more night fishing in quest of better fish. However, I have run into a problem. I have been fishing crease flies with a rattle

very slowly in a half swing half retrieve presentation that has worked very well during the day. It is still producing strikes at night but almost no hookups. I would say in my last 3 night outings I’m about 3 for27 in solid hookups to blowups.  The fly is usually

moving very slowly or still. One of the hookups actually came when I was ripping it. I refuse to believe that the fish are missing the fly, it’s almost

like a trout that rises and then closes its mouth at the last minute.L and never actually takes the fly  On a lot of the blowups, I never feel anything.  Any thoughts or suggestions!?

 

i have tried switching to subsurface patterns but I feel like I spend all my time pulling weed off the hook or changing flies or getting snagged. I am fishing in water 12”-4’ and sometimes in grass beds.   So I would like to stay on top, but I would also like to actually catch some fish. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You could try putting  some more pop and disturbance in your retrieve, using flies with a larger hook gap and as sharp as possible. Movement  and sound are triggers at night, hard to rattle their lateral if the fly is not doing much. I'm not saying a silhouette on the surface is pointless, just not as effective alone without putting off vibrations. I do expect more misses at night on top, though.   I like sliders sometimes, too. Pop them for disturbance then rip them under for a just sub-surface retrieve.  One of the best days I've ever had started off  doing that at false dawn one morning  wading on a flat on the Merrimack.  Sounds counter intuitive, but I've even pinched a small shot on in front of a popper to get it to go under a little  on a fast rip of the line. Stripes seem to be able to engulf a fly better when it's running at 6 inches than when it's right on the surface.   I've also got some good stripers using heavy mono tippet  and a   Deceiver on a loop knot. I grease the tippet  with floatant  up to 12"  from the  fly to keep  it running  high.  Worked best on nights with some moon. I actually use white instead of black  for the  surface when there is some visibility.

      With the parking situation this year, I'm hoping for fall night fishing MAYBE.  

Edited by bloosfisher

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On 5/22/2020 at 9:00 AM, Cbsimms18 said:

I’ve been doing my best to join the dark side this year and do more night fishing in quest of better fish. However, I have run into a problem. I have been fishing crease flies with a rattle

very slowly in a half swing half retrieve presentation that has worked very well during the day. It is still producing strikes at night but almost no hookups. I would say in my last 3 night outings I’m about 3 for27 in solid hookups to blowups.  The fly is usually

moving very slowly or still. One of the hookups actually came when I was ripping it. I refuse to believe that the fish are missing the fly, it’s almost

like a trout that rises and then closes its mouth at the last minute.L and never actually takes the fly  On a lot of the blowups, I never feel anything.  Any thoughts or suggestions!?

 

i have tried switching to subsurface patterns but I feel like I spend all my time pulling weed off the hook or changing flies or getting snagged. I am fishing in water 12”-4’ and sometimes in grass beds.   So I would like to stay on top, but I would also like to actually catch some fish. 

So in general daytime topwater retrieves work very poorly for me at night.  I like to move fly as slow as possible but still push a wake.  Hook placement in the top water night pattern needs to be either the mid point or rear of fly if its a "large" fly over 9" in length to catch schoolies.  Big fish (30" or larger) will usually get the front hook even on an 11-12" pattern.

 

This is my "small" 5 inch profile rattling night fly.  I move this as slow as possible it will create the wake and rattle with each strip.  I don't have very many missed fish with this pattern.

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I posted the tying instruction on the Sevens Striped blog as "Mitchell's Dancing Minnow"

 

I have had a lot of nights where bass hit big sliders (9-12" long) and don't hook up.  This is a Rich Murphy "Quarter Moon Special"

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One night I went 0/25 on it and I kept feeling the fishes weight but hooks sets all came up empty.  I realized most fish were grabbing middle section and pulling it down.  

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So I changed it to have a front shank and middle hook.  I also found adding soft loop velcro makes bass have a hard time spitting fly (it gets stuck on rough part of mouth) and gives me a longer time to set hook effectively.

 

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Below shows my variation at top vs traditional RM versions below.

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There's the future of catch and release...velcro instead of hooks.:th:

That's actually quite innovative and very interesting. I might have to steal that idea! How does it cast...

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9 hours ago, surfrat59 said:

There's the future of catch and release...velcro instead of hooks.:th:

That's actually quite innovative and very interesting. I might have to steal that idea! How does it cast...

I stole the idea from the pro bass fishing "frog fur" lure concept.  The 12" slider throws good (70-90') on my 12wt and acceptable (50-70') on the 10wt.  

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I would think, like others have stated, the issues may be that because the crease fly is so light.  The bass pushes water when moving towards it and pushes the fly out of the way.  You see this a lot when fishing pencil poppers on bluefish. The fish get so excited and push so much water that the plug gets relocated out of the strike zone.  I am typically fishing intermediate lines and snake flies, when bass are on sand eels.  So surface or  just under the surface depending on the current. Usually not too many swings and misses.  Maybe try a gurgler? 

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Hey TGS, just a note of thanks. Been digesting this thread for a week now.  It’s given me lots to think about and not just in terms of fishing in the dark, but two-handing and fly tying too.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 hours ago, Releasinkeepers said:

Hey TGS, just a note of thanks. Been digesting this thread for a week now.  It’s given me lots to think about and not just in terms of fishing in the dark, but two-handing and fly tying too.

Glad to hear its helpful.  There was very limited info when I started down this path so I decided to start writing about it to help others change take the plunge. Other resources of note are the Night chapter in Ed Mitchells Flyrodding the Coast and the rest of books content alone justifies the purchase.  Most of my night and fly design is heavily influenced by Rich Murphy's book Fly Fishing for Striped Bass which has four night specific flies that work excellently also its worth owning as well based on the other content.  Also of note checkout currentseams website which is Steve Culton's blog with lots of useful striper info and Steve is a long time night fly guy goes by @The Fisherman on SOL

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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Thanks again.  You had me looking back at Murphy’s book the other day, but I don’t know the Mitchell.  Nothing better than a good book recommendation!

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