Summer is in full swing now and night fishing for those hefty brown trout is my target. I went down to the Miller’s River catch and release section of Wendel and noticed quite a few cars parked in the left parking lot just after crossing the bridge.
Good sign, with the recent cool nights after the recent heat wave, maybe the fly fishing is good.
I positioned myself just downstream of the Kempfield pool and saw 3 fly fisherman upstream from where I was standing. I noticed a fair amount of rising fish and insect activity floating on the currents of the river.
Since I was too early to start fishing only 8pm, I sat and watched the 3 fly fisherman have a good time catching and releasing trout. Not really sure what was hatching all that mattered the fish were cooperating for these 3 guys.
With 8:30pm approaching it was time for me to go to my night fishing location in another section of the Millers River. As I arrived a few fish were bulging the surface now and then. Not really sure what they were feeding on, good thing was the water was comfortable enough for them to feed before dark.
Those rising fish were not my target for the evening. I fish a floating line with a 12 leader with 2 droppers. Each dropper has a different colored Stimulator, one yellow and one orange. I fish Stimulators because when fished wet they push water and have an excellent silhouette at night the Brown Trout just love.
8:50 pm I ease into the water and start casting and using a wet fly drift, quartering downstream letting the flies swing directly below me. Some times I will inch the flies back or just pickup the line and start a new wet fly drift again. I very rarely fish more line than what I can pickup, generally 12 ft leader and about 20 feet of fly line or shorter.
For night time fishing the fish almost always feed very close to shore. 9:08 pm still nothing. The magic hour between 9 pm and 10 pm is getting heated up with anticipation. What will this year bring for the first night out. Nothing is moving in the pool I checked the time again, 9:13 pm a small bulge shows into the pool. Could it be the predator brown trout have moved into my favorite pool. More waiting.
More cast, more wet fly swings, then that all too familiar strike, a solid take from the first fish of the night season. The fish rolls and moves water that only a larger fish can do. I use a fairly heavy tippet of about 5lbs or better to bring these night fish in quickly with the least amount of stress related to the fight.
Nice fish over 18 in. 9:18 pm for this fish. He took the yellow stimulator on the upper dropper. Great start to a beautiful evening. While trying to release this trout my fingers reached inside to grab the fly and a mouthful of needle sharp teeth grabbed my finger. It always amazes me how many sharp teeth these night brown trout have. You might not be able to see them immediately but you sure can feel them when they bite down.
Quick picture and off he goes. A quick cast and I blundered the cast, I thought , a quick pickup of the line and another brown trout. This boy has a little more weight behind him a few minutes back and forth, a few short runs of the reel, a heart racing with excitement and the fish is landed.
A little bigger than the prior fish maybe 20 in. plus, this brown trout had large spots all over and more of a silver background than the typical sandy yellow color. Off he goes after taking the same yellow stimulator out of his mouth.
A few more cast and again another trout. This trout was very active, after hooking him, he quickly ran upstream putting some slack into my line. I had everything I could do to try and keep a tight line. With barbless hooks slack line can sometimes help barbless hooks fall out of a trouts mouth. I regained my tension and my 10ft 5weight rod bowed in half, this trout started jumping out of the water a few times. Ran line off the reel giving me the indication of a much larger fish than previous.
Finally got him to shore, I have to admit I thought he was much larger for the tussle he gave me. Similar in size to the first brown trout I caught around 18 in., this fish fought quite well. Maybe it has to do with the water temps not being so warm with the cold snap we recently received. Check my watch again 9:36 pm.
Still a few minutes to go before the magic hour ends. I continued fishing till about 9:59pm nothing moving, nothing happening. Just as quickly as I have gotten into a few fish it turns off.
Over the past few years fishing the Millers River at night I have come to accept this river is most productive for this one hour. I don’t know why. I have fished this many times through the night beyond 10 pm. and always ended empty handed for more fish caught after 10 pm.
Most other rivers turn on and off at different times through the night but not the Millers River it appears. Maybe it is the areas I fish, I don’t know. No complaints from me. I count my blessings, a quick ride to the river from where I live. A quick hour of enjoyment and I am home at a very reasonable time to get a good nights sleep with the satisfaction of knowing the Millers River is a great place to fish.
By the way as I was driving out that lot with the parked cars are still there and the fisherman comparing notes, I hope they had as good of time as I did 🙂