The Dark Night

The Dark Night

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Right now in (European) SUMMER time a lot of fly fishermen love to fish the dark night. The dark night to me is everything AFTER dusk and BEFORE dawn. Many fly fishermen believe in black flies during night fishing. I don’t!

What in my experience really matters – simply 24 hours every day on many (if not all) species of fish – is to make it hard for the fish to precisely identify (within a millisecond) our artificial fly to be what it is: WRONG!

I have fished for a fair number of different species of fish, which are very hard to catch in daylight but get much easier to catch in darkness. One of the main reasons often was: The lesser the light, the harder it gets for the fish to precisely SEE the fly. Fly fishing for asp is an excellent example here. If you haven’t tried to catch them during dusk instead of in the middle of day, you yet don’t really understand those fishes ability to identify our flies to be wrong. Often we present our flies in the middle of several bait hunting asp and not a single take results. Just an hour later with much less light and several asps will take the fly.

I have spent a hell lot of nights fishing for Sea trout in the Baltic Sea. 99% of coastal fly fishermen present pretty large, black flies in extra slow retrieving speed to the Sea trout at this time. They do that because of two reasons:

a) Because nearly everyone (magazines included) keeps telling this to be the most successful way.

b) Because they think, that it must be hard for the Sea trout to find the fly in the middle of darkness.

My experience is different though. I strip in my fly pretty fast! Why? Because it makes it harder for the Sea trout to do anything but just running with highest speed right into my fly! Then I am using a color not making it the easiest way to precisely see my fly, which indeed would be BLACK. Instead I put my money on natural colors. Baitfishes don’t change into black color during night time either. No? No, they don’t! And then I don’t increase the size of my flies during night time. I never found a need for that unless I fish a river with no clear but little muddy water. It then may happen that I slowly present an extra large black fly (black = offering the strongest contrast against the sky).

Oh and I also don’t need any flies tied on UV active material for night fishing. Too often I fished two flies at the same time and could never realize more hits on the UV based flies yet. Anyway from what shop owners keep telling me I know that UV flies attract humans in an excellent (extra expensive) way!

How do you fish the dark night?

Last week I have been fishing my home waters in between casting lessons. Some pikes, pike perches and carps offered me an excellent catchy week. Yes, night fishing again was included! Right now Marina and I are heading to pike perch again.

A nice fishy week to all of you!

All my best


fly fishing school bernd ziesche