12:01 am. You should be sleeping. Smart people are sleeping. I never said I’m smart. Personally, I love night fishing. I’ve always been a big fan of that known unknown. What was familiar and safe in the light becomes alien in the dark. The landscape itself seems to change and I’m fairly certain that’s what keeps most folks off the water at night. Would I float an unfamiliar river at night? Hell no. Not without a boat partner who knows that stretch intimately and even then you have to be careful. When you get cocky towards moving water it will teach you respect whether you want to learn or not.
If you can get over that and get on the water you’ll be treated to one of the most fun ways to fish. Feeling. This goes the same for topwater on summer nights but in our case we were fishing 250 grain sink lines with streamers tied on. Depending on the moon and depending on clouds you sometimes can’t see a foot past your nose. Fishing with sinking line in the dark can be frustrating if you’re new to it. You can’t see where you’re casting though you can guess if you know the water well enough. Was that log twenty feet upstream or down? That rock, the big one that always holds fish but will tear your fly off just as quick, where was that? So you cast and you guess and you hope. When you do feel something it’s electric and you set the hook. Nine times out of ten it’s a snag and you’re popping off a fly but that one time it’s a fish, man is it worth it.
We got off the water at about 4am. Scott was sleeping back at the cabin and had a laugh at the bedraggled posse coming through the door. We were cold, I was soaked to the bone, and we all wanted sleep.
A few hours of shuteye and we shot out the door to another stretch of water. The day started out really nice. There was a slight chill but the sun made it feel much warmer than it was. We got on the water and the temp started dropping. Slowly at first. The clouds got darker and the wind decided to really crank. It was changing directions with every gust.
We gave it all we had with streamers. Halfway through the float Jeff pulled out a nymph rig and we started catching fish. It worked and it was fun catching some wild rainbows that were full of piss and vinegar. Our collective goal to catch a big brown didn’t come to fruition but we caught fish and laughed through chattering teeth while doing so. We got off the river at dark. The temp had probably dropped about 35 degrees. When I took my wading boots off, they were solid from the ice. I haven’t been that cold in a while. We all were doing the holy shit it’s freezing dance trying to warm up. It wasn’t working.
We got back to the cabin and hung out for the night. The Superbowl was on but I still have no idea who was playing or who won.
The next morning Robert headed back to Minnesota and Scott and I headed back to Indiana. Our little adventure had come to an end as quickly as it began. The miles were eaten up by truck tires and not even the freaks at Boomtown could slow us down. Scott did have to act out some McDonald’s commercial but he got some free food out of the deal. Can’t beat free fake hamburger. After about 11 hours on the road I rolled in to my driveway. In my head I was already planning for 2016 and a huge brown. Just one. Maybe two.