Video: How to Tie Two Great Night-Fishing Patterns

Tim Flagler, of Tightline Productions, sent us something a little bit different this week: a great video (above) of a pair of anglers night-fishing on the South Branch of the Raritan River. I love the way it captures all the river’s life, from the baitfish to the crawdas to the insects, as well as the trout that the fly fishermen are after. And some of those are very good fish.

If you plan to head out after dark, Tim suggests that you load up on hot dogs and make sure to bring along the two patterns below. Both are great generalist streamers—serving to imitate crayfish, baitfish, leeches, or any of a number of other forage foods a cruising trout might come upon in the dark.


         Olive Beadhead Woolly Bugger
            Hook: 4X-long streamer hook (here a Dai-Riki #700), size 2-12.
            Bead: Gold.
            Thread: Brown-olive. 6/0 or 140 denier.
            Weight: Lead-free wire, .02.
            Tail: Olive marabou blood quills, tips removed.
            Body: Olive chenille.
            Hackle: Olive grizzly.
            Adhesive: Head cement.

         Pine Squirrel Streamer
            Hook: 6X-long streamer hook (here a Lightning Strike ST5), size 4.
            Thread: Brown-Olive, 6/0 or 140-denier.
            Tail Support: 1/4-inch strip of brown craft foam.
            Adhesive 1: Zap-A-Gap.
            Tail and body: Sculpin Olive pine-squirrel zonker strip.
            Head: Tying Thread.
            Adhesive 2: Head cement.

5 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie Two Great Night-Fishing Patterns”

  1. Would you weight that Pine Squirrel? In my experience zonker-wrapped flies tend to stay pretty close to the surface. Curious about the decision not to weight this one.

  2. Excellent question, and one I have gotten a lot lately. In my night fishing experience, trout are very much “looking up” and also like to cruise on shallow flats. So, neutrally buoyant, unweighted flies get the nod from me. I believe guys like Joe Humphreys and Jim Bashline also realized this and wrote about it decades ago. Daylight hours, different story, use weight and go deep.

    Another little bit of information not illustrated in the video- if you want numbers and rainbows, go with the unweighted bugger. If you do not mind catching fewer but larger fish and browns, tie on the PSS.

    While night fishing, do not forget a headlamp, a loud whistle for emergencies and always, always, fish with at least one other person.

  3. Pingback: Tippets: Patterns for Night Fishing, Jackson One Fly, Paiute Stream Restoration | MidCurrent
  4. Pingback: Tippets: Patterns for Night Fishing, Jackson One Fly, Paiute Stream Restoration - Skiff Life - Flats and Back Bay Fishing
  5. Im 14 and a year ago i self taught myself how to fly fish and have never had more fun. Just wanted to say the videos were great and made me make some room in my trout box for some new patterns. But i was just wondering where the video was shot and when? Enjoyed the music and am a big bluegrass fan, thanks!

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