Why Not Have a Swing? Trout Spey at Night

Like any fly junkie, I’m usually full of anticipation the whole car ride to the river. I try to relax, enjoy the drive, listen to some good sounds or a Podcast or 2, but there’s that itch to get a line in the water; that keenness to try out those newly tied flies and shiny bits of gear, but most of all just to wet a line and see what happens.

It just so happens that these days, I often leave in the afternoon and arrive after dark to wherever I’m going. That inclination to stay warm and have a drink nags at me. Perhaps set up and be all ready for the crisp morning – ‘Early bird gets the worm’ and all that but I prefer streamers unlike Johan and his Squirmy Wormeys, so more often than not, it means rigging up, tying on a nice big puffy, black tube fly and going out for a fish in the darkness Luckily, my night fishing compadre Meinrad shares that same level of enthusiasm, so we’ve made a habit (or a ritual) of this.

It’s a weird feeling starting off casting in the dark. It’s a different ball game when you’ve fished all day and you have your casting dialled in; you have more feeling for where the far bank will be and how many loops of Lazar line you can safely hold in your grasp and fire toward it. The bump of the Skagit head as you pull it too close to the tip and the piles of line crashing on the water that fortunately you can’t see. Those sudden tugs make all that worth it though!

Meinrad with a spotlighted brown from inches of water – with a 2 handed rod – and a tube fly 🙂

For flies, black seems to be the go, but I have had success on olives, browns and natural rabbit at times. If you don’t tie (and even if you do) it’s worth keeping a few of these sneaky ILFF Black Intruders tucked away. I hate to admit the number of evenings that I’ve changed up and put one of these on and then ‘Wham!’ it was all on. The profile must just really fit in with whats going on under there at night, and they deliver far more than their price tag would suggest.

Fly fishing at night can be edgy and at times it’s hard to get off the couch, but it’s always worth it. You never know what kind of behemoth could be lurking below waiting for the cover of darkness to feed! And what better way, than a swung fly!


Simon is a keen enthusiast for fly fishing, especially all things trout Spey and Skagit style tactics. He's a keen fly tyer, with a strong focus on tube flies, leech and Intruders style patterns. He has been with Iloveflyfishing since the early days and has been a key ambassador for OPST, Aquaz and Speyco as well as all of the ILFF catalogue. He is also a man-keen saltwater fly fisher and can often be found flicking a Crazy Simon fly around the Auckland region. Simon is a regular contributor to NZ Trout Fisher magazine where you can find his column "On the Swing with Simon"

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