Sea trout can be tricky customers to catch but our team are on hand to help you to fish effectively for these enigmatic creatures.
Hardened sea trout anglers are often vampire-like in their habits as they only tend to venture out at night and while it is quite true that we catch most of our fish on those short, balmy summer nights much of the essential preparation is done during the hours of daylight and it is arriving on your chosen beat before dark that can really make the difference to your results with this fascinating fish.
The work you need to do before the ‘lights go out’ are very much geared towards reconnaissance and this is particularly important if you are fishing a beat that you are not familiar with. You need to be familiar with the layout of the rivers in respect of where the pools are, where the shallower glides and current changes are and those areas where you can safely wade and land fish. You also need to have a good idea of where the trees and vegetation that might restrict your casting are.
If you can get out in the middle of the day before you fish you may have a chance to spot where fish are holding up, particularly if you can look down from high bank with a good pair of Polarising lenses. Do remember though that the fish will move as it gets dark so don’t become too fixated on any particular area.
When it comes to fishing do make sure you are properly prepared for the night ahead and that includes having essentials such as a wading staff and lifejacket as well as a head torch with the option of a red filter to help maintain your night vision as well as to prevent spooking the fish. That said, don’t be too concerned about stealth – cautious yes but don’t let it become all consuming.
The other preparation essential for your night is geared towards your comfort. Summer nights can become surprisingly chilly so do make sure you have some warm clothing you can slip on and a flask of hot coffee or soup is great.
As far as the fishing is concerned remember that you can catch sea trout during the daylight, indeed the UK is one of the few countries where we tend to fish for them almost exclusively at night and high water will certainly increase your chances of a daylight fish. Do take a look at a moon chart though and if you want to make the most of night fishing avoid the full moon and select a dark phase as you cannot always rely on cloud cover to be your friend.
Dusk signals the time for most of us to make a start and the rougher water at the neck of the pool is the area to concentrate your search on to start with and small micro tubes fished quickly can be very successful, so don’t always reach for the biggest flies in your box to start with.
Remember too that your casting will naturally tend to speed up in the dark as you cannot see your line and this can lead to slack line in the stroke. To combat this, lighten your grip and try to feel for the rod tip being pulled by your line as it extends – that is your signal to commence the opposite stroke.
As it gets darker start to explore the tail of the pool then later still work the deeper water with a larger fly, fishing it more slowly and working various depths, with an intermediate or sinking line. In the pre-dawn revert to your dusk tactics – it is only a short window of opportunity, but it can be a very productive time.
Sea trout fishing is often seen as a difficult and mysterious branch of fly fishing but with a little thought and preparation it is incredibly rewarding – and we are heading into the peak season, so get out and give it a go!