Westcountry Angling Passport
Sea Trout - Fishing Information

There are two main runs of sea trout in the Westcountry with the larger fish (2 - 5lbs) appearing from April to June and the school peal (12oz - 2lbs) from July onwards. Sea trout can be caught by both day and night on most rivers although some of the most exciting sport comes during the night.

The saying ‘time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted’ is certainly fitting if you are planning a foray for sea trout at night. If new to a beat, try to visit it during the day when you can plan your access points, locate the holding water, work out how much line you need to cover the lies and to note any potential hazards. Aim to start fishing in the ‘gloaming’ (just as the colour is going out of the fields) and depending on water levels and temperature vary the size of your fly and consider what silhouette/wake it will create (large surface flies like bumbles or muddlers can be very effective). Lastly, don’t forget your torch, spare batteries, floatant, mobile phone and floatation device.

A 8-9½ ft fly rod 6-7wt with floating line will be suitable for night time fishing with flies such as Stoats Tail, Silver Invicta, Silver Stoat, Teal Blue and Silver, Dunkeld, Alexander, Coachman, Peter Ross and various Muddlers made up as singles (sizes 4-12) or tubes (1-3 inch). If targeting sea trout by day, you can use lighter tackle, 7-8½ ft fly rod 4-5wt line with wet fly or nymphing generally being most productive. If day time fishing on larger rivers or coloured water, use the same tackle as per night fishing but consider trying sink tip or intermediate lines to search out the pots and holding water. Remember sea trout can be very unpredictable so don’t be afraid to try new and innovative techniques!

For spinning or worm fishing a 7ft- 9ft spinning rod rated for lures 15-35 grams will be suitable. Smaller Mepps and Rapala type lures are popular and are presented by fan casting upstream and across. Please de-barb treble hooks to allow Catch and Release. Single worm where permitted, free-lined through the pools and runs or stalking fish upstream can be productive and circle hooks should be used to prevent deep hooking.

Night fishing advice from Nick Hart
Fly Fishing for Sea Trout by night requires organisation! Carry minimal equipment and always ensure you have a spare torch and batteries about your person. Go for strong leader material that allows fish to be played hard and don’t be afraid to use large flies in many circumstances. Tandem style patterns provide a strong silhouette that is more likely to provoke a response than the traditional doubles fished by many anglers. If possible, visit your chosen beat by daylight , walk the bank looking for access points and have a cast or two, counting carefully how long it takes your line to swing across the river with the current, during nightfall this will ensure you are fishing the pools effectively. Finally, carry a mobile phone or similar method of communication, just in case you have an emergency on the river bank.
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