A most sporting fish

Shooting Times & Country|April 29, 2020

A most sporting fish
In the 1960s, sea trout were considered an irritation by purists trying to catch salmon — yet they present a real challenge, says Arthur Oglesby
Arthur Oglesby

Soon after the opening of the general trout season, my thoughts begin to turn to the trout’s more adventurous cousins — the sea trout. It seems a long time since I had a good outing with these fish and the past few seasons have not brought the big runs to the rivers I frequent.

In fact the lack of sea trout has been almost as pronounced as the lack of salmon, and the few fish I caught in 1969 were more by accident than design. Fish took a fly intended for salmon in the day and night fishing failed to produce even a pull.

At the best of times, however, sea trout can be very unpredictable.

They can run on low water or roaring spates. There may be an abundance one day and not a sign of them the next. In general they like the tails of gliding pools and the shade of trees.

Some rivers, such as the Welsh Dovey, are noted for their sea trout; on others they tend to be tolerated by the angler who is more concerned with his salmon fishing. Richard Waddington said that the river Spey was the finest sea trout river in Britain but he added that, as it is also a classic salmon river, the sea trout are rarely fished for seriously.

Many of our rivers have sea trout running at the same time as salmon but it has become common practice not to fish seriously for the sea trout until the first floods of summer bring the main run.

This coincides with ideal conditions for night fishing and if the dedicated sea trout angler wishes to get on full terms with these fish he must be prepared to burn a bit of midnight oil. Thought they can be caught in the daytime, sea trout are very shy, though on the right night they are often prepared to throw caution to the wind and greedily take the fly.

Similar lives


You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber


Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines


April 29, 2020