Daylight Fishing for Sea Trout?

Hardyreels

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Hello Everyone,

I have a friend who wants to take me Sea Trout fishing when I'm in the UK. Sounds great except the part where he says we'll start around 10:00 PM take a break around 2 and then fish until dawn......... :shocked:

When I lived in the US state of Pennsylvania there were many venue where the chance to catch truly large brown trout existed by doing what they called "Night Fishing". Sounded good to me, 10 pound trout on a fly, what's not to like right?

What wasn't to like was that aside from using a battery lamp I could hardly see a damm thing! I did catch a few decent fish but even that seemed diminished because you could only see them under the glare of the light. You had to become familiar with the bottom as well as the seams & pockets where you needed to cast during daylight and then cast blindly to those spots.

And so I ask, is there no chance one of these UK sea trout will take a fly by the light of day?
 

mows

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You can certainly catch then in Daylight Ard.
The ones bellow were caught between 8.00pm and 10.00pm.
The bottom one of 3.5lb was on a Dr P flee. The other 2 on a wee stoats tail.
During the day they are very wary or hiding in the rougher water.
I tend to fish the heads of the pools earlier and the rest of the pool once its half light.
Most of mine were caught on a dropping water, when suddenly it gets easier to catch them
When it comes to visibility, you will see fine in June July till about 12.00pm, then it will be properly dark for about 2 hours then slowly light up again.
Again, you will be surprised how small flies they will take.
They fight very different to Salmon.
They just don't like feeling any pressure and tend to zoom and jump everywhere.
Allyshrimp on here is a dab hand at the seatroots.


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Hardyreels

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Good to hear this :) I was thinking that they would act like the brown trout to some extent. They too (PA. browns) tend to be tougher to catch during the day unless there is a prolific hatch of may fly on. They will be either hiding among bottom rubble or hugging bottom in swifter water.

The hours of light sound close to what we have here in June except it doesn't really get dark at all. The sun does dip to below the horizon for 2 1/2 hours but it just creates low light as if it were just before sunrise for those couple hours then it's back in the sky.

I'm sure it'll be an experience and am looking forward to it.
 

Rrrr

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Yea, ive had them in daylight. I think it depends where you fish though. Its quite common on the coquet due to the water colour.
Had this one this season just over 6 1/2 lbs it took a cascade in fairly clear water.


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Martin the fisher

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If your fishing the Border Esk ( which you mentioned) you certainly have a chance during daylight, if conditions are right, a falling water after a flood, weak tea is what I call it, will see seatrout readily take the fly.

Around 1ft - 1ft 4" on Fishpal Canonbie will see you alright.

The lower the water the later into the day- night you need to fish, early mornings, I mean EARLY 3am - 4am ! can be good too.

Very low water will see fish congregate in just a few pools, you won't get anywhere near them in daylight as they'll hear you from about 50 yards !

The Border Esk has a number of pools that are easily fishable at night, keep your casts short, check your gear every so often and enjoy it !

Some nice seatrout about last June, a 6lber in the dark is something else !

Tight lines.
 

liphook

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Don't knock it until you've tried it Ard. Seriously be open minded and lap up the experience. It won't be like PA. That's guaranteed
 

Handel

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There is nothing more exciting than having hold of a decent sized sea trout at night. It is enormous fun. And if you are only recently arrived then you will feel awake because of the time difference. For those of us who live here that is the difficult bit.

All that said it depends where you are fishing and have already received some good advice. In June with our very short nights it isn't properly dark for very long and even when it is dark you will be surprised how much you can see. Embrace the opportunity, especially if you are being taken out by someone who knows what he is doing.
 

Jockiescott

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Ard, your experiences of night time trout fishing very much match my own thoughts. I have some of the best sea trout fishing on the island of Ireland around 100 yards from my back door and you couldn't pay me to fish for trout at night. I just don't see the point.

There is no visual stimulation whatsoever and it is just casting blind and feeling for takes. The only other fishing I can liken it too is fishing for stocked rainbow trout with sinking lines with your eyes closed! :lol:

Again, those are my personal feelings and I know people are very fond of night time fishing for trout but it just isn't for me.

My river was once regarded as the best sea trout river in Ireland. In Olly McGilloway's book, "Along the Faughan Side", Stuart Donaghey did the flies and fly tying section of the book. He divided the sea trout flies into different categories.

"Day and night flies (excellent)", "Excellent at night; very good during the day", "Very good - Day and night"... Etc.

He then had another list of "Day only flies" which included patterns like "Greenwells Glory" and "Fiery Brown".

According to Stuart, sea trout could be caught at any time, day or night. During the day he recommended fishing under thick cover and get your flies as tight to overhanging branches and banksides as much as possible.

Stuart was one of the finest anglers and fly dressers, with a knowledge of dying and shades of colour, that there has ever been. Stuart is no longer with us either and a great wealth of knowledge went with him sadly.
 

carbisdale caster

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I don't specifically target them but every one i've had here on the Kyle of Sutherland has been during the day (the biggest have actually been on very bright sunny days)
 
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Hi, Ard. UK sea trout fishing times tend to vary by region. In the Hebs & NW Scotland they're take readily during the day on rivers and lochs. In fact, I never did catch one at night here in the days when I tried - not saying it isn't done though!
In the Borders, on the Annan, it was night time fishing and largely the same on the Spey.
Night fishing for sea trout is a wee bit scary and can be all the more exciting for that. Your hearing becomes more acute in the dark and the sound of a large fish splashily rising further down your pool really gets the adrenaline going. Then, if Fortune smiles, the sudden, hard, jolting take, often as you're lifting into a new cast, will send an electric shock zapping through your body.
Pound for pound, I've found sea trout far more exciting, energetic, acrobatic and harder fighting than A. salmon. One S. Uist writer/angler recorded a 5 lb fish jumping over 20 times!

Just make sure you've waded the river earlier in the day and plot your ins and outs before you step in. Take a torch but keep the light of the water as much as you can. Wear a life jacket, carry a whistle. Leave the bear spray and Magnum at home, we sorted out our bear problem a while back.
 
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Rrrr

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Seatrout tend to do the thing that you are least expecting i rekon, from charging straight at you and slack lining or swimming through your legs or behind you during the fight. Plus if you get one that likes to cartwheel its great fun if well hooked.

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Handel

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Hi, Ard. UK sea trout fishing times tend to vary by region. In the Hebs & NW Scotland they're take readily during the day on rivers and lochs. In fact, I never did catch one at night here in the days when I tried - not saying it isn't done though!
In the Borders, on the Annan, it was night time fishing and largely the same on the Spey.
Night fishing for sea trout is a wee bit scary and can be all the more exciting for that. Your hearing becomes more acute in the dark and the sound of a large fish splashily rising further down your pool really gets the adrenaline going. Then, if Fortune smiles, the sudden, hard, jolting take, often as you're lifting into a new cast, will send an electric shock zapping through your body.
Pound for pound, I've found sea trout far more exciting, energetic, acrobatic and harder fighting than A. salmon. One S. Uist writer/angler recorded a 5 lb fish jumping over 20 times!

Just make sure you've waded the river earlier in the day and plot your ins and outs before you step in. Take a torch but keep the light of the water as much as you can. Wear a life jacket, carry a whistle. Leave the bear spray and Magnum at home, we sorted out our bear problem a while back.
Very well put. Further south we fish at night.

Just to note, in Argentina night fishing for sea trout is illegal.
 

FaughanPurple

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Ard,

Without doubt, go night fishing for Sea Trout if you can. You’ll experience the very pinnacle of our Fly Fishing sport here in the U.K. & Ireland. There simply isn’t any thing like it anywhere else on these shores. It may involve a bit of a day time recce without fishing and definitely going with someone who knows the river intimately but it will be worth it when you get that electric shock up the line into your hand in the dead of night.

If you have time before you come over here, I’d highly recommend you read “Sea Trout” by Steffan Jones or the same titled book by Hugh Faulkus. Both of these are very quick easy reads with plenty of info and patterns to copy. You’d probably get through 1 on the flight over truth be told.

But in a nutshell Sea trout fishing, as explained already, is split into a few distinct areas. Day & Night Fishing. Fresh water or Salt Water.

Productive day fishing is usually under the same conditions that productive fishing happens everywhere for salmonoids here. Ergo, the days when you have Fresh water running off, dull over head conditions with high clouds and a good warm breeze etc. You should find Sea trout happy to take your fly or lures just as salmon will in the throats necks and tails of pools, on a lough or still pool with a good ruffled surface.

Night fishing generally happens when the river is too low and or the over head conditions just don’t suit productive day time fishing with fish potted up and not really moving from their lies, so we wait for the cover of darkness for the fish to be become active and confident and we can fish through the main holding areas without disturbing them too much.

Salt water fishing is mainly in estuaries and is more depending on tides than the weather. Good fishing days are good fishing days regardless yes but Bright days that would be a loss on the river could be very productive if you find a feeding school in a bay along the coast.



Fly fishing can produce day and night but in the dark of night, think increasing size profile and reflecting light rather than worrying about different colours as the light goes and imitating small bait fish when fishing in the salt. Although slim flashy profiles certainly work in rivers too. Spinning and bait fishing are both methods employed during the day here. If allowed at all.

As for what size to fish:

Normal – Low Water Day (Trout Hooks)
16 14 12 10

Night (Trout Hooks)
10 8 6 LongShank 8 & 6 and up to 2 inch tubes

High Water (Single Salmon Hooks)
Day
10 8 6 ¾ inch tubes up to 2 inch tubes

Top 5 Patterns
Bloody Alexandra
Stoats Tail
Dark mackerel
Black Pennel
The Medicine


Most rivers will have their local favourites, so best to check what patterns and sizes you’ll need but generally speaking, having a few off that list in sizes to suit water conditions day or night should see you connect with a White or 3. They do tend to be freer takers when in the mood than their cousin Salar ;)

P.S. if I remember when topping up my own box before June, I’ll run off a few extra for you and send them for you to collect this side of the pond.
 
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Hardyreels

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Thanks to all of you :)

I've some printed maps at my disposal and Kyle of Sutherland seems to be within my travels as I drift southward. Liek your sea trout I'm sure our steelhead could be caught on a dark September overnight but where would be the fun I must wonder. I suppose I'll do the twilight fishing as it will be nothing new.

When I work guiding here in June our fishing opens at 6 AM and closes at 11 PM and thus I'm accustomed to odd hours and long days on the water. The state stopped night fishing in order to end the practice of people waiting until 9 or 10 PM to start a trip and so enable them to take 2 days limit of salmon in one single outing.

That loophole in the law combined with the huge increase in both resident population and non resident anglers all bent on taking fish is partially to blame for our current crisis of return numbers.

I would like to add that although I have worked for a great number of flt fishers casting for salmon & trout not a single one ever suggested taking a fish! Their interest was in how many they might catch not in the shipping costs for frozen salmon..............
 

Thrasher

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Hello Everyone,

I have a friend who wants to take me Sea Trout fishing when I'm in the UK. Sounds great except the part where he says we'll start around 10:00 PM take a break around 2 and then fish until dawn......... :shocked:

When I lived in the US state of Pennsylvania there were many venue where the chance to catch truly large brown trout existed by doing what they called "Night Fishing". Sounded good to me, 10 pound trout on a fly, what's not to like right?

What wasn't to like was that aside from using a battery lamp I could hardly see a damm thing! I did catch a few decent fish but even that seemed diminished because you could only see them under the glare of the light. You had to become familiar with the bottom as well as the seams & pockets where you needed to cast during daylight and then cast blindly to those spots.

And so I ask, is there no chance one of these UK sea trout will take a fly by the light of day?
Whereabouts will the fishing be?
 

salarchaser

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He then had another list of "Day only flies" which included patterns like "Greenwells Glory" and "Fiery Brown".
Havent targeted sea trout for a while though will hedge my bets with fly choice when fishing for browns or salmon, especially around dusk.
All my recent sea trout have been taken during the day on the Welsh Dee or Nith.
A greenwells spider has accounted for quite a few of them.
A black pennell and butcher, all on a size 12, most of the rest.
When knowing seatrout are about and salmon fishing, a silver stoat on a 2 fly cast is my "hedging my bets" fly of choice.
My nith fish have come either with water on and colour in the water or within 24 hours of the colour clearing.
The Dee fish have come in clear water on tree lined stretches on dusk.
I'm not suggesting these are the methods you should employ, just supporting the views that seatrout are catchable during daylight hours.
 

Walleye

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Sea trout are often caught during the day in dropping floods, often as "by-catch" when targeting salmon.

For a true experience of sea trout fishing, you need to do the night fishing.
Try not to think of it as fishing with reduced sensory perception (Jockiescott) as it is anything but.
On even the very darkest nights you can see something. However, every other sense is heightened to the max. If I finish 1-2pm, often I can't get to sleep when I get home because my senses have been working overload and my brain is buzzing. Night fishing is all about immersing yourself in the very different environment and adapting what you are doing. If you think of it as fishing blind you are missing out on one helluva experience.
There is also that elusive sense of "knowing" when a fish is going to take which I think I've experienced once or twice but can't be sure.
Then there are the nights when the clouds clear, the air is still and you marvel at the reflection of the cosmos on the water in front of you.....just as a big sea trout tries to rip your shoulder from your torso and take your arm along with your rod, line, fly etc back to sea. Ok, I exaggerate just a little, your arm is more likely to part at the elbow joint.

There is a little gem of a River in the north east of England called the River Wear. Night fishing is very popular and there are some great, easy to fish pools to fish at night with every chance of catching a fish. Some pools you will have company and most are more than willing to share tips to visitors. I can hook you up with contacts if you like or you can fish with me and/or one or two others on the forum.

Enjoy your trip and my last bit of advice is to make sure you have a really good translation app on your phone. The vast majority over here don't speak English like you see on the TV and the accent may change significantly within just 20-50 miles;-)
 

Walleye

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I'm studying a translator Walleye :)
25 years I've been travelling to the US and working every day with US guys and I have modified my accent quite a bit through necessity. Some get it OK, others just stare blankly even with my very best "Geordie posh". :)

The first couple of years working in Alabama was interesting. Both sides had to adapt. You should have seen my face when I was told I could go to the loo on the "sack o' flour".
 

cgaines10

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I fish with Walleye & we’ve had some fantastic nights out fishing for sea trout. They’re just something else & the Wear has a fantastic stamp of fish. Which tends to be a lot bigger than elsewhere.

I hope you do give it ago as I really think you’d be missing out on a great experience.


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Walleye

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I hear you Walleye but I just can't get motivated to fish for sea trout.

Here is a link to a blog post I wrote in 2018 on Sea trout...

Fly & Clay: Auld Trout...
Aye, I get that for sure. Maybe it's because on the Wear I would consider a 3lber to be small, certainly slightly below average size. I didn't catch many last year but they were all about 2.5 - 3lb - the lowest average I've ever had in a season by quite a bit. Many others did much better.

On 2-3 occasions, my biggest fish of the season has been a Wear sea trout.

Your river looks and sounds very lovely. Lucky guy.
 

T7

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When in Rome...

PS there is a sister site to this one dedicated to sea trout fishing. Not as busy as 5-10 years ago when we had a lot of great contributors but still a good source of inspiration in the historical threads...
 

Rrrr

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Aye, I get that for sure. Maybe it's because on the Wear I would consider a 3lber to be small, certainly slightly below average size. I didn't catch many last year but they were all about 2.5 - 3lb - the lowest average I've ever had in a season by quite a bit. Many others did much better.

On 2-3 occasions, my biggest fish of the season has been a Wear sea trout.

Your river looks and sounds very lovely. Lucky guy.
Decent seatrout are great fun as they seem to try every trick in the book from looking for snags to dive into to charging straight at you. Had a decent one last season and it had me tied up in my fly line after spotting the net, shooting around the side and straight behind me back upstream leaving me spinning around trying to get myself free. All while laughing my head off as id been well and truely outsmarted by a fish. We get some really big ones on the coquet too with doubles most years and 2 over 14 llb a couple of years back.

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