Until recent times it was thought that the sea trout was a separate species and different from the brown trout. Scientific opinion now is that they are both of the species Salmo trutta. Unless further evidence comes to light we must accept that the sea trout is nothing more than a migratory brown trout.

There is little doubt that most sea trout spend some part of their year running up from the sea into freshwater.

A good motto for the angler seeking sea trout today would be, ‘First find a sea trout river!’ The sea trout’s environment, like that of the salmon, is slowly being eroded; and where it abounds its runs and migrations tend to be more fickle and unpredictable than previously. So the angler must do some intensive homework: to find an adequate sea trout river and then, miraculously, contrive to be there when the sea trout is in the pools of his own beat.

Many dedicated sea trout anglers feel that fly fishing for sea trout with a floating line presents the ultimate angling challenge in Britain today. This must be a matter of opinion and opportunity, but undoubtedly the sea trout is one of the shyest fish to inhabit our waters. For this reason, most sea trout fishing, in normal to low water, is done under cover of darkness.

Basic tackle

The ideal seatrout rod is singlehanded and about 10ft long. It should be rigged with a No. 7 double or forward taper line, attached to a 9ft monofilament leader of not less than 6 lb b.s. To this tie on a No 10 single or doublehooked fly. Add waders and net and the sea trout angler is ready for the fray.

Patterns of sea trout fly are legion. Most anglers have their favourites, but there is little doubt that the angler is much more fussy in this respect than the fish. In the dark it sees the fly as only a vague silhouette, so it is size and not colour which is more important.

Freelining a lobworm calls for a ledger or spinning rod of about 10ft and a fixedspool reel bearing a main line of 68 lb and a slightly weaker leader ahead of that.

A great deal of sea trout fishing is done with spinning gear and Devon minnow lures and other colourful. Attractive lures.

Once the angler has come under the spell of sea trout fishing he is usually lost to all other parts of the sport. For him the only existence worthy of the description comes when he is wading thigh deep in barely moonlit water and casting to those speckled giants he knows are there!