| Fly Fishing Devon | "The Heuristic Trout" | Catch & Conserve Sea Trout in South Devon

The South Devon Rivers Yealm and Avon enjoy a run of sea trout during the summer months

Sea trout can be caught during the day and at night

We hope this page will help you decide where, when and how to fish for sea trout

The Upper Yealm   Catch Reports page  contains reports of anglers' sea trout sightings and encounters.The rod season for sea trout runs from 3rd March to 30th September

This page concentrates on fishing for sea trout in Devon and Cornwall

"A lot of the fishing and tactics on Devon rivers are quite different from what would be common on most of the big Scottish rivers or indeed the Welsh rivers. Down here in Devon our rivers tend to be smaller, more wooded and with less water flow, making fishing the traditional methods of across and down less effective." Quote from Roddy Rae,  "Sea trout fishing in Devon"  (2008)

I explore the role of sea trout in Devon rivers using some historic data in my article Are we killing the sea trout that lay the golden eggs?  published in the Wild Trout Trust's annual journal Salmo Trutta in 2022. Author's proof copy  available here.

Some tips on spotting sea trout

This video explains how to use behaviour, shape and colour to detect sea trout - an essential first step.

Sea trout are very alert to overhead shadows, sudden movements etc.

Extract from Tim Rolston's blog:

"I thought Paul was joking when we started a Monty Pythonesque, slow walk from the middle of the field. The river wasn’t even in sight at that point, but the Sea Trout are so spooky that one has to proceed with extreme caution. In the end we spotted a few, fascinating things they are, and tricky to see, they barely move, trying to hang on to reserves of energy that they will need to reach the spawning grounds when the rain comes. Fish in a river are tricky to spot at the best of times. Fish that don’t move are near impossible and Paul’s eagle eyes and experience revealed fish that took me minutes to locate."

Learning to spot sea trout

To identify sea trout, I use a   system  developed in the late 1930s to identify friendly and hostile aircraft. Recognition is based on a group of simple features - WEFT (Wingshape, Engine configuration, Fuselage shape and Tail type)

To spot sea trout I look for:
  • Behaviour: mostly static, occasional flash turns, several fish in a group
  • Shape and shadow on bed of river
  • Colour: dark back, lighter belly, dark vertical edge to tail
  • The importance of stealth when approaching sea trout

    Getting close to sea trout on the Yealm

    Quote from John Gierach "Fly Fishing Small Streams"

    "I think stealth , and its various manifestations rates it own chapter. It's an underrated skill in fly fishing that's often listed after casting, entomology, wading, and even fly tying in order of importance, but I could introduce you to several fly fishers around here who can't cast worth a damn, don't know a mayfly from a barn owl, ... but who still catch lots of trout because they know how to sneak up on them."

    More on   stealth

    Look at the right time in the right place

    What time of year do you expect to see sea trout?

    The main run of young sea trout (local name school peal) generally enter freshwater between July and September. The larger older sea trout are fewer in number (local name peal). The run starts in May.

    This video shows a sea trout seen on the 22nd May 2019. The fish has a   fungal infection. These infections may occur from Spring onwards in fish that have entered the river to spawn.

    Where to look for sea trout during the day

    On local rivers, during the day sea trout tend to lie in, or close to, slower deeper water with overhanging trees or bankside vegetation that provides shading. These lies provide protection from predators and allow the fish to conserve energy.

    Therefore it's a good idea to preserve this 'untidy' habitat on rivers with a run of sea trout.

    As darkness descends sea trout tend to move out of deeper daytime lies to shallower water, often towards the tail of a pool. This   article  has useful photographs that illustrate these points.

    Sea trout can be caught by day

    It is easier to catch sea trout during the day when the water is clearing after a Summer spate. But they can also be caught in low water conditions.

    Kennneth Dawson in his book "Successful Fishing for Salmon and Sea Trout" remarked that

    "... in the Yealm good sea trout up to 4-5 lbs. can be taken by day on very small flies ..."

    Roy Buckingham - the Head River Keeper at the Arundell Arms hotel from 1969 until his retirement in 2008 - had this to say - in an article he wrote in 2008 - about catching sea trout by day:

    "If you do not like going out at night it is perfectly possible to catch sea trout during the day. An odd fish is taken when salmon or trout fishing, but you will catch more if you fish specially for them. My normal outfit is what I use for trout. A rod of 8’5 or 9’ with a size six floating line. Because sea trout are so easily scared during the day, use a leader as long as you can manage....". In this video (at 21min 30 sec)  Lewis Hendrie  uses the induced take technique to catch a fine sea trout on a small nymph ...

    Catching sea trout on a nymph

    Advice from Roy Buckingham: "For daytime fishing I use small weighted wet flies such as coachman or black and peacock spider, or goldhead nymphs, hares ear or prince, sizes 12 and 14 or even smaller at times. On our small to medium sized rivers fish all methods upstream during the day. Wet flies and nymphs should be cast upstream or up and across and allowed to sink for three or four seconds before starting to retrieve slightly faster than the current. If there is little or no current, use the induced take method with a weighted nymph. Cast upstream and wait for the nymph to sink almost down to the bottom, and then slowly raise the rod tip, drawing the nymph up towards the surface."

    Catching sea trout on a dry fly

    Roy Buckingham added "Sometimes you will see them feeding on surface flies, but they can be taken on dry fly even when you do not see any rising. It is always a great advantage if you can see the fish, because if a dry fly is cast well upstream and allowed to drift over the fish, I have found this much less effective than casting into the sea trout’s window of vision, which can sometimes create an immediate response."

    Roy's advice - to cast your fly into a sea trout's window of vision - may seem odd because anglers are often advised to cast so that their fly lands outside the brown trout's window.

    Roy Buckingham continues with this advice: "If after two or three casts the fly is refused, cast a little further upstream and retrieve the line a little faster than the current to create a wake on the surface. This will often produce a fish when all else fails." Again this may seem at odds with the advice to avoid drag when fishing for brown trout.

    The author 'Lemon Grey', in his book 'Torridge Fishery', echoes Roy Buckingham's advice about drag "I believe that a slightly dragging dry fly will bring them in the day-time better than anything. What would put down a trout seems to arouse a peal [sea trout] - but, of course, it must be done artistically."

    H.G. Michelmore fished in South Devon, he reported that: "Excellent sport can be got in the day time fishing for sea trout with a dry fly, and the best flies in my experience are a Red Upright with a dark head or Blue Upright, both without wing, or, perhaps best of all, a fair-sized Cockybondhu" [sic] (Michelmore 1946? p36).

    An interesting, thought-provoking video from Simon Toussifar that challenges received wisdom on daytime and dusk fishing for sea trout with a dry fly.

    R.W. Mountjoy's ‘Two Zone Theory’

    Roy Buckingham's advice is based on many years of practical experience. But the question remains: "Why do these techniques work?". In his book The Sea Trout Diaries (2007), local angler Robert Mountjoy suggests that sea trout have two visual zones:
  • an inner strike zone (dotted line A in Mountjoy's diagram)
  • surrounded by an outer visual zone (dotted line B ) .
  • He developed this theory from experiences spinning for sea trout on West Country rivers (Tavy, Walkhan and Plym). When a spinner lands in the strike zone, the fish may react instinctively and take it immediately. But if the spinner lands in the outer visual zone a sea trout may follow, but is less likely to take the lure.

    Mountjoy used his two-zone theory to explain why sea trout will sometimes take a nymph or dry fly.

    Like Buckingham, Mountjoy found that a beadhead nymph cast upstream, allowed to sink, and then by raising the rod tip retrieving the fly just faster than the current was effective. Mountjoy found that this technique was most effective when the fly landed in a sea trout's 'strike zone'.

    'Lemon Grey', Buckingham and Mountjoy agree that slight drag on a dry fly may be attractive to sea trout.

    Mountjoy summed up as follows: "I came to the conclusion that sea trout react to an alighting dry fly as they would a lure. A food item suddenly appears in their window and striking range and they instinctively respond. Drifting flies over the fish and giving them plenty of time to view and consider the offering has proved unproductive". (Quote from Mountjoy, 2007, p 51)

    Mountjoy's Two Zone theory also explains why it is easier to catch sea trout in coloured water. Due to turbidity the visual zone is closer to the strike zone and consequently a sea trout has less opportunity to inspect a spinner or fly. In these conditions fishing down and across is an effective technique.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a lot more

    Local angler  Jeff Pearce (Snowbee, UK) posted this video on Facebook. It nicely illustrates several points discussed on this page.
  • During daylight sea trout favour lying in  slower water beneath overhanging trees
  • Jeff uses a  roll cast  to cope with vegetation on his bank
  • He casts upstream and allows several seconds for the fly to sink.  Roy Buckingham  advocates this tactic.
  • Jeff attaches a Snowbee polycore fast sink trout leader to assist sinking the fly.
  • Then he retrieves line to move the fly faster than the current.  Robert Mountjoy's  Two Zone theory explains why this works especially well in coloured water.

  • Why is it easier in daylight to catch brown trout than sea trout?

    The first obvious reason is because generally sea trout do not feed in freshwater. The second reason is that brown trout outnumber sea trout. And thirdly the fly or lure has to land within a relatively small area in front of the fish to tempt a sea trout.

    For a description of the trout's window and a discussion of the different effects of drag on brown trout and sea trout see  How does a trout catch a fly?

    When to fish for sea trout: night, dusk or daytime ?

    Short answer:

  • Do not discount the possibility of catching sea trout during the day
  • If you are not experienced fishing at night, start in daylight; you will quickly find out if, and where, sea trout are lying this is essential information before fishing after dark.
  • Then fish at dusk. Success at dusk will build your confidence in facing the challenge of fishing in complete darkness
  • In unfamiar locations, I would start at dusk several times before embarking on fishing in complete darkness
  • Once you are confident in your casting:
  • Sea trout will generally be most active, and most catchable, in the first hour or two of darkness

  • When I moved to Devon in the 1970s I fished for sea trout exclusively at night and was strongly influenced by Hugh Falkus' book Sea Trout Fishing . I caught the occassional sea trout during the day, but put it down as a 'fluke'. In daylight I noticed tiny rises or 'dimples' and put these down to very small trout. A local expert, Cedric Potter, who relished fishing for sea trout by day, explained that these 'dimples' were caused by sea trout.

    And this year (2018) - because we endured prolonged low water and bright sunshine - I was able to spend more time observing sea trout. I saw larger fish 'dimple' and smaller fish appeared to make conventional rises. There are examples of both these behavious in the video Tips on spotting sea trout  .
    My colleague, Fly Fishing Devon guide Geoff Stephens, has also reported 'dimpling' sea trout on the West Dart.

    Here are some sea trout flies tied by a South Devon expert (Cedric Potter) who specialised in sea trout fishing by night and by day. I fished with Cedric and his son Chris on the Devonshire Avon in the 1970s and '80s


    Cedric fished this fly at night after treatment with floatant so that it fished in the surface and created a wake when retrieved

    Peter Ross

    Tups Indispensible

    Cedric fished this as a dry fly or nymph during the day. It went through several versions with increasing amounts of red / pink dubbing

    Angler, guide and author Steffan Jones has this to say in The Fishing Passport Magazine 2019 Summer edition

    "Smaller sea trout feed in freshwater, contrary to popular belief, and can often be targeted with dry fly or nymph very much the same as a resident brown trout. Prolific sport can be had on a falling spate, which will bring in a new push of fish but also encourage those already residing within the system to venture further upstream. When faced with such conditions, swinging wet flies will bring the most success. Traditional patterns such as silver stoat, peter ross, mallard and claret."

    A new generation of West Country fly fishing guides are also optimistic about catching sea trout in daylight

    A most enthusiatic advocate of targeting sea trout in daylight is Farlows' Fishing Manager, Nick Hart.

    In June 2018 he wrote a short article : Top Tips for Daytime Sea Trout Fishing
    Nick's advice is based on his experiences guiding anglers on West Country rivers.

    In daylight sea trout are notoriously wary of shadows and sudden movements which may account for the success of night fishing.
    Nick advises during the day "Approach these fish just as you would any big, astute brown trout."

    Sea trout caught in daylight tend to be the smaller fish (finnock), called locally 'school peal' to distinguish them from the larger fish - 'peal'.

    Wade with caution and steath at all times. Here's a useful article from Domenick Swentosky It’s wading, not walking

    Do not assume that sea trout will remain where you observed them in daylight. Anglers have noticed that, on rivers as darkness approaches, sea trout leave their daytime lies for nearby shallower water. You may notice that as darkness approaches the surface of a normally smooth pool appears to "rock" - this may be a sign of sea trout moving from their daytime lies. Recent marine research has shown that during darkness sea trout move into shallower water The secret life of trout at sea

    A fly fishing guide can show you where, when and how to fish for sea trout

    Careful daylight preparation is essential before fishing for sea trout at night

    Fly fishing at night for sea trout

    Take a moment before you start ...

    This Facebook post from Tony Andrews (CEO 2008 to 2016 at Atlantic Salmon Trust) captures what it is like to sit by a river containing sea trout at dusk. Tony makes an observation that I have never seen described before. He calls it “sub aqua heaving” or ‘heaving of the water’. I see this as it gets dark, but never in daylight, and call it 'the water rocking'. I think it's caused when larger sea trout leave their daytime lies and move into shallower water. It may be particularly noticeable on smooth pools on relatively narrow rivers.

    He also describes how the "community of living things slip back into their normality after the rude intrusion of our arrival. This does happen in daylight and is an example of the benefits of stealth. It can help fish and angler to simply sit still for a few moments and "let nature come back to you". It will, and you'll see little and larger fish within a few feet and maybe a fish rising a short distance away.

    DUSK IS FALLING AT THE WILLOWS A short walk from home is a pool in our little river which we call ‘Willows’. Late in...

    Posted by Tony Andrews on Wednesday, 2 September 2020

    Casting a fly at night for sea trout

    Don't be suprised if you experience problems with overhead casts when darkness descends.

    Steffan Jones wrote: "I have often seen good casters become terrible casters as soon as night falls and / or when a heavier fly is placed on the leader."

    Stephan advocates "overloading the line weight of your rod by one or looking for short bellied lines that can load with ease under a short distance"

    From Steffan Jones "Sea Trout, Tips, Tricks & Tribulations" published by Steffan Jones,2017

    Overhead casting

    Jeffery Bluett wrote: "One of the chief troubles experienced by the angler fishing for sea trout when daylight has failed is that he is often largely unable to see what is happening, what mistakes he is making, and into what trouble he is getting. A slight hitch in casting may cause a minor entanglement which, unless rectified immediately, will develop into the most hopeless muddle.... At night I have known many a fisherman, inexperienced at fishing in the dark, to hit his rod with cast and fly time after time on the backward cast."

    Bluett offers this advice: "By making the backward cast with the rod held slightly away from the body, and at an angle of some fifteen degrees from the vertical, and then coming forward with the rod handle close to the side, and upright, this trouble can be largely mitigated, if not wholly mitigated "
    From Jeffery Bluett, "Sea Trout and Occassional Salmon", Cassell, 1948, p 81-2.

    Loss of accuracy: A price worth paying?

    Bluett's suggestion will help to avoid the fly crashing into the rod, but it may conflict with advice given by your casting instructor to cast with the rod tip traveling in a straight line.

    This is because a straight line path ensures accuracy which is important when fishing for brown trout in daylight.

    I used the overhead cast when I started fishing for sea trout on the nearby   Devonshire River Avon  in the 1970s. I coped with wind knots, tangled leaders and enthusiatically trimmed overhanging vegetation to accomodate overhead casting.

    But there is a better way...

    Try a roll cast

    More recently I have turned to roll casting at night. A roll cast gives you the gift of time; time to position the D loop and anchor; time to make the forward cast clear of the line lying beside you on the water; time to use surface tension to pull line you have retrieved through the tip ring ready for the next cast, and thus more time with your fly in the water.

    Steffan Jones also highlights the usefulness of roll casting "The most fundamental cast that must be mastered is the roll cast. A roll cast can keep you fishing in areas where an overhead cast would be impossible. It also opens up your loop on the forward delivery which makes it less prone to tangling . It can also be a lot safer cast when turning over larger flies, as the flies spend less time in the air and are less likely to hit you or your rod as a result."

    From Steffan Jones "Sea Trout, Tips, Tricks & Tribulations" published by Steffan Jones,2017

    Double Spey cast

    The Double Spey cast is a type of roll cast that allows you to change direction when swinging a fly 'down-and-across' for sea trout at night.

    These videos show :
    1. how this cast is used to cope with overhanging vegetation on the Upper Yealm Fishery
    2. a breakdown of the steps in the Double Spey cast

    In essence the Double Spey cast simply involves moving the fly line in order to position the end of the line (the 'anchor' ) pointing at your target.

    'Practice makes perfect'

    Roy Buckingham was a fishing instructor for 39 years at the Arundell Arms, Lifton, Devon and reckons he has taught around 16,000 people to fish.

    He wrote: "Most of the problems that people have really boil down to casting faults of one kind or another. It's most surprising, because everything feels different at night, and almost everyone is inclined to speed up their casting in the dark without realising it.... So that is the first thing to deal with. Bad casting in the dark. There's only one way of doing it: go out to the river at night - but not the sea trout pools -and practise and practise until you get the feel. "

    From "Success with the Sea Trout" by Roy Buckingham, in "West Country Fly Fishing", Anne . Bark (General editor), Batsford, 1983, p 48.

    As they say 'practice makes perfect' and your confidence will grow as you begin to rely more on your auditory and tactile senses at night.

    Tackle recommendations:

    Parts of the Upper Yealm beat are narrow and have overhanging vegetation.

    An ability to Roll Cast is a useful skill.

    We recommend using a white floating line with an 8 to 9 foot rod rated AFTM# 6-7

    It is worth 'overlining' the rod because most casts are short i.e. less than 30 feet of flyline outside to tip ring

    Why conserve sea trout? The case for catch and release

    Tim & Paul talk about conservation

    Sea trout conservation

    Brown and sea trout are the same species (Salmo trutta). Sea trout are brown trout that migrate to sea. Some brown trout migrate to sea and some sea trout eggs develop into brown trout that remain in the river throughout their lives.

    Migratory trout make an important contribution to trout stocks. The heavier, older sea trout produce more and larger eggs, and should be released for the sake of conserving the stock of all trout in a river.

    Because of their large size, female sea trout provide most of the trout eggs laid in a river

    Scientists have not yet worked out why some trout migrate to sea. It is possibly an interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Maybe a lack of food in the river triggers migration. We do know that the better sea trout rivers tend to be short acidic rivers with easy access to good spawning and nursery areas.

    Most sea trout are female . They produce an average of 800 eggs per pound of their body weight.

    Recent scientific studies highlight the importance of sea trout to brown trout stocks

    Over the last 12 years it has become clear that a few large sea trout are critical in maintaining the number of trout in a river.

    In 2004 the ‘First International Sea Trout Symposium’ highlighted the following key points:

  • Sea trout are the sea-running form of brown trout
  • Sea trout and brown trout interbreed
  • The majority of sea trout are female
  • Unlike salmon, sea trout can return to spawn up to 10 times
  • Because of their large size, female sea trout provide most of the trout eggs laid in a river
  • Genetic studies show that larger, longer-lived sea trout produce young that are also likely to grow large
  • ‘Finnock’ are sea trout in their first year after leaving the river as smolts
  • Some finnock enter rivers in the summer/autumn, and some of these breed
  • Sea trout and brown trout should be managed jointly

  • Chapter 1 of the 2004 symposium written by Harris and Milner is available online in Sea Trout: Biology, Conservation and Management

    In 2015 a report to the 2nd International Sea Trout Symposium revealed that 85% of eggs in the Shimna river were contributed by larger sea trout that have spent at least one winter at sea. This is likely to be true of many other systems, and has obvious implications for management.

    Are we playing Russian Roulette with future trout stocks?

    In 2016 scientists from Exeter University, Queen Mary University and the Game and Conservancy Wildlife Trust published the results of their exhaustive research that examined the parentage of juvenile trout (fry) in the Tadnoll Brook, Dorset, in southwest England, a tributary of the River Frome.

    They reported that 76% of juvenile trout (fry) were the offspring of 6 female sea trout. This raises the possibility that a small number of female sea trout may play a crucial role in maintaining the stock of trout in a river. In addition for the first time these authors were able to show that male sea trout fathered considerably more offspring than resident male brown trout.

    In their Summary the authors state: a small number of anadromous females (six of 96 adults sampled) are the main drivers of reproduction in this system.

    There is a stark message in that statement: Any sea trout removed from a river might be one of that small group. To put it crudely, X%, Y% or Z% Catch and Release is a form of Russian Roulette with future trout stocks, an activity that is potentially very dangerous.

    The scientific paper is available online: Goodwin et al. (2016) A small number of anadromous females drive reproduction in a brown trout (Salmo trutta) population in an English chalk stream. Freshwater Biology 61, 1075–1089.

    Figure 1 from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust article

    The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

    ‘How important are sea trout for recruitment in trout populations?’ The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust published this very clear account  of Goodwin et al's (2016) research into the genetics of brown and sea trout. Figure 1 "The proportion of adults that were sea trout and brown trout and their relative contributions to offspring" is a particularly clear presentation of the research findings

    The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust concluded "Although this study focused on just one river from a chalkstream catchment, it demonstrated that sea trout can be extremely important for recruitment in trout populations."

    What you can do to help conserve trout stocks ?

    Please protect sea trout smolts

    Some young trout of 1 to 3 years old and 5 to7 inches long change to a silver colour before migrating to the sea.

    These small silver trout are called smolts. Smolts shoal together before migrating to sea, usually in late March / April. They are often caught by anglers and should be handled carefully and released. After all they may be parent of many of the brown trout you catch in the future

    Please conserve adult sea trout

    Follow this advice from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board

    "Help conserve sea trout stocks by showing restraint in the number and size of fish that you kill (i.e. don’t kill the bag limit just because you can!). We would recommend the release of all large sea trout over 3lbs as they are important brood stock for future generations"

    Remaining mysteries in Salmo trutta's lifestory

    Here is a   recent article  in which I borrow from American fly-fishing author John Gierach 'Let me introduce some ideas, just some things to kick around.'

    My favourite conservation device: The waterproof camera

    It was common practice for fishing clubs and associations to award annual prizes to the angler who caught the largest fish.

    In order to recognize the contribution of conservation-minded anglers, one forward looking association now awards a waterproof camera to the angler who returns the most fish.

    An extension of Catch and Release is Catch Snap and Release

    Books discussing sea trout in Devon and Cornwall

    First a word of explanation for this restricted list of books and videos. I agree with sea trout guide Roddy Rae:

    "A lot of the fishing and tactics on Devon rivers are quite different from what would be common on most of the big Scottish rivers or indeed the Welsh rivers. Down here in Devon our rivers tend to be smaller, more wooded and with less water flow, making fishing the traditional methods of across and down less effective."

    These resources are from anglers with many years experience fishing for sea trout on West Country rivers.

  • Sea Trout: How to Catch Them by Charles Bingham
  • The Sea Trout Diaries by Robert Mountjoy
  • Salmon & Trout in Moorland Streams by Kenneth Dawson
  • West Country Fly Fishing edited by Anne Voss Bark,
    especially chapter by Roy Buckingham 'Success with Sea Trout'
  • Torridge Fishery by L.R.N. Grey 'Lemon Grey'
  • Successful Fishing for Salmon and Sea Trout by Kennneth Dawson
  • Sea Trout and Occasional Salmon by Jeffrey Bluett
  • Fishing Facts And Fancies by Michelmore H.G. (1946). A. Wheaton & Co.
  • Videos related to sea trout fishing in Devon and Cornwall

  • Fly Tying - Pilk's Bumble- Sea Trout Fly tied by Arundell Arms fly fishing instructor and guide, David Pilkington,
  • Fly Tying - Pilk's PR- another Sea Trout Fly tied by David Pilkington
  • Fly Tying - the WMD Gurglertied by Tim Smith, fly fishing guide and instructor at the Arundell Arms Hotel
  • These flies can be obtained from the Arundell Arms online shop: West Country Sea Trout Selection - Night
  • An otter on the Tamar, filmed on 16th September 2018 by Alexander Jones
  • Westcountry Angling Passport scheme Night Fishing on West Country rivers
  • Dart Angling Association Dart sea trout
  • This video shows Steffan Jensen sight fishing for big sea trout in a small river in Southern Sweden. I left this comment when I first saw it 6 years ago: "This is a very, very impressive video of fishing for sea trout by day. The angler has the right mental approach and attitude toward fish caught and lost, uses the right casts (roll casts) to tackle extremely 'spooky' fish in difficult terrain, and offers simple, straightforward advice on tackle and clothing - my video choice of the year."
  • Internet resources

  • Roy Buckingham was the Head River Keeper and taught 1,000s to fish at the Arundell Arms hotel in Lifton from 1969 to his retirement in 2008. His vast experience of sea trout fishing by day and night is captured in this article he wrote in 2008   Fly Fishing for Sea Trout
  • Some advice.. "if you hanker after a sea-run brown trout but cannot manage, or perhaps cannot be bothered, to stumble around in the gloaming"from West Country fly fishing guide and Farlows Fishing Manager Nick Hart Top Tips for Daytime Sea Trout Fishing
  • An introduction to sea trout fishing in Devonby experienced sea trout guide Roddy Rae "A lot of the fishing and tactics on Devon rivers are quite different from what would be common on most of the big Scottish rivers or indeed the Welsh rivers. That is to say one would be casting a fly out at roughly a 45-degree angle and allowing the current to generally fish the fly for you while you wait in anticipation. Down here in Devon our rivers tend to be smaller, more wooded and with less water flow, making fishing the traditional methods of across and down less effective. Now I am not saying that this is true of all our rivers but it certainly is of most of them."
  • An article by Devon based fly fishing guide Pete Tyjas on catching Daytime Sea Trout
  • "I have learnt over the years that a good guide or ghillie can be invaluable, particularly when you’re fishing water you don’t know or for a species you’re unfamiliar with." "A good fly fishing guide can be the difference between blank and brilliant, says Marcus Janssen, particularly when you can’t see a thing."
  • Hardy ProTeam member Stevie Munn offers advice on safety, hiring a guide, wading and etiquette Top tips for night fishing
  • Wade with caution and steath at all times. Here's a useful article from Domenick Swentosky It’s wading, not walking
  • James Beeson describes catching his first Devon sea trout on Dartmoor
  • Good advice from 'First Nature', "If you are a reasonably competent trout or salmon flyfisher, then we urge you to have a go at sea trout, but if you are still struggling with the basics of trout or salmon fishing then we strongly suggest you work on those areas first, because even for experts sea trout fishing is far from easy." Flyfishing for Sea Trout
  • A useful description from David Luckhurst of how sea trout lies change from day through dusk to night: Spotting sea trout lies
  • Fishing for Pealby Charlie Webster (courtesey The Horrabridge Times) describes fishing for sea trout on Dartmoor: "I cast upriver first, bringing the fly back fast, with the current. Then across, leaving the fly to swing around with the current before I retrieve. Then down to the tail of the pool, casting a yard further down at a time. I feel a touch or two. Then, just as I get to the shallows where the pool tips over into the next one, I get the bite and pull the line tight."
  • Pisula, Wojciech. (2009). Curiosity and Information Seeking in Animal and Human Behavior. Brown Walker Press. Boca Raton
  • Internet archive of free to read books mentioning 'sea trout'

  • Ideal accommodation for sea trout anglers

    Cadleigh Manor's Shepherd’s Hut

    Cadleigh Shepherd’s Hut is a touch of luxury set in its own glade at Cadleigh Manor. The Hut is located 10 minutes from the Upper Yealm Fishery. Ideal accommodation for late night anglers not wanting to disturb residents in conventional accommodation. Bedding and towels provided

    Interior of Shepherd’s Hut

    The Hut is equipped with a cosy double bed, a wood-burner, a two ring gas cooker, a fridge, microwave, toaster and kitchen crockery and utensils. In addition there is hot and cold running water, a sink, an electric shower and a flush toilet. There are USB charging points by the bed.

    Cadleigh Manor Trip Advisor Reviews

    Guest feedback 14th January 2019 "Welcoming hosts. Gorgeous breakfasts, loved the home grown, home bred produce. Very quiet location made for a good night's sleep in a very comfy bed. Will definitely stay again when visiting the area"

    For the best value, always book direct at www.cadleigh.co.uk