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 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...."
"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."
"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. 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."
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."
When to fish for sea trout: night, dusk or daytime ?
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 darknessOnce you are confident in your casting:
Sea trout will generally be most active, and most catchable, in the first
hour or two of darkness