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Brief Guide to Trout Fishing Tactics

Trout Fishing TacticsAs in salmon fishing, the successful trout fisher, whether on loch or river, will need to adapt his fishing tactics to suit the season. For the first month of the season, beginning here in Scotland on 15th March, he can expect the fly fishing to be difficult, with high river levels and cold loch temperatures, particularly at the higher altitudes. Fly hatches will be few and far between and the brown trout will be lying deep down. Any surface activity, by both insects and fish, is likely to be concentrated in the warmest hours of the day, most likely in the early afternoon, when the fly fisherman will have his best chance of a fish. As the season progresses, from April into May and May to June, the picture changes and, with the rise in air and water temperatures, a trout may be expected at any time of the day in anything but the most inclement conditions. The high Scottish hill lochs will now be fishable and the rivers will be buzzing with invertebrate activity, the trout taking full advantage of the now abundant food supply to regain weight and strength after their spawning exertions of last winter. The daytime trout fishing will be good now through most of the summer, with perhaps a bit of a lull in August, when the high summer sun might see the trout seeking the cooler depths during the day, and most likely to fall to a fisherman's fly from late evening to early morning. The cooler conditions of September may bring a brief revival of activity before the close of the Scottish brown trout season on 6th

Loch Trout Fishing Tactics

When we think of Scottish trout fishing, our thoughts turn first to the lochs, where we might fish, "loch style", from a drifting boat, casting a team of wet flies on a short line to eager wild brown trout on an equally wild highland loch set amid heather clad mountains, or working our way along a loch shore, miles from anywhere, casting here and there, with only the curlews, oyster catchers and maybe the occasional osprey for company. Given a good wind and a bit of cloud, we might fill a basket with bright, breakfast brownies or, more likely, delight in returning them to the loch, with no more than a brace or two of the better fish kept for the table. The fishing need not be demanding, nor the method complicated. A limber rod of ten feet or so, its name and maker long forgotten, a double tapered floating line, and a cast of three loch flies, selected from an old and battered box of famous patterns........ Greenwell's Glory, Butcher, Mallard and Claret, Zulu, Cinnamon and Gold, Black Pennell, Red Palmer, Invicta, Grouse and Green, Peter Ross, Woodcock and Yellow, Blae and Black..... no need to fret over your choice, they will all catch Scottish troot. Mind you, we all have our favourites.

River Trout Fishing Tactics

River Trout FishingBut we should not allow the loch fishing, despite its matchless quality, to completely overshadow our river trout fishing here in Scotland. In rivers like the Don, Tay, Tweed and Clyde, we have river brown trout fishing to match any in the world. But river trout fishing may be regarded in some ways as slightly more challenging than loch fishing, a bit less straightforward, demanding more of the fisherman in terms of approach, care and effort. Of course, river fishing can be as relaxing or as challenging as we care to make it but, for consistent success, the fly fisher on the river may need a more flexible approach, adapting to the subtly changing conditions of the day, hour or minute. A simple, leisurely down-and-across wet fly, perhaps a Greenwell's Glory or Silver Butcher, may at times meet with success. At others, the trout might accept nothing less than a close copy of a favourite meal, maybe a size 12 March Brown or a size 14 large dark olive, a finely dressed dry fly cast on to its nose with delicate precision. On some days it will be the master of the nymph who scores, while on others the best trout may be attracted by a cast of sparsely dressed spiders, cast gently upstream and allowed to drift down over a likely lie. For the accomplished fly fisher who is prepared to make the effort, Scotland offers some of the best river fly fishing in the world. 

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