With the dawn of the Sea-Trout season on the horizon (Mar 17) its time to start preparing for the challenge ahead. By no means an easy target, with many sessions more of a pilgrimage, that will test an anglers mettle to the limit. You could be doing absolutely nothing wrong in terms of fishing times, marks, presentations, etc, for hours without a sign of a fish, they just don’t show, for many reasons. However, if like me you do enjoy the CHALLENGE of chasing them, especially on the fly here are a FEW tips to help you on your way, but be warned it still won’t be easy. Firstly, as I’ve often mentioned before, the biggest challenge in sea angling, locating your targets. Spend your time where you know there is a decent population of them. Contrary to what many will tell you, unless your either very lucky, or very talented, you won’t start catching Sea-Trout on the fly straight away, you will have to do an “apprenticeship” with lures, and spend a LOT of time on the water to get a decent insight into their characteristic ways in the salt, and build your confidence in catching them. If you’ve come this far, then your half way there. Hopefully, you will have been taking notes on Lunar cycles, catching times, local conditions, on all your success’s, blanks, and learning from both. Then you want to go to the next level, consistent results with sea-trout fly fishing in the salt. You won’t need to spend a fortune starting, but get value for money with gear that will tolerate the salt for a few years with care. Clothing is often just as important as tackle, especially when you need to be very mobile, often moving quickly, by foot, road, or boat with the tide to their different “waypoints”. The fly has a few advantages over the lure, one BIG one, is that it can be fished effectively in very shallow water of less than a 12″/300 mm in depth. At certain tide stages, sea- trout will be actively seeking out their prey along the margins, where 80% of it is. NEVER wade deep unless you really have too, or you have seen some fish activity far out. On a lot of marks you will need to stay well back from the waters edge to avoid being spotted by them. Many hits come right at the edge, so EXPECT them. Sea-trout will often follow a fly/lure across its path slowly, keeping back, then rush in to nail it at the waters edge, as if to “cut off” the fly against the shore. I’ve seen this many times, and you will too, if you keep watching the water like you should be. You can fish your fly deep, or shallow, and catch trout, over the years I’ve got many doing both. These days I tend to fish very close to the surface most of the time, sea- trout have no problem coming UP for it, even from depths of 10’/3m plus for a small fly early in the season, which is in complete contrast to what many will tell you. Another tip that has served me well over the years, and has often been the difference between losing, or landing is, on hooking your fish keep it on a LONG line, by this I mean, instead of reeling in whilst playing it, walk slowly backwards instead, let the rod + line absorb the “shock” of the head shaking + jumping of a decent fish more efficiently, plus the fish won’t see YOU as it approaches the waters edge towards the end of the fight because you will be standing WELL back, remember. Allow your fish to fully recover before releasing it, handle them as little as possible especially delicate small fish. Like I said, a FEW tips. You will have to fill in all the gaps yourself (and there are a lot of them!!), for some sense of achievement. Lastly, DON’T be put off by failure, it will be HARD, and you will need a lot of CUNNING. The local saying ” The Old Dog, For The Hard Road ” is never as true, as it is in fishing for Salty Trout…..