Trout Fishing – Fishing for Trout
The reason for the fascination of Trout fishing is probably a combination of factors. First of all there is the challenge of outwitting the quarry: shy trout in chalk streams are easily scared and can be infuriatingly choosy when they are feeding on one particular natural fly. If the angler is to be successful) he or she must identify and imitate that fly to stand any chance of success. The capture of a large chalk-stream trout is something to be celebrated.
The Right Conditions
Trout in lakes and reservoirs can feed on many different creatures at many different depths in the water, and the angler has to solve a number of problems successfully. Salmon and sea trout will only take freely when conditions are favorable, which they seldom are, and even then they may not take when conditions seem absolutely right. Salmon, sea trout and many rainbows also fight with great strength and determination and all game fish can be extremely choosy about the type of baits or flies they will accept. Probably the main reason why Trout fishing holds such a fascination is the rivers, lakes and lochs where it takes place. Salmon rivers and Highland lochs, particularly, are places of supreme beauty and the fisherman is conscious of being surrounded by and being close to nature. The primitive hunting instinct that exists in all anglers thrives in beautiful locations.
The game fish described in this article are five in number although many anglers place the grayling as a coarse fish for it breeds in the spring and has the same season as coarse fish. However, both the grayling and brown trout are to be found in unpolluted clear streams and the grayling is particularly sensitive to the quality of the water. Brown trout are found all over the country in both rivers and still waters and nowadays are frequently stocked in reservoirs and lakes. The finest trout fishing is on the chalk streams of southern England, where the water is crystal clear, and the fishing exacting in the extreme. Trout fishing, generally, is a local pursuit and many anglers fish for Trout near where they live, although, with the advent of stocked waters populated by enormous fish bred for their size, more and more anglers are visiting these water in search of these monsters. Rainbow trout too, have become very popular for they generally fight better than brown trout and they are easy to stock in all waters, not just reservoirs and lakes, for they tolerate higher water temperatures and poorer water quality than the native brown trout. They grow quickly and commercially offer a better return.
Species Under Threat
The game fish that have had to struggle to survive are the two migratory species where humankind is unable to give a helping hand and the environment changes worked against them. Sea trout, in particular, have suffered, firstly from UDN (ulcerative dermal necrosis) disease in the 1960s that virtually wiped out the population on many rivers, and latterly with offshore pollution caused by the salmon farms in the estuaries, particularly around the west coast of Scotland. Sea trout have also suffered because the sandeel, their main diet in the sea, has been badly overfished by commercial fishermen for use as fertilizer and to make fish pellets.
Some rivers in Wales still support a good number of sea trout but in many places, their survival is in doubt. The plight of the salmon is well- documented and many rivers are now taking drastic steps to preserve their stock by banning all methods of fishing except the fly and insisting on fish being returned to the river unharmed so that they have a chance of spawning and reproducing the species. These matters are the concern for every angler and it is important to all the salmon and sea trout continue to run and spawn in the 21st century. It is the capture of these species that is the summit of the anglers ambition. There is no doubt that the hooking, playing and landing of a salmon is one of the great moments in an anglers life. Sea trout, too, hooked in the dark on a river when they take a great jolt on the line, or coming to the dap on a highland loch with a heart-stopping splash are a quarry fit for all.
Modern tackle has made Trout fishing a great deal easier. Rods are lighter and more powerful: modern technology has led to the development of many different types of line that make casting easier, and various lines can be purchased that will sink through the water at different rates or float on the surface. Nylon leaders are stronger and thinner and modern nylon can be virtually invisible in water. Flies and lures also are now made from modern materials that are better than many old-fashioned ones and the design of salmon flies, in particular, has improved drastically. Also, Trout fishing is now available to everyone. Whereas years ago most of the best Trout fishing was in private hands and reserved, nowadays much of the best trout fishing is on modern reservoirs where anyone can buy a day ticket and even if the best salmon beats are still prohibitively expensive there are tickets available on a number of local waters in Scotland with the chance of a fish.