spotting sea trout lies


Shown below are a few photographs showing typical lies for sea trout. Where fish possibly may lie will always depend on water height, temperature and time of day. It is reasonable to assume that when fishing in the day the deeper lies will pay better dividends than fishing pool tails. Conversely fishing pool tails just as it has gone fully dark often works best, moving to deeper lies as the night progresses.

The image below shows a typical run into a pool. Fish lies are indicated by the yellow arrows. Fish will lie further back in the pool as it gets dark. Moving from the deeper areas of the pool. The fish at the head of the run will lie there during the first hour or so of darkness

and is often a freely taking fish. This may be due to its position being ready to move up into the waters above. Fish lying further back down the pool are often fish that are moving into a position to move upstream. The fish lying further back into the tail of the pool are fish that have moved from the deeper water and feel safe under the cover of darkness. Fish in this position are often the fish that will take readily and should be targeted once darkness has fallen completely. To start to early can often be detrimental to success. However on occasion when fish are moving and the night is warm then starting to fish just as darkness has fallen can prove very successful. The fish lying to the right of the photograph may be fish lying there should the river level rise. Fish will move into areas of slacker water when the river rises. This is due to energy conservation on behalf of the fish. They do not feed regularly in the river so conserving energy is paramount. Fish at this position will use less energy but being settled may well be a taking fish. A lure or spinner (or worm) cast into this area effectively "invades" their lie. Being naturally aggressive the fish may well strike out at this 'intruder'. It is always worthwhile fishing these areas when the river is high with a spinner or worm. If the water is high but clear then fishing with a sinking line and large fly may prove successful.

The photograph shows fish lies in a deeper pool. The fish lying to the right of the pool area are those that may have been resident in the pool for a few days or longer. These often are the larger fish and rest here in the deeper slower water to conserve energy. The fish to the left of the pool are those that under the cover of darkness have moved out from under the "shadow" of the trees into more open water. These fish are often taking fish and particular attention should be paid to fishing this area before any other part of this pool. To cast to the furthest fish can only serve to scare the fish closest to you. Short line fishing in these days of maximum distance casting often appears at odds with modern day techniques. To fish the furthest part of a pool first can only lead to limited success. This is not to say that you will not catch fish but the chances are reduced. The fish at the tail end of the pool should be covered once the close in areas have been fished. Casting carefully under the trees and letting the fly swing round is probably the best technique of fishing these areas. However, should your line slow down the flies will drop in the water losing their appeal. As the fly moves round into the slower water start to retrieve using a figure of eight retrieve. This will keep the fly higher in the water and it will not lose its taking potential. The speed of retrieval must be adjusted to the flow of the river to keep the fly looking as natural as is possible.

These photographs are to give an indication of typical lies. Every river is different and the bedform and shape of each river and pool is individual. Studying the river shape and form can give vital clues to where fish may lie. Study your river. A few hours walking the river (and making mental and paper notes) can boost your chances of success. Sea trout are naturally very shy fish. They will lie in the quietest place until ready to run. You need to effectively "invade" this space to give you a chance of success.