Sea trout fishing on the coast:
Sea trout fishing from the coast has become increasingly popular over the years. Especially the waters around Denmark and the southern end of Sweden has been very hyped, BUT NOT WITHOUT REASON. The Danish island Funen has to many become the Sea trout capital for coastal sea trout fishing in Europe and maybe the world.
Sea trout fishing is very exiting and you have properly seen videos on youtube where a lot of fish is caught, but sea trout fishing can also be very hard and tricky especially for beginners. Because of this many give up, which they should not. Therefore we´re making this guide for you so you can get started on your sea trout adventure.
1. The Outfit
Fly fishing on the coast has special demands for your gear. The saltwater is hard on the rods, lines and reels, so you should always wash them after a trip to the coast. The most commonly used rods are a #6 or #7. The #6 is for the more experienced caster who wants the most fun setup for fighting fish. The downsides are that you can struggle a lot with the wind some days. The #7 is the perfect all round rod for the coast. It has enough backbone to deal with pretty much any conditions on the coast and it´s still fun to fight even smaller fish on it. The rods should be saltwater resistant like the SAGE X (691-4/790-4) and REDINGON Predator II or built for saltwater fishing like the SAGE SALT HD.
The reels are mostly the fist thing that breaks when fishing in saltwater. Therefore this is the place you definitely need to get good quality. The salt and sand around the coast is especially hard on your brake system. Therefore it´s a good investment is to buy a reel with a closed drag-system like the TRAUN RIVER Freestone or just about any sage reel. It´s also important that the drag is smooth and can take the load of big fish (It is not uncommon to get two fish on at the same time), so a good and smooth brake is a big help when landing fish on a short line. And always make sure that your reel fits to your rod class, a #7 reel to a #6 rod is not great to fish with!
Fly line, leaders and backing:
Fly lines for the coast often depends on one´s personal choice. Both shooting heads and WF lines work great. The shooting lines normally do a little bit better in tough winds. The density of the lines used are mostly floating, yet we would recommend to go with one of the new Hover lines. The Hover lines (slow intermediate lines that sink approximately 1-2,5 cm/per sec.) have the advantage over normal floating lines in the fact that they have are more direct connection to the fly and it´s therefore easier to hook a fish in close range or even in the distance. Another advantage is that the Hover line sinks just below the waves which makes it much easier to control the flies depth. We recommend the Hover version Rio´s Coastal Sea Tout Line as the perfect all round line for the coast, just make sure to match the line to your rod. As for backing we recommend the use of 100- 200 meters of Super Backing.
The leaders on the coast used in Denmark are special because most experienced anglers fish with two flies on the leader. TRAUN RIVER has therefore introduced a new coastal leader designed especially for this purpose! The new leader is 9 feet long and has a 10 cm. fluorocarbon springer with a micro snap implemented 80 cm above the tip of the leader. This allows you to fish two flies with ease and thereby enhancing your chance of catching fish. A good tip is to use a light fly as the springer to maximize your casting ability and minimize problems. With this new leader you are ready to fish immediately.
2. Seasons and strategy on the coast
As mentioned before sea trout fishing can vary extremely. Sometimes you can catch 5-15 fish in an hour and then suddenly nothing happens. Or you have to make several trips only to catch one fish. Therefore the most important thing about sea trout fishing is to find the fish! Be prepared to drive as much as you fish! Another great option that can increase your chances of catching fish is the use of a belly boat or kayak. The most optimal is a belly boat with oars. This will allow you to over up to 10 km a day no problem.
Many fishermen consider springtime at the coast as their favourite time. The fish are often very hungry in the springtime and it´s not hard to get them to bite. This lasts until the worms come by the end of March. Then the fish can be very selective. So always make sure to have at least a couple of worm patterns in your box. Shrimps flies are always effective and are a MUST HAVE. In the early spring you should seek out coves and places with lower water that warms up quicker than the surrounding water. From the end of April and all of May the water is warm enough that you can find fish anywhere but reefs and places with a lot of variation is the best. In May the garfish arrive and they stay until the end of August. Fishing them can be fun but it can be hard to find sea trout. The best chances are given on early mornings and evenings.
The summer fishing is hard, but the fish are in top condition! You will never have a greater fight with a sea trout than in the summer. The water temperature in the summer months are higher and not ideal for sea trout which will seek out into deeper water. Typical fishing places in the summer are reefs with strong current like Lillebælt or Fyns Hoved. If you´re fishing the summer period don´t miss the experience of night fishing. This can be very effective but make sure that you only fish places you have explored in daylight so you know how the conditions are! Safety first! The best flies for summer fishing are bigger flies like sandeel and other baitfish imitations in natural colours. For night fishing we recommend to fish with black flies on the surface or just below it. Once you catch a fish like this you will be hooked on night fishing for the rest of your life.
In autumn the sea trouts at the coast seek out the streams they where born in and you can experience excellent fishing were you are fishing on big schools of sea trout. The autumn fishing is hard though because the fish have spawning on their minds and don´t feed as regularly. The best chances are often near streams that run into the sea, BUT MAKE SURE YOU DON´T FISH IN THE PRESERVATION ZONES. These zones can be seen on the website https://havoerred.com. We encourage to always release coloured fish so they can help make the next generation of big sea trouts. All coloured fish MUST be released in the period from November 15. to January 16. Our preferred flies in the autumn are often smaller flies with colours of red in them, but natural colours are a safe bet too.
The winter at the coast is different then again the fishing can be great fun when you are fishing on sea trouts called “Greenlanders” which are fish not ready to spawn. These typically range from 20-45 cm. And then there are the gold medal of winter fishing: The big no-spawners. These fish normally range from 2-5 kg and they are fish that for some reason don´t spawn that year. The best places to find fish are like autumn located around streams that run into the sea and also in the fjords and bays with dark button where the water sometimes is 2-3 degrees warmer than in the surrounding area. The flies for winter fishing are normally tied in very bright colours like pink and orange.
Important: During all seasons fish with two flies! This will give you the chance to use different sizes and colours of flies on your leader at the same time. You´ll see this approach makes it much easier to find the right fly for the day! So go check out TRAUN RIVER´s new Sea Trout Special Leader when fishing with two flies.
Text: Frederik Dalsager
Picture: Morten Øland