Lyn Davies explains the truth about night fishing for sea trout.
Sea trout fishing takes over my life during the summer months – it becomes an obsession.
Any keen sea trout angler will tell you the same. You feel obliged to put in the hours to reap the rewards. If you only fish once in a blue moon, you feel as if you don’t deserve success. You get to a stage when you KNOW that you’re going to catch a fish – it’s only fair. You’ve put the work in; you’ve hooked and lost fish, sacrificed nights out with your mates and of course those romantic nights in with your loved one.
To really ‘hit’ the river and get to know where fish are lying you need to be out at least 3–4 nights a week – and this of course plays havoc with your sleeping patterns. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that NEEDS 8 hours sleep a night, and if I don’t then I’m a mess the next day. To cope with this, I’ve trained myself to ‘power nap’ after work. I battle through the day, watching the clock, wishing for 5pm, when it’s home time and time to catch up on that hour or so of sleep. My life becomes, work–sleep–fishing – with nothing much in between. Everything else takes a back seat – my diet, family, friends, the housework and especially relationships.
I’m in my own little world – a world in which only other fanatical night anglers live. This sea trout lark isn’t all’s it made up to be – in fact I live a very sad existence! You do of course get to the stage where you’re completely burnt out and you begin to wonder, ‘what’s it all about? Isn’t fishing supposed to be relaxing?’ This is when just the thought of a normal night in front of the telly with a bottle of wine seems like heaven – but then the water’s perfect, so I should be out on the river!
If I’m honest, I can only really relax when I know the river is in spate and I CAN’T fish – and that’s not very often these days. Also, these nights never seem to happen when you want them to either. The river always ‘fishes’ best when you should be doing something else – attending your best mates evening wedding reception or celebrating your girlfriends birthday – it’s sod’s law. It’s always on the back of my mind that it’s only for five or so months of the year, so again I should make the most of such good water conditions. It will only get worse – we’re bound to have another drought sooner or later.
The truth of the matter is, as with everything in life – you must try and find a happy medium…. But you can’t when it comes to sea trout fishing! I’ve found that you either fish as much as you physically/mentally can, or you stop fishing all together for weeks on end. I suppose it’s similar to going to the gym – it’s all or nothing. If you do have a break, all it takes is for you to hear that other anglers are catching fish and you’re off again.
Come late September, I’m a gibbering, shaking mess having lost so many ‘valuable’ hours sleep throughout the summer. Dare I say it; it’s a relief, come the end of the season. Normality returns to my life. I start socializing, my girlfriend says she ‘loves’ me again and generally I feel ‘human’ again. Of course, during the long dark winter months, you’ve guessed it – yes, I’m wishing for the start of the season.
I take it all back – it’s not that bad. I think I need help…