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stalking the trout

Stalking the trout

The popularity of stalking the trout grew with opening of small stillwaters, stocked with large fish that were clear enough for the angler to see his quarry. Most of these venues are located in the south of England where clear chalkstream water feeds the lakes, and is not affected by winter rain. However, stalking the trout is an effective method on any trout water where the angler can see the fish.
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Getting started
The most essential item of tackle is Polaroid sunglasses, followed by a wide brimmed hat. The sunglasses will allow the angler to see through the reflective surface of the water, while the hat will keep any unwanted sunlight out of his eyes. Only by wearing these will the angler be able to spot his quarry.
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The flies must be heavily weighted so that they sink quickly to the level of the fish. The water is invariable deeper than you think, and the fly takes longer to get down than anticipated .it will also pay you to have a spot of colour somewhere on the fly so that you can see it at all times.
The rod needs to be fairly soft so that the fly can be flicked out easily with the minimum of fly line beyond the tip ring.
This is difficult to achieve with a fast taper rod.
The leader needs to be short, say eight or nine feet (2.4-2.7m) in length, so the fly can be worked into position or jiggled in front of a fish. Keep it well rubbed with degreaser so that the fly sinks easily.
Also make sure your landing net is large enough to land a trout in double figures. Most top stalkers prefer to use a gye net carried across the back.
trout in the net


Make sure you’re at the lake early as the fish stocked the night before will be the easiest catch. Tackle up before you walk around the lake .you can even hold the fly in you left hand fingers, ready to catapult cast it at a fish.
Not all the trout you see will be feeding fish. You may need to cast repeatedly at a particular fish for an hour or more before it decides to take the fly out of aggression. Make sure the trout actually sees your fly, and does not swim straight past it, you need to get the fly right in front of its nose, and the pull it away sharply .this is known as inducing the take.
The only way you will know that the trout has taken the fly is when you see the white inside of its open mouth, the fins stiffened and gills flared .strike immediately by tightening the line, but make sure the reel drag is set correctly, as a big fish will use its weight to try to break the line. Weed can also be a problem as the trout will invariably head straight for nearest weed bed.
Some trout will prove almost impossible to tempt.
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These are fish that have seen many flies, and may have been hooked in the past. But do not give up. Keep swapping fly patterns, colours and sizes until you find the one its prepared to may also pay to drop down to a fine leader .but in any case ,use a clear polymer double strength ,or one of the new fluorocarbons .
During the day, the light might make it more difficult to spot the fish. Try moving to an area of shadow where you can still see beneath the water. Around midday, many fish will move into the weed to hide .take a break then, conserving your concentration for later in the afternoon when the fish start to move again.
Where can you stalk trout?
Any fishery clear enough to allow you to see into the margins. Favourites are avington and dever springs in Hampshire; chalk springs in Sussex.