seatrout, reducing the factor luck




Funen October 2006

een selectie vliegen

We wish to capture fish or not? OK, other aspects also play an important role. What do we do without pleasant fishing mates, do we stand in pouring rain all day, does the equipment let us down, are the waders not as waterproof as manufacturers led us to believe. But suppose all this is right and we are catching nice fish, I make a bet that at that moment there is just nothing else in the world that matters? Catching fish is the most important aspect for me.

Seatrout, an unpredictable guest. If you have a glance at the catch reports you do not become too enthusiastic about the results. Tough fishing,that is the picture of fishing for them. At home I hear successful stories but at the waterside, I actually did not meet anyone who at that moment was into a lot of fish, or he did not want to give it away(?).

A life time ago I went for the first time to Funen. It was October and autumn came in very early that year. The weather was very bad, low temperatures, rain and wind. We blamed the poor catches on those circumstances.  Also on the unfamiliarity with the water and the fishing.

We have just returned back from an exciting Autumn trip to the island of Funen, Denmark. Every spring and autumn I fish the waters around Funen with the fly rod for one of our most beautiful sport fish, Seatrout. Seatrout are the target and everything is put aside for the moment; work, home, daily worries, all for more important matters ......... ......... Fishing spots, weather, equipment, strategy, groceries, all are suddenly of the world's greatest interest. Months before departure, the first plans are made. Perhaps this sounds familiar to you.
For me, a number of factors determine the amount of success of such a trip. The main one is: I want to see fish and if possible, a lot of them. Of course you might think different, but why are we so interested in all the different matters which have only one aim, to catch fish, and Seatrout especial.

Information about where to fish, we mainly got from local fishermen or from the local fishing shops. Internet was still in its infancy. Also literature was limited. Perhaps it was that Seatrout were not as common as today. One little Seatrout in three days. How we were happy with that little fish! Better that than nothing, right? Understandable that only three years ago I gathered the courage to go back for a renewed attempt. It was a combination trip to the rivers of Jutland and the coasts around Funen. On Funen we fished the last two days. With the “Bible”, the book “117 sea trout spots on Funen” in hand, we gave it another try. The second day was the moment. With the two of us three fish, including a fine 50’er.  As a bonus we caught several garfish (it was the second week of May). That gave the newcomers courage.Plans were made for autumn. Everything was held against the light and some experiences later I can tell you that the success depends for a large part on endurance and experience. If your goal is to catch Seatrout, and not only fish for them. To visit a spot and hope for the best for the coming days is not the right approach. In short, the three subsequent trips were increasingly successful. Of course there are still fishless days but they are in the minority
Spring 2006. It was a very cold spring. The catch reports showed bad results. The last week of April we

my small selection of flies


departed to the island of Aero. The previous week was hard fishing. At night, after arrival, we went to a popular place to give it a try. We spoke some fisherman. They did hear of one or two fish caught the last days. It didn’t look good at all. That it can be different we already knew from earlier trips. Nevertheless, next day we started with good moods. This island we had never fished before and new places always give some expectations. In this four day session we managed to land eleven fish together, and most were of nice size. Below I give my experience, my vision how to make such trips most successful and reduce the factor of luck as much as possible.




wedding dress



paai uitfit






I prefer autumn and in particular the month of October. Sea trout are on the move to thier spawning grounds in the rivers, and are catchable all day and for a longer period. They are also cruising closer to the shore. Sometimes they are that eager that one only lands 1 out of 2 / 3 strikes, but who cares? An ancillary benefit is that the water has a more pleasant temperature than in spring and that's good news because one stands most of the day in crotch-deep water, which leads to less comfort-breaks when I’m fishing from a belly boat. In autumn the fish prefer smaller flies than in spring, around hook size 8.

In the spring I restrict myself to the last weeks of April. Garfish are still not around but I personally do not fish for them. My goal is Seatrout. Certainly, it's an attraction to fish Garfish on light tackle, as there is no sport playing them on a 7 rod. I plan the last week of April and when spring is mild, a week or two earlier.

In Summer, things are totally different. By day there will be little activity. The fish is far from the coast and are not active in the warmed water. At night, especially just before and after dark, the odds change.
On Funen are a dozen of favourite spots. Look at the best spots for summer fishing in the above mentioned guide. I have fished a few off them, see the statistics. I saw the most fish ever, but up to now, only landed a few.Stick to one of these spots, depending on the wind direction. Wind can ruin a session. One time I fished for several hours in highly discoloured water before I discovered this, only by shining a torch in the water. Don’t experiment too much in the beginning but start on one of these spots. The confidence in fishing the night without any pull dies away soon but to know that you are in the right place helps a lot. Also, at night the fish always show thier presence. You can almost be sure that if you did not spot a fish, they where not around.
Temperature also plays a major role. A nice warm evening, clear sky with moonlight on the water and a calm sea, these are the conditions we are waiting for. The best form of fishing is now surface fishing with floating deer hair or foam pattern flies, hook size 4-6. My favourite colour is, again, black. There are nice moments to experience, especially in the first hours when dark closes in. The effort to fish the whole night till morning light is no longer a big deal. Often the trout are hunting very close or one hears the sound of heavy fish falling back into the water. Also a lot of activity appears when the current is speeding up. Water which seems deserted comes back to life.
A fish that I never would be able to land was a Porpoise which I, without knowing, was casting for in the pitch-dark. I can’t recall who was more scared. Anyway, he headed out into the dark. The whole night I saw Porpoises coming out of the dark straight at me.

About the winter fishing, I can not tell much more than what I have read.
Fish the Fjords with a muddy soil. For trout in winter I fish the Oostvoorne lake in

If you have to choice I would prefer a trip in autumn. If I can arrange it I go for sunny weather, easterly wind as I fish mainly the southwest coast. If you are lucky like me, go more often.



The weather.
I prefer sunny weather with a wind force two - three Beaufort, preferable from behind. Casting is easy with the wind in the back. There should be a nice ripple on the water to assist. However, I had good catches on a dead calm surface too. If the circumstances are not that good however, I will still make the best of it. The tide. Very important is my opinion. Flow has a major impact on the feeding activity of the trout. Around high to low is in my opinion the best time.


The booklet Funen 117 Seatrout spots gives a lot of good information. I found the book very accurate. Of course, one day there can be a lot of fish, other days not. In deciding where to fish look at the whole picture and read everything carefully. Is the season right for this spot? What is the structure of the bottom? Which direction is the wind blowing? Is there deep water close to land? “(the feeding ground is here limited so more change for fish). If you get in a spot where the circumstances are negative or if you do not have any confidence in the place, move on to the next spot, even if you have to drive a bit. It may just be that elsewhere there is a higher concentration of fish at present. We once drove from South to North to a certain place and turned on arrival straight back because the area did not meet our demands. Keywords: deep water close to land (see the depth lines on maps), lots of rocks, sometimes overgrown with weed, or sandy bottom with weed patches and, of course, where the fish are showing themselves.


My Seatrout fishery in Denmark is mainly limited to Funen and the surrounding smaller islands. The fisheries management policy in this area, which results in good spawning grounds, has created a large population of self-sustaining Seatrout. And as long as I have not had a go at all the spots on the island and surrounding islands I will visit Funen again and again in the future.

Mobility is associated with Seatrout fishing. Is the wind the negative factor, are the strikes too few, is the tide wrong, is confidence dying; then many miles on rubber wheels might change the whole scene. Remember that the tides are different on the other side of the Island!

If the weather is stable for the coming week and you can be book your trip at the last moment then you're absolutely in advance. The weather forecast (in particular the amount of wind) is very accurate up to one week ahead. Windguru is the site to consult (see the link). Otherwise it might be worth fishing the smaller islands (Langeland / Aero / Lyo / Avernako /  Bjorne / Aebelo) where you never have to make a lot of miles or where you can walk to the different spots. Make use of cabins on camp sites which are open throughout the year and always have room. Are you or your mate in possession of a camper then you're always in business of course: angling into dark, have a meal, choose a new spot that evening, move to the place, hit the sack, and the next morning just hop into the ocean - Ideal. As a rule, we fish two to three spots a day. Then, I like to have fishermen around, but on the spot itself, I'd rather see no one else besides my partner.


mobility and home in one
Sea trout is a  fish that can be shy. The idea that someone recently fished a spot does not appeal to me. I would rather move on. Seatrout can be anywhere. I know a very good winter spot which is not written about… The best results we have recorded are with nobody nearby.
Mobility, on foot, or by bike. The effort is often rewarded. After every few casts, I move a few steps and so fish easily a hundred metres of shoreline in just a few hours. Look at this picture. You have a coastline in front of you, a high bluff, with deep water close to land, a fishable stretch of 20 meters wide and hundreds of metres long. Imagine this picture, and there must surely be one or more trout there. If they take is sometimes a different story, but most of the time, if they notice the fly, they will make a move. A good wadeable spot parallel to the coast is a must. I don’t like stumbling over big slippery

rocks. High cliffs always are a good indication, but often have the kind of rocky bottom that makes wading too difficult. At times, when fish are active and on the move, one has not to wade step by step but can post half an hour or more on one spot. This also happens.
Bicycle. Do you have a place for an (old) bike? Sometimes it is the transport to get to a remote spot which otherwise needs a long walk.




Material / equipment.
Rod, 9.6 “long, line class # 7, four pieces and preferably not to fast (of course, that’s personal). Large arbour reel, salt water proof. A shooting head (40 ft) type of floating line with a fixed floating running line is the line I prefer. The Rio Outbound is such a line and more recently, the Opti Still Water line from Loop (expensive). The last one gives a smoother presentation. These lines make life sweet. Take the line from the water with a roll cast and by the next cast the fly is 20 / 25 metres out again. As we know, the fly must be as long in the water as possible as there is no fish in the air.

each fish is unique
many colours and paterns

crystal clear is the Baltic Ocean
A stripping basket is an essential attribute for this fishery. Your line doesn’t get between the algae or tangles up. Mine is a handmade one from a black plastic pond basket with fixed black tie-rips (smallest ones). It works perfect, is very light, open and costs nothing (euro 2.50 all together). Of course, the belt is already in your possession. You can also buy a more expensive professional one but the result can’t be better. I use this basket often in the river to.

Belly Boat. Very handy. Always wind in the back. Also fantastic for those difficult to wade places which often hold beautiful fish. However, I prefer wading, specially in spring when the water is still very cold. So, bring your belly boat for those special occasions.







populaire vliegen


two often used flies

Leader. As long as you are able to cast. Length: 4,5 to 5 meter, depending on the circumstances. One more reason why I don’t like to cast against the wind. I experienced most takes in the first five meters after starting to strip and I want the flyline to have as little as possible influence on the catch chances.
My leader I built up: 80cm-60.00, 50cm-35.00, 40cm-30.00 and a 3 meter tip 23.00. In the dark I fish with a standard leader of around 2.7M and a 24.00 tip with a large floating fly tied to. This short leader mainly to reduces tangles and because a larger fly has more air resistance. The trout are not very leader shy in the dark.

On two trips I mainly fished with a black Woolly Bugger(hook size 6-8). In the dark the same fly but bulgier or a black deer hair floating one or a foam fly. And I'm content with my catch rate - until my mate landed four nice fish in a row and I missed some. Of course that fly will be tied on then, but I always fall back on the Woolly (my nickname). If you trust in another fly, stick to it. Presentation and surprising the fish is of more vital importance.
The size of the fly may play a role in the autumn as I mentioned. In spring you can use bigger sizes, like big pink shrimps, very popular with the locals. The ocean is crystal clear and a trout notice the fly for over a large distance. I fish as close as possible under, or in, the surface and with reasonablly fast pulls.
As with pike, I have seen that the vibration in the water was sufficient to scare trout. In larger waves and rougher water a little deeper presentation is better then the fly doesn’t dance up and down too much, I would say, get it down 50cm then.

Sea trout is a fish which gets under the skin. I have spoken to fanatics for who salmon is a second grade fish! You are warned!

I am happy to meet you at the waterside. We can have a chat and exchange information. But after that, we move on!


Lets share experiences, at home or along the waterside!

flyfishingforever : janpelser.

fabian fransz