Rainbow Trou

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus mykiss
Maximum Weight: 30lb
Life Span: 15-20 years

Habitat & Location

Trout need a good supply of running, oxygenated water. The trout fishing season runs from 1 April to 30 September.

Rainbow trout do not breed in the UK and the few that exist in our fisheries are all escapees from local trout fisheries.

Tackle and Tactics

Fly fishing is not a static pursuit and the tackle used on FAS’s trout water is lightweight – an 8-9 foot carbon fibre rod weighing about 2 oz, a reel containing fly line and backing, and a 9 ft tapered leader/tippet with a breaking strain of about 3 lbs, creel or bag containing a selection of artificial flies and a lightweight folding landing net.

The art of casting a fly is quite different to techniques used for coarse fishing. It is worth investing in a few lessons from a professional instructor from the outset. If you develop poor casting habits while starting on your own it is almost impossible to get rid of them later on.

Nymph fishing is practiced at the beginning of the season when there are few hatches of flies. Imitations of invertebrates such as water shrimp are also used. Different insects and invertebrates form part of the trout’s diet and the fly-fisherman’s skills lie in identifying what is hatching at the moment and choosing a suitable artificial fly. Trout are not averse to taking small fish such as minnows and bullheads.

Upstream and downstream fishing with a dry or wet fly are permitted although members are encouraged to fish upstream with a dry fly. The best results are obtained by endeavouring to match a natural insect with a hook dressed to look like the real thing.
Fly-fishing differs from coarse fishing in that the weight of the fly line projects the fly and leader to where a fish might be located. A trout will probably feed near the river bed when flies are in the nymph stage. This is when a wet fly and a wet line are used to allow the artificial fly to sink to where the trout is stationed. A knowledge of the river bed and where trout lie is essential.

When aquatic flies hatch they leave the safety of their location among water weeds and other hiding places and make their way to the surface. They undergo a metamorphosis and become winged insects. When a trout takes an insect on the surface it causes a rise. The fly-fisherman will then endeavour to cast his fly a short distance upstream of the rise and induce the fish to take an artificial fly.

Obviously a fish will want to occupy a location where there is a steady supply of food. If a fish is caught there is a good chance that another fish will take over the lie within a short period of time. It is the knowledge of such lies that will increase the chances of catching a fish.

Silent observation is crucial and the use of Polaroid glasses will make it easier to see through the surface film. Initially it may seem that there are no fish in the river but sitting down quietly for around 10 minutes or so and scanning likely lies reveals where fish are. Imagine you are a fish and consider where you might lie while expending the least amount of energy in finding food.

Where can I catch them?

Fly Fishing for Trout is permitted on the Society’s section of the River Wey at Frensham. This starts just downstream of Frensham Mill and opposite Pitt Farm. Trout tend to have lies where a steady supply of food is available.

The fly-fisherman needs to be stealthy since a clumsy approach easily scares the intended quarry.

The FAS has compiled a map of the Trout Section that identifies named pools. The river contours change every year as a consequence of bank erosion during the winter high water levels.

The FAS stretches of the River Wey and River Loddon each contain an occasional escaped farmed Rainbow Trout and can run to over 2lb+.

Record Fish

National Record

lbs:ozs:drms kilo.grms Date Captor Location
Cultivated 33:04:00 15.11 2003 J. Lawson Watercress Trout Fishery, Devon
Farnham Angling Society Record
lbs:ozs:drms kilo.grms Date Captor Location
Applications Over 2lbs (0.9kg) Invited