Trial Rules


These rules are based on full International rules but amended to cater for National Trials and Fishery Rules


1—Fishing shall be carried out respecting the spirit and traditions of game angling.

2—Matches shall be fished with artificial fly only. Tandem flies shall not be permitted. No flies shall be artificially weighted. Not more than four flies shall be mounted on a cast and flies must be at least 20 inches apart.

3—A fly shall comply with the following specifications. The hook shall be single or double provided that in the case of a double hook, the angle between the bends does not exceed 90 degrees and when viewed from the side, the bends lie one behind the other. Fly irons will measure not more than five-eighths of an inch overall, including the eye. The overall length of the fly shall not exceed fifteen-sixteenths of an inch. Fly dressing may include beads provided these beads are buoyant. Attractor chemicals, fish attracting bait and the use of light emitters to flies are debarred.

4—Lines, casts and leaders shall not be additionally weighted. Shooting heads, metal core lines and metal core braided leaders are debarred.

5—One rod, not exceeding 12 feet in length, to be used by each competitor, but each competitor will be entitled to have in the boat with him a spare rod (length as before) – both rods, however, not to be mounted at the same time. A rod is considered to be mounted if any two sections are joined or if a reel or line is attached.

6a—Standard drogues may be used (of para design) but ropes must be no longer than 15 feet.

6b—The anchoring of boats when fishing is prohibited. Boats must be allowed to drift freely when fishing, and not be held on the oars in such a manner as to gain an unfair advantage over either angler in the boat or over any other angler.

6c—Boat seats thwart boards and the use of tackle boxes as seats are permitted provided the height of the ’seat’ is not more than 5 inches above the gunnels.

6d—During the match, no boat may encroach within a distance of 100 yards in front of another boat from which competitors are fishing, nor disturb the water in front of or around any such boat by the indiscriminate use of the motor.

6e—Electronic aids, e.g. telephones, fish finders, echo sounders, etc. are debarred on match days.

7a—A competitor’s rod when working flies or retrieving cast must be hand held and must be above water level. Competitors must not stand in the boat when casting or retrieving line. Competitors may stand when playing a fish.

7b—Trolling of flies behind the boat is not permitted whether the boat is drifting or being driven by motor or oars. Side casting is permitted but flies must not be allowed to trail behind the boat. When drifting, it is permissible to cover a rising fish behind the boat.

7c—The command of the boat will change ends every two hours. Competitors shall change ends every two hours or as may be mutually agreed.


1.—Subject to the direction of the WSTAA, all matches shall be fished under the Rules of the Management of the water on which the match is fished, insofar as these are compatible with the rules of WSTAA. The WSTAA will fix the hours of fishing. The minimum size and species of fish which may be weighed in and the starting and finishing point will be noted in match notices.

2—No trophies or prizes awarded apart from those designated by the organizers.

2b—Sweepstakes amongst the competitors are not permitted.

3—When match is fished from boats, competitors shall not fish from bank and shall return to the finishing point in the boat in which they set out, except in the event of damage to a boat or oar, failure of motor, or being overtaken by a storm, when they may return by other means, but the circumstances shall be reported on return to the secretary who shall deal with the report as if it was a complaint made under rule 7 below.

4—No one competing on the second day of a 2 day trial may fish the water on the first trial day.

5—All competitors shall present their fish at the weighing point immediately when called upon to do so. Nil returns are required. Any competitor not reporting to the official weigher upon being called at the end of the match will be deemed to be clean.

6—The WSTAA secretary, officers and supervisors will oversee the running of the match and any competitor found breaking the rules will be reported to the next executive committee..

Competitors need to be aware that the Constitution empowers the Executive to maintain the highest standards of integrity within its competitions (see First Schedule 2e) and any serious misdemeanour reported (irrespective of when incident occurred) will be investigated fully. Based on the evidence put forward, Executive will take the necessary action. An appeal may be lodged in writing within 14 days.

7 -Competitors are required to wear buoyancy aids on the jetty and when travelling in or fishing from boats.

8-Competitors are strongly advised to wear eye and head protection when fishing.

Section C – ADMIN RULES (Loch Style)

1- Seniors hold 4- day trials; Disabled – hold 2- day trials; Ladies & Youth hold 1- day trial

2 – Draw for Boats / Boat Partners

a)  Senior -Boat partners/ boats will be drawn by each angler on morning of the match

i) No two anglers from the same club may share a boat – a re-draw will be made.

b)  Youth & Ladies to be drawn 10 days prior to match and boat pairings to arrange own ghillies. In the youth trial the manager has the right to run the trial as they see fit appropriate to the trialist’s and boatmen available.

c)  Disabled competitors to arrange own boat partner and ghillie (the managers discretion may apply if Health & Safety issues arise)

3—No boatmen allowed in Senior Trials; Boatmen required in youth, ladies & disabled trials. In any trial with boatmen, the boatman has overall responsibility for the boat.

4- WSTAA Trial matches will be fished four fish limit and then C&R which will be fished with de-barbed hooks. Fishery management at all waters request that anglers, if they can manage it, keep the fish in the net in the water when releasing so as to cause it minimum damage. Disabled match to be fished to a time bonus.

5 – Regular checks of flies will be carried out throughout the day. Competitors must not lift leader off the water as officer’s approach to check flies until asked to do so. (Fishery notice – anyone not abiding by the rules will be removed from the water)

6—Weight in lieu of released fish will be announced on morning of match.

7—Trial record cards must record time that fourth fish was caught. Card to be signed at the exact time of capture of fourth fish.

8- There will be a 4lb cut off point for heavier fish at the weigh-in.

9- Results

a) Seniors – Four day Trials:

i)Results to be decided by the points system – i.e. Heaviest bag 1 point, next 2 points etc add up the positions on all trial days with the lower total positions taking the higher placement in the final results.

ii) In the event of a tie on placement points, then the lower position on any trial day takes the higher overall placement.

iii) If all positional points are equal, then the total number of fish caught on trial days will be the deciding factor.

iv) If (ii) & (iii) are equal, then the total bag weight over all trial days will be the deciding factor.

v) Anglers coming in ‘clean’ will get maximum placing – (as per no. of competitors)

b) Youth & Ladies- One day trial:

i) In a one-day trial: Results to be decided by weight

c) Disabled –Two day trial

i) Positions on each day to be decided by weight of fish

ii) Overall positions by total weight of fish over the two trials

10 -Provisional results only to be made available on the day. There must be no assumption on any competitor’s part that he/she has qualified for team membership until the results are confirmed and an invitation to participate has been issued by the WSTAA Executive Committee.

11 -Any misdemeanours will be reported to the Executive Committee.

Section D – ADMIN RULES (River / Bank Trials)

1 -Before the Trial, the Fishery / River bank will have been divided into sections or beats.

Competitors will be responsible for bringing a ‘controller’ to the trial. If they do not they will not be allowed to fish. The competitor can ask the organizer to provide a controller, at a cost to be notified at the time (£25 for 2012), when arranged at least one week in advance.

2 – All trials to be fished to C&R with fish being measured & length recorded.

3 – A draw will be made for the bank/river section.

4 -A draw will be made for controllers – ensuring there is no familial tie between controller and competitor.

5 – Measuring of Fish

a) Angler will bring netted fish to the bank; controller will measure fish, record its length and release it.

b) Angler and controller must agree on length of fish; both must sign record card at end of session for presenting to organizer.

6) Method for working out results

a) Total measurement of fish for each session will be converted into points

b) Positions for each session will be decided on the points scored.

c) In the final results the lower total positions will take the higher placement.

d) In the event of a tie on placement points, then the lower position on any session will take the higher overall placement.

e) If all positional points are equal, then the total number of fish caught overall will be the deciding factor.

f) Anglers coming in ‘clean’ get maximum position (based on number of competitors in section).

7) Section C point 10 & 11 apply

Section E –GENERAL RULES World, European & Commonwealth

1. These trials will be fished to FIPS Mouche rules