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A lot of water has passed under many bridges since I last fished on the Rye Water in Leixlip. It is a small fast flowing river about twenty one Kilometres in length. Along with many other rivers  it too suffered at the hands of the OPW and its dreadful arterial drainage scheme in the last century. I am happy to report  that the Rye water is now in good health thanks to Leixlip & District Anglers and Intel. This season I was fortunate enough to become a new member of Leixlip & District Anglers so this weekend I had my first outing this season on the Rye Water.

Wild Brown Trout

Rye Water Trout

As it had been so long since I last fished on the Rye I decided not to set up the rod until i had a look at the river first. With all the rain that fell in the previous week I wasn’t surprised to see that the river was  a little high with a hint of colour in it and  was flowing at a fast rate. After seeing this my initial thoughts of fishing with dry flies was not on for this outing so i opted to set up with a team of spiders. The team of spiders I chose were the same team that I have had a lot of success with so far this season, why change now?

Rye Water, Leixlip

Rye Water

I then set about making my way down stream casting across with the team and letting them swing around with the fast current then letting them hang at the end of the swing. On my second cast I hooked into a nice little wild brown trout, a good start to my outing. I released the fish and continued making my way casting the team into every likely holding spot. It wasn’t long before I hooked into a second wild brownie, this one was about three quarters of a pound. The point fly was the one they went for this is the only fly in the team that I have name on as yet. It is a pattern I favour for early season spider fishing, the Yellow Jack.

Wild Brown trout

Rye Water Trout

I soon hooked into another fish which was a much bigger one and it put up a great struggle in the fast water, beating me in the end. I can easily say it was near the two pound mark but felt a lot bigger when it was using the current to beat me. At  this stage I was seeing Large Dark Olives appearing on the water, not in big numbers but enough to stir the fish to start rising. I must say I was very tempted to change over to a dry fly but the speed of the flow told me otherwise.

Rye Water

Rye Water

Deciding to stick with the spiders I caught and released over twenty fish on my outing to the Rye Water. I also hooked into another good fish which also beat me. A very successful outing to this wonderful little river. Day permits @ €5 per angler are available from the Leixlip Amenities Centre. Tel: 624 3050. Leixlip & District Anglers have a strict catch and release policy for the Rye Water and fly fishing is the only method allowed. I certainly admire the club for their efforts in conservation and would like to see other clubs follow their lead and introduce a catch and release policy on their own waters.

 

Wild Brown Trout

Rye Water Trout

I will not be leaving it as long again to fish on the Rye water! I intend to have many outings to this fabulous little river and i can certainly recommend it to other anglers.

 

 

 

 

 

New Season, first day

I had been looking forward to the start of the new season all winter so it was with great enthusiasm I set off for the river this morning. The weather forecast for the day was not good, strong winds with heavy showers of sleet and snow. I got to my chosen stretch early to try and make the best of the day. I set up the rod with a selection of spiders to fish my way downstream. In the early season I have found that fishing teams of North Country Spiders always get good results for me.

Liffey

Liffey

The day started off bright and dry with the air temperature at three degrees Celcius, there was a real bite to the wind. I had been fishing for half an hour before I had a fish on, my first fish and I lost it. Another few minutes past before I had a nice little fish in my net. My season was off to a good start. I managed to catch and release one more fish before the weather turned for the worst. The wind picked up stronger and down came a heave shower of sleet and with this the temperature dropped to near freezing. I headed for shelter to wait and see if it would improve. With no signs of improvement I decided to head for home.

Liffey Trout

Wild Brown Trout

I was at home for an hour or so and I saw that thew skies had brightened up and the sleet had cleared off so again I headed back to the river, this time to a more sheltered stretch. Once again I set the rod up with the same team of Spiders, Harelug and Plover on the top a new spider pattern of my own in the middle and my own favorite the Yellow Jack on the point. March weather being that of many weathers soon darkened the skies again, this time bringing a heavy snow shower. As I was some what sheltered I continued to fish on and soon I was rewarded with a nice little wild brown trout. I also hooked into what felt like a good fish but alas I did not bring this one to the net.

Snow on the river

March on the Liffey

I fished on through the snow shower but never managed to get even a  take. About half an hour later the snow cleared off and the skies brightened up. This is when I hit a purple patch. I caught and released another four nice fish in the space of twenty minutes or so. During this spell I saw five fish rise to the surface, I covered these fish with the Spiders and managed to hook two of them. I was happy to see that the middle fly accounted for a total of four fish while the Harelug and Plover got the other two, so much now for the Yellow Jack being the favorite!

Liffey Trout

Liffey Trout

All in all I had a great start to this new season despite the awful weather. Tight lines to all for 2015.

River Dodder

These days most of my fishing has been done on the wonderful little river Dodder. I have the opportunity to stay over night in Dublin, this gives me the time to fish the evening rises. Before I go into the detail of my outings I must say that fishing on the Dodder evokes many happy memories for me. It was on the Dodder where I took my first cast into the wonderful world of fly fishing. The year of this first cast was nineteen seventy three, I was in my early teens then. As a boy growing up in south Dublin only a stones throw from the Dodder I had no idea that there was wild Brown trout to be fished for in the river Dodder.

River Dodder

Clonskeagh

It was when I was in primary school where I first hear about the wild Brown Trout in the Dodder.Back then I had a fabulous school teacher who would tell us of his fishing escapades on the Dodder and to Glenasmole Valley. He could paint with words a beautiful picture of these escapades which captivated my mind and filled it with wonderful thoughts of catching fish in these beautiful places. With these thoughts in my mind my heart was set on catching my first wild Brown Trout. I had been sea fishing ever since I was a young boy with a small spinning rod. I first tried my hand at Trout fishing with this little spinning rod. It tried many times to catch my first wild Brown Trout with the same little rod, I never had any success so I put my Trout fishing plans on hold until I saved up enough money to buy my first fly fishing set up.

Dodder

Milltown

I got myself a summer job as a messenger boy delivering groceries for the local Greengrocers. This job allowed me to put some money by for my fly fishing kit. It was in the following year when I had gathered enough money together for my prize purchase. I headed into the city to Rory’s of Temple Bar to get my first fly fishing kit. After listening to Rory’s advice I bought myself a six weight rod along with a reel and matching line. He threw in a few free flies and some Maxima leader line to get me started. He also advised me as to purchasing an annual permit for the river Dodder. I was all set and ready for my first cast at catching a wild Brown Trout.

River Dodder

Milltown Weir

At first I did not know how to cast a fly rod or how to even set up a leader line. It was a lot harder back then to get information about fly fishing, the great information highway was not even heard of then. I joined the local library where I had access to a wide variety of fly fishing books, I spent many hours reading these books. I fished the river Dodder all through that first season without even rising a single fish, fly fishing was a lot harder than I ever imagined. I continued visiting the library and gathered as much information as I could during the closed season, I was determined to be ready for the next open season. It was in mid April of the new season when I caught my first wild Brown Trout, a little fish of fifteen Centimeters. I was hooked on fly fishing forever.

Fishing permit

Dodder Anglers

A lot of water has flowed under the many bridges of the river Dodder since I had my first cast on it. The Dodder has suffered a lot from pollution and litter. As recently as last year (2013) there was an incident of pollution where chlorinated water was released into a feeder stream of the Dodder resulting in a major fish kill. The culprit, a construction company was convicted and received a fine over this incident. Litter is still a big problem on the Dodder especially after a flood. In the past few years a new group has been formed, called Dodder Action this group organizes volunteers who regularly clean up the litter. The river has truly benefited from these regular clean ups.

River Dodder

Grey Heron

I fished on the river Dodder many many times since I caught my first Trout. I moved out from the city in the Early eighties so my trips to the river Dodder were limited to just a few outings during each open season. I have been lucky this season as to being able to fish on the Dodder for several evening rises,this is the first time in many years that I could do this. This year I have been able to observe more closely the hatches of insects that occur on the Dodder. When I compared these hatches to the river (Liffey) I now regularly fish I noticed that the hatches from the Dodder are generally larger. The hatches of Blue Winged Olives I observed this year on the river Dodder were the biggest hatches of this fly (BWO) I have seen in many years. I have been noting the decline in numbers of this fly (BWO) as well as many other flies on the river Liffey over the past number of seasons.  I have been puzzling over the decline in fly numbers and I am working on one particular theory  as to why such declines occur.

Orwell Footbridge

Orwell Footbridge

I have had several good outings this season on the Dodder. I caught and released a lot of wild brown trout on these outings. I fished only using dry flies, Klinkhammers proving the best results. The river Dodder is in great condition and is a fabulous amenity to have on ones doorstep. I will certainly be looking forward to the opening day of next season on the wonderful river Dodder.

Dodder Weir

Dodder Weir

 

 

 

 

When one hears mention of the Munster river Blackwater one generally thinks of Salmon fishing. It is a river that is renown for it’s Salmon fishing, not so much for Trout fishing. Recently I had the pleasure of fishing on this famous river, not for it’s Salmon but it’s wild Brown Trout. I spent a weekend at the Blackwater Lodge as part of a group of anglers most of which were there to fish for Salmon. We arrived at the Lodge early on a Saturday morning and we were first introduced to Ian Powell who runs the Lodge. He welcomed us all and then set about allocating the different beats to us all. After that we were introduced to Glenda Powell. Glenda welcomed us and gave a talk about the various beats, methods, flies etc. It is always great to receive such good local knowledge. Glenda also informed us about the tuition she would be giving on that morning, she wanted to divide the main group into two smaller groups for this tuition. Those that opted to go fishing that day could avail of the tuition on the following day.

Upper Ballyduff, Co Waterford

My choice was to fish on the first day and take the tuition on the second day. I headed off to my allocated beat which was a nice stretch of water located near the village of  Ballyhooly Co. Cork. The weather conditions on the day were not too good for Trout fishing. There was a cold harsh wing blowing downstream along with the ever present threat of rain. The river itself was in great condition for Salmon fishing but alas not so great for the Trout fishing. With conditions as they were I opted for a team of wet flies consisting mainly of North Country Spiders along with a pattern of my own. I was interested to see how my own pattern would fish on a different river. I headed off downstream casting across and down as I checked out all the different pools, runs and riffles along the way. I caught and released several small wild brown trout with the team of wet flies, but I felt the river had bigger fish to offer. I decided that in order to catch the bigger trout I would have to change the flies and the method so I changed over to fish a team of weighted nymphs. I choose a heavy tungsten PTN for the point along with an Olive Goldhead in the middle and a Hares Ear Goldhead on the top.

River Blackwater

I fished with this new team as I made my way back upstream casting the flies into some of the deeper pools I passed earlier. It was not long before I caught a nice wild brown trout of about three quarters of a pound. I caught another three fish before i stopped for some lunch, all the fish were caught on the point fly. As I was having lunch I though about the way the river was fishing. I had caught the better fish using the weighted nymphs so I decided to set up a heavier weight rod with a fast sinking tipp line. This heavier set up might get me down to where I thought the fish were feeding. After the lunch I headed upstream to fish on some new water. As I got to this newer water water I noticed several fish rising to the few Large Dark Olives that had appeared on the water. I watched these fish for a while and saw some good fish among them, thinking I would never catch these fish with the set up I now had. Only one thing to do, go back and get the set up I first started out with. On getting back to the river I was glad to see some of the fish still rising. I got about fifteen minutes of nice fishing before they stopped rising.

River Blackwater Trout

As I still had the heavier rod set up with me I decided to go downstream again casting the heavy nymphs slightly upstream and let them drift down with the current. This get the flies down deep enough to where the feeding fish are although I much prefer to cast a heavy team totally upstream and let them drift naturally back with the current. The strong downstream wind present on the day did not allow my preference. I caught a few nice trout using this method, yet I still felt the was bigger ones to be had. Another change of method and flies were on the cards. Not my style at all but I decided to have a go using Streamers. Streaming flies is definitely not about finesse. Anyway I started using this unorthodox method as I continued on my way downstream. Casting the Streamers across and upstream and stripping the line back as fast as i could, I soon hooked into a good fish. It was a fish of about three pounds weight but alas I lost it. I did hook up with several more wild brown trout using this awful method, the best fish was over the pound and a half mark. It was soon time to pack up and head back to the Lodge for dinner. In all I had a good day despite the conditions.

Glenda Powell

The following morning I got up early and headed off for some fishing before breakfast. I caught a few small Trout on a team of Spiders before it was time to head back to the Lodge for breakfast. After breakfast I met up with some of the others at the river for some tuition with Glenda. It was very a rewarding time spent in fabulous surroundings. Glenda demonstrates various casting methods on both the single handed and double handed rods. When a person with expertise such as Glenda offers her valuable time for tuition I feel that is an opportunity not to be missed. Those of us that opted for the tuition over the fishing were well rewarded for doing so, we all came away with some great advise and tips. Those that opted to fish I feel lost out on a fabulous opportunity to gain more knowledge to add to what they may or may not already have, there is none of us that knows it all.

I want to offer my thanks to Glenda for such an enjoyable mornings tuition on the river, “Thanks Glenda”.  I also want to say thanks to Ian for looking after us all so well, “Thanks Ian”

I am already planning my next outing to the Munster Blackwater.

 

We are nearly a month into the new fishing season and as yet I only have managed to get out on the Liffey on two occasions. The reason behind my lack of outings is the constant flooding of the river by water being released from the dam at Golden Falls. I now have to try time my outings so I can have low water, with this in mind I choose an early morning start for last weekends outing. I have had many an early start on the Liffey but as yet I had not had an early March morning start. A first for me so I did not know how things would go.

Morning sun on the Liffey

I checked the outside air temperature before I left home for the river, it was one degree Celcius. It was going to be a cold morning on the river. It was a little before seven when I arrived at the river, all was quiet with the exception of the birdsong. While I was getting set up I wondered what was my best approach to the fishing, Nymphs, wets, dries or other. As the river would be flowing away from me I though I would start fishing with a team of wet flies so I tied on a team of three spider patterns. My choice was Snipe and Purple on the top with a Hares lug and Plover in the middle and a Yellow Jack on the point.

Liffey

I was curious to see how cold the water temperature was in comparison to the air temperature so before I started to fish I checked for it. Surprisingly it read at five degrees Celcius, four degrees more that the air temperature. with my curiousity satisfied I started to fish. As I made my way downstream I cast across and down letting the current work the flies. Fifteen minutes past with  not a sign of a fish I began wondering should I change the team or change the method, before I changed either my first fish of the day was on. A nice little wild brown trout was landed, unhooked and released. Choosing not to change things I carried on downstream looking for my second fish.

Liffey Trout

Another ten minutes passed before the second fish was on, another one on the Yellow Jack. As I carried on downstream things got better for me as I was getting a fish with every third cast or so. I had only planned staying out for an hour as I had made arrangements to take some young lads out to catch their first fish on the fly. My total catch for the cold early morning was eight wild brown trout. The majority of the fish were caught on the Yellow Jack with The Harelug and Plover accounting for the remainder. Had I been staying out any longer I would have taken off the Snipe and Purple, it may just be a little too early in the season for it.

Early morning, river Liffey

Overall it was a good outing even though it was a cold one. I noticed lots of wildlife about at that time. Buzzards, Kingfishers, Mallard duck, Kestrels to mention a few. Most of my sightings were in pairs, has spring arrived?

Over the long weekend I had the pleasure of fishing in the newly opened Anne Valley Angling Complex. The fishery is located close to the village of Dunhill along the Coppercoast of Waterford. Sited on over sixty acres the complex has eleven man made lakes, the lakes are all fed by natural springs. The Anne river flows naturally through the complex for over two Kilometres, the river has a stock of wild brown trout. Fishing for these wild brown trout is available on this stretch of the Anne river. Seven of the lakes have been stocked with Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Two lakes will be stocked for Pike fishing and the other two lakes will be stocked for coarse fishing this includes fishing for Carp.

Anne River

I first heard about this new fishery from a good friend of mine Iggy Dunphy, when he invited me down to have a look at it I couldn’t refuse the invite. On arrival at the fishery I was pleasantly surprised at the surroundings the fishery is set in. Iggy then introduced me to the lads who run this fishery. After tea and a chat Iggy and I set the fishing rods and set off to wet our lines. A couple of casts later and I was into mt first Anne Valley fish, a nice hard fighting Rainbow of about three pounds. I was soon into another hard fighting fish, both of these fell for one of Iggy’s favourite flies the “Cats Whiskers”. Next fish was on for Iggy, another fine Rainbow that also took a Cats Whiskers.

Iggy Dunphy ” The Master”

After having success while fishing with lures it was time to try a new method so I set up a new leader to fish with a pair of Buzzers. The Buzzers I chose to fish with were skinny black and an Okie-Dokie in black and white. I fished the Buzzers static and before long I had another fish on, it took the Okie – Dokie. I had one more fish on the buzzers before it was time for a break. While we were having our break another friend of ours showed up. Alan O’ Neill, he popped out to have a look at the fishery.

Anne Valley

After the break we headed back to the lake for some more action. It was not too long before both of us were in action again. We moved from lake to lake during the course of the day, this beats going round the same lake for a day. We met several familiar faces as we made our way down through the complex, all anglers trying their luck on the new fishery. We finished our day out with a total of fourteen fish between us. All in all a nice day out.

The Valley

During the day I had a look at the Anne river flowing through the complex and wished I had my light weight river set up with me. I would like to have a go at fishing this stretch of river it has nice riffles and runs along with some great holding pools.

The fishery is one that is as near as you can get to fishing a wild fishery with it’s abundance natural vegetation and wild life along with it’s fabulous setting. The angler can meander from lake to lake stalking his quarry and testing his skill as he moves from lake to lake. If you are looking for some challenging angling then Anne Valley is a must for you, for those anglers who are used to fishing on fisheries with manicured surroundings I would advise them to bring a line tray along.

Although the fishery is a work in progress it is very worthwhile fishing on it. The potential is there for it to become one of the finest fisheries this country has to offer.

When I make a return visit I shall have my river set up with me.

 

Early March, river Liffey

Last weekend I managed to get out for the first time this season on the river Liffey. I was lucky enough to get a few hours on the river in between floods. Timing the floods reminded me of all the times I used to time the tides when I sea fishing. As the dam was due to open at 08.00 so it was an early start for me. I got to the river about 07.30 and checked on it’s condition. It was flowing at a normal winter level but it had a little colour in it but at least it could be fished!

Liffey in early March

As there was some colour in the water I decided to it was beast to set up with a team of wet flies to start fishing with. I had been tying up some new patterns over the winter so I included two of these in the team along with a Yellow Jack. There was a touch of Spring to the air as I set off downstream fishing through the runs and pools as I made my way. It was not too long before I hooked into my first fish of the new season, a nice little wild brown trout. To my surprise it took one of my trial patterns, a nice way to start the season off. Another few minutes past and I hooked into my second fish, this one also took the same new pattern.

First of the season

I fished on with the same team of wet flies for another twenty minutes without even getting a tug, time to change the team I thought. After I changed the team I fished on for another while, again i had no response. Another change was made, this time i tied the Yellow Jack on the point and I tied another new pattern in the middle with a Winter Brown on the top dropper. Another ten minutes passed before I hooked into another fish, this one took the new pattern. I had another fish on the same new pattern, things were looking good for trial patterns.

Beetle

Beetle on the move

After that things went quiet for a while so i decided to fish on some of the slower flowing stretches of water. Using the same team on the slower water I cast them across and let them drift down with the current sinking as they drifted. I used my coloured leader loop as an indicator to detect and signs of a take. My first cast was rewarded with a nice fish of about half pound weight, this fish took the Yellow Jack. I had five more fish using this method all of the fish took the Yellow Jack.

Liffey in Early March

The arrival of the due flood put an end to my first outing of the season. In all it was a great start to the season. My new patterns will be given another wetting to see how they perform, early days yet for them. I was very happy to see the Yellow Jack perform so well, establishing itself again as a firm favourite of mine. I do hope the flooding of the river will come to an end before it ruins my outings on Liffey.

 

2013 Season in pictures

Happy new year to all! I would also like to say thank you to all those who supported the site by purchasing the hand tied flies that are available through the site, your support is very much appreciated.

At the moment I am setting up a new page for the site it will be in the form of a diary about my local river, the Liffey. I am hoping to have the page updated weekly.

Tight lines to all in 2014.

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Salt Water Fly Fishing

My first introduction to Salt Water Fly Fishing  (SWFF) happened last weekend when I met up with a good friend of mine who took me to one of his favourite marks. I have often remarked before on here about local knowledge being key to success when fishing on fresh water, the same is true when it comes to (SWFF). I was first introduced to Alan O’Neill by another good friend of mine Iggy Dunphy who has introduced me to many other anglers over the while. I got a call from Alan during the previous week, he said that conditions were going to be favourable for some SWFF the coming weekend and he asked if i would i like to have a go at it. “Yes I would” was my reply, so plans were then made for the outing.

Myself and Iggy Dunphy

On the morning of our outing, I met up with Alan in Waterford city and from there he took me to the first mark he had planned for us to fish. When we got to the chosen place Alan advised me to travel light as we have a bit of climbing to do. I was advised to “keep things to the minimum” and I soon realized how good that advice was!! Our chosen mark was sixty feet below us and accessible only by a rope, not a place for the fainthearted!! We eventually reached the mark. While we were setting up Alan was pointing out to me where and how i should fish the mark. “There is two points on the mark where it fishes best” he said, “I will put you on my favorite one”. First off on the rising tide we set the rods up with intermediate lines. He also pointed out some flies that I should try on the rising tide.

Getting down to the mark

We were soon fishing away on an eight weight rod and line which is a big change for me as a four weight is what I use the most. It was not long before I heard Alan call “fish on”. A nice Pollack was soon landed, photo taken and fish released back to it’s salty water home. It wasn’t long before I was calling to Alan “fish on”. My first fish on the fly while fishing salt water. Another nice Pollack was caught and released. I was pleasantly surprised with how hard fighting a fish Pollack are. It hit the fly with some speed and when it realized it was hooked, it took off with some speed towards the bottom. Alan was next to catch a fish and it was another Pollack.

First Pollack on the fly

When the tide started to rise Alan advised me to change over to a sinking line and he also suggested i use “one of these”. The fly he choose was a pattern we had talked about during the year. He asked me if I would tie him up a tandem pattern of the fly so he could try it out. He said he had had some great success with this pattern during the year, “it works well for all types of fish” he said. I have named it the “Kilcullen Killer”. I  tied on a Kilcullen Killer and started fishing again, counting down the line each time i cast.  I hooked and lost a nice Pollack and I also lost a few Mackerel!! The Killer was proving it’s worth. Alan hooked and landed another nice Pollack, the Kilcullen Killer works again.

Twin Cats

With the tide now dropping it was time for to pack up and climb our way back up the cliff. We had arranged to meet up with Iggy for the next session of Salt Water fishing. As we made our way back through the fields we picked some fresh wild Mushrooms (Agaricus campestris), unusual to find these wild Mushrooms so late in the year. After we had lunch we made our way towards the next mark which Alan had said “fishes better at low water”. Intermediate lines were the choice for this mark. After I had set up it was not long before i hooked into a fish, this time it was a Mackerel which I lost! Soon after that I hooked and landed my first fly caught Mackeral, it took a Kilcullen Killer.

Wild Mushrooms

We all had our chances with fish on the second mark. I hooked and lost several more Mackerel, they are great little battlers on the fly rod. I would like to see what sort of battle two of them would put up on a fly rod. As the evening was drawing in it was time to call a halt to the fishing and pack up once again. It was a great day out and a fantastic introduction to SWFF for me. To have a guide like Alan with you for the day makes for a brilliant outing. Alan has a great knowledge of Salt Water Fly Fishing and he is only to willing to pass on this knowledge to you. I want to say a big thank you to him for such a fabulous day out and as we already have made plans for our next outing. I am now hooked on SWFF. Thanks Alan.

Pollack on the Fly

Why do i fish??

Several times i have asked myself the question “why do I fish?” Why do i drive a round trip of two hundred and sixty Kilometres to fish? Is it just for the fishing? These are some of the question’s i have put to myself of late. Fishing has to come into the answer but it is not the only reason why i travel such a journeys. You can fish all your lifetime alone and enjoy it but fishing with a friend or friends is by far way more enjoyable. When you have friends like Alan and Iggy, it make the long journey worthwhile. Of late I have not being making as many long journeys but that is a long story which I will save for another time. Suffice to say fishing is not the same as it was, now my friend is not there.

River Suir, Early April

At the weekend i made my way down to the river Suir at Holycross in County Tipperary. This was my first outing to the river Suir for this season. The week leading up to the outing was again a cold dry one with the dreaded East wind still with us. While travelling down the M8 my thoughts were would it be worthwhile travelling the distance when the weather was so cold and  the Easterly wind was blowing hard, prospects were not too good! At least it’s raining, can’t be too bad!

Clear Water, river Suir

I arrived in Holycross shortly before 10am,  all quiet there as usual. I looked at the river and it was in great condition, with a good water height which was flowing clear. I also noted that there was no signs of fish moving and no signs of any insect life, again i thought would it be worthwhile fishing today? I headed up to Glasheens shop where i had a coffee and a hot scone. After the coffee i bought a day ticket for Thurles,  Suir & Drish Anglers’ Association club waters.

Suir above Holycross

I set up the rod with a team of wet  flies consisting of  a Waterhen Bloa on the point, a Hares Lug and Plover on the middle and one of my new patterns on the top. The new pattern is a variant of a Iron blue Nymph that i am trying out this again this season. I had some success with the same pattern last year. Those of you the regularly read my posts will know that each new season i try out several new patterns. Over the past seasons i have had some success with a few of them but i also had more patterns which failed. You cant win all the time!

Holycross Abbey

My preference when i am fishing with a team of wet flies is to walk down stream and fish each pool as i come to it. This was not the case today as the section of the river i choose was flowing towards me which would have been great had i been dry fly fishing but i was fishing wet flies. My tactics were to walk up to the head of each pool and fish the flies down and across letting them swing around in the current, fishing through the pool. This meant a lot of doubling back on myself. I cast the team into the head of the first pool i came to and on my third cast i was rewarded with a take and a hook up. My first fish of the day was caught and released, a nice wild brown trout close to a half pound in weight. I caught another five fish in the same pool before i moved on upstream to the next pool.

Holycross Bridge

Keeping with the same team of wet flies, i started to fish down through the pool and i was soon into my next fish. Another fine trout near the three quarter pound mark. The next fish i hooked into was the one that got away, a fine wild brown trout which at a guess was over two pounds in weight. After loosing that fish i caught and released three more fish including a nice one over the pound in weight. It was now time to take a break and warm up with a hot soup and a sandwich.

River Suir Trout

While i walked back up river after the break i noticed that there was a few Large Dark Olives coming off the water and there was some fish rising to the Olives. I decided try and have a go at the rising fish with a dry fly so i tied on a Light Cahill Klinkhammer. I did not last too long with this tactic as the wind was just too strong and it was blowing the wrong way. I did however manage to rise a few fish but i failed to connect with any of them. Time to change back to the wet flies! I changed back to the wets and i caught and released seven more wild brown trout before i called time out.

I had a brilliant day out on the River Suir even though the conditions were dreadful. The team of flies i used all worked on the day but the best fly was the Hares Lug and Plover. I also noted that the new pattern i was trying out accounted for five nice fish. I will be giving that pattern another wetting the next time i get out. Are we ever going to see temperature get into double figures this April? The air temperature on the day was a mere six degrees although it felt much colder with the persistent east wind blowing in my face. The water temperature was also six degrees.

This was my first outing to the wonderful river Suir this season and i have already planned a return trip before the end of May. Lets hope the awful weather has improved by then!

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