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Upper River Liffey

Over the past weekend i managed to get out to fish in the upper river Liffey. It was my first outing on the upper Liffey this season. The river had been in a very low state due to the spell of dry weather that we had during the first few months of summer. The recent heavy rain fall increased the level of the river to allow for some decent angling.

High Water

I had been over to check on the water level in the river several times over the past few months but each time i found it was too low for fishing. In fact most of the other rivers that are near to me were also much too low for to fish. This time i was lucky enough to find the river in good fishable condition. The water was flowing at a nice rate with just a tint of amber to it.

Low Water

The day was cloudy with a strong breeze blowing and the air temperature was to reach twenty one degrees celcius. I set the rod up to have a go at fishing a dry fly. My first fly to try was my favourite olive klinkhammer. I fished with this fly for about fifteen minutes without stirring a single fish. Time for a change. While i was changing over to a team of North Country spiders the rain came down, heavy rain with an even stronger breeze. Just as well i took a rain jacket with me. It rained for twenty minutes or more and then the breeze died down and the sun came out.

River Liffey upper

I started to fish across and down with the spiders, on my third cast i managed to land a nice wild brown trout of twenty centimeters. Things were looking good. I carried on downstream casting as i went catching small nicely marked brownies which were now freely rising to a small hatch of olives that appeared after the heavy rain. The water temperature on the day was at fifteen and a half degrees celcius which is about two degrees less than the lower Liffey at the moment. I caught and released a total of fourteen fully finned little brownies for my days outing. A nice day out even if it rained.


Refurbished bridge upper Liffey


Ballysmuttan bridge has now opened to traffic making my journey to the upper river Liffey a good deal shorter. It was closed in September 2008 due to heavy storm which washed away part of its structure. It is now completely refurbished and strengthened although it is still only a one lane bridge. While i was there i noticed that the river bank upstream of the bridge had also been strengthened using granite boulders.



Upstream Ballysmuttan Bridge

Upstream Ballysmuttan Bridge


Some nice new pools and runs have formed during the refurbishing works. The next time i am over to fish the upper Liffey i will check out these pools and runs to see if they are holding some nice little brownies.

6 Responses to “Upper River Liffey”

  1. Andrew says:

    That looks like great fun! Different kind of river than my own, much more bolder strewn and open. Any reason you fish the wets down rather than up? Trying to figure out if the upstream / downstream debate has its root in the kind of rivers we fish…. I tend to fish soft hackles across and up, in case you haven’t guessed!

  2. Bobby says:

    I cant tell you how much I enjoy thes reports it is allways good to see other places and the real truth is I have fished so many rivers just like these when I was fishing and living in scotland all those
    years ago makes me yearn to do it again it’s great to fish places when a decent fish is eight inches or if you prefer twenty centimeters I have allways loved fishing spiders I believe these faster waters are perfect for them great fishing and great reports
    keep them happening tight lines

  3. wgsten says:

    @Andrew the way i fish the spiders depends on the rate of flow in the river i am fishing i.e. if it is flowing fast i will always fish them across and down and if there is a nice steady flow i try fishing them both upstream and across and down. My best results are from fishing across and down.

  4. wgsten says:

    Thanks Bobby and tight lines for you.

  5. rtc says:

    Hi wgsten.You are doing great stuff on this site,well done sir.I’ve got my kids into flyfishing fairly recently(8+11 yrs old)and I’m gonna try the upper liffey with them soon.Where might be the best spot to bring them as i haven’t fished it before.cheers!Keep up the good work.

  6. wgsten says:

    Thank rtc. pm sent.

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