Feed on

I had not been out fishing for some time so over the past weekend i had a outing to my local club waters  the river Liffey at Kilcullen in Co. Kildare. It was one of the better days with bright sunshine, some cloud cover and a gentle breeze blowing in my favour upstream. On my arrival at the river i decided not to set up the rod for any particular type of fishing until i had a look around to see what or if there was any fly life or any signs of fish rising. The first thing i noticed was there were some groups of Brown Silverhorn Sedges flitting to and fro under the trees that were overhanging the river. These groups had attracted the attention of some of the resident trout.

Brown Silverhorn

After watching a few nice trout taking some of the Silverhorns that touched the water, i set up the rod with an imitation of a Silverhorn that i tie myself. I had several good days using this pattern when there were Silverhorns on the water. The way i fish this fly is to cast it low sideways to get it as far under the tree as possible to where the Sedges are skimming the water. This sometimes calls for careful wading in deep water to reach where the fish are feeding. After setting up the rod i made my way to where i could get a cast at a good fish that was regularly rising to the Sedges. After several casts the fish rose and took my imitation. It was a nice fish of about thirty five centimetres in length which gave a good account of itself. I unhooked the fish in the water and released it back to fight another day.

Flag Iris

I caught another five fish with this sedge imitation before things went quiet. I got out of the water and headed upstream keeping an eye out for any signs of fish moving as i went. A Kingfisher passed by me and i watched it through my binoculars to see where it was going to perch itself. When it perched itself i tried to sneak up to it to get a photo of it but they are very wary birds and before i could get near enough to take a photo it spotted me and took flight. I have being trying to get a photo of a Kingfisher for quite a while and as yet i have not been successful. Maybe next time.

River Liffey

Moving on upstream i spotted some fish moving under the overhanging trees on the opposite bank about thirty meters ahead of me, so i took out my binoculars to have a closer look to find out what they were feeding on. On closer inspection i saw a large number of Black Gnats under the trees. They were there in their thousands flitting up and down and skimming the surface of the water. The resident trout had taken a great interest in the Gnats. Several good fish were rising regularly and snatching the Gnats that came their direction. I had to get in on the action so i tied on a Gnat imitation that i use when the fish are feeding on them. First cast and a fish rose and took the imitation. After a short struggle i had a nice wild brown trout in the net. A fish of about thirty three centimetres was released back to the water.

Swan Family

I carried on fishing with the Black gnat imitation and i accounted for another fourteen fish with this fly. The best fish measured thirty seven centimetres, a nice fish on any day. Things again went quiet so i had another look around to see what was hatching insect wise on the river. I noticed some Blue Winged Olives, some Iron Blue Duns and several of the daytime flying Sedges some of which were very small. I also noticed the Yellow May Dun had put in an appearance. Further on upstream i came upon a few Mayflies although there was only a handful to be seen. While i was making my way back downstream to my car i tied on a few wet flies to fish across and down as i made my way.

Yellow May Dun

The team of wet flies i chose to fish with were a Waterhen Bloa on the point, a Parrys Black spider in the middle and a Greenwell Spider on the top dropper. I fished the team down through all the runs, riffles and glides and i was catching a fish or two from each of the runs and riffles. Most of the fish i caught this way were small and nearly all of them took the Parrys spider. I have always found that when ever the Black Gnats are on the water Parrys Black Spider was very successful when i fished it in a size size sixteen. The other  flies i was fishing accounted for another two fish each one of which was a Salmon parr.


I checked on the water temperature and i found it at fourteen and a half degrees Celcius, about average for this time of the year. In all it was a very successful day on the river Liffey. As it had been some time since i had a day out on the river it was great day to get back to the fishing. I am looking forward to getting out for a few evenings on Kilcullen waters during the evening rises.

Lough Dan :

I have booked a day out fishing on Lough Dan with guide and fellow angler Ashley Hayden. Lough Dan is one of the fisheries that i have not as yet fished on and it is also on my list of places as a must fish place. I shall be posting a report/review of my day on the Lough. I am looking forward to the day out on Dan. If you are interested in spending a day out in the wonderful surroundings and superb wild brown trout fishing that Lough Dan has to offer contact Ashley Hayden or check out this website. Ashley can also be contacted on 00353 (86) 8697370


4 Responses to “River Liffey, Mid Summer 2011”

  1. Jack says:

    Nice little write up there, 35cm sounds like a nice fish. Looking forward to hearing your report on Lough Dan.

  2. wgsten says:

    Thank’s Jack, i am looking forward to my day out on Lough Dan it is one of those rare places that i have always had in mind to fish on.

  3. bobby says:

    well you have done it again I am drooling at the thought of fishing the rivers again you certainly get the most out af your outing as it should be, the pictures of the fly life you encounter really set the
    scene and your wet fly cast had me thinking that is probabdly a cast that I would use thanks again for an excellent read certainly get’s me thinking of my days on the clyde with my old pal Davy ak DDF
    we uset to wade almost chest deep to get a shot at casting to trout that were rising on the then abundant fly life especially may fly when I think back man it was a different time I am more convinced that a trip to your part of the world is a must for this old fella thanks again and good to see you are getting out and catching fish tight lines

  4. philip deffew says:

    Hi must say i enjoyed this read up and has me itching to get out my waders,hopefully we can meet up sometime and do some fly fishing together and you can show me a few tricks of the trade,hitting the river tonight in hope of a few fine trout and some relaxation,kind regards and tight lines,my condolences to your family too about the passing of your dad,ur biggest fan philip

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