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Evenings on the Liffey

Over the past week i managed to get out fishing on most evenings. This is the first week of the season that the weather was kind enough to bring on some great evening rises. Up until then the air temperature was well down on previous years. The stretch of water i chose to fish on is controlled by Kilcullen Anglers and is my local club. Each year this stretch always produces some great fishing for me. Will this year produce the goods again?

Four Spotted Chaser

My first evening outing was one of bright sunshine accompanied with a warm breeze blowing upstream. I decided not to set the rod up with any particular fly until i got down to the river and had a good look around at what was happening – fly life, fish rising etc. On looking around i noticed some fish rising across the river under overhanging trees. It looked liked the were taking the small brown Silverhorn sedges that were flitting about under the trees. Time to have a go at these fish so i tied on an imitation that usually works when there are sedges on the water. After a few casts a fish rose to the imitation and i missed him, a few more casts another rise and another fish missed. Not a great start to my outing!

Swan Family

My only success was that of putting the fish down. I moved on up river on the lookout for more rising fish. I came across some more fish rising steadily at the tail end of a nice run, they appeared to be sipping down a small Olive. I changed the sedge imitation to an olive Klinkhammer in a small size (18) to see could i tempt a take. It was as before fish rose and again i missed my chances and put the fish down. I moved on again to another pool with fish rising in it but still could not manage a hook up. Things were not looking good. As it was now nearing dark i decided to try my luck with a Balloon Caddis in some of the slower pools. Disappointment came again with no fish being hooked. I finished off the evening with a blank. My first in a long while.

Beautiful Demoiselle

Two evenings passed before i got back to fish in the same part of the river. Thinking about my blank on the previous outing, i ran a lot of things through my mind as to why the blank. My solution was one of a rod change from the soft actioned rod that i had a blank with to stiffer one with more back bone to it. I had a look around before i chose the fly i was going to use this time & i tied on an olive comparadun in a size 18 to suit the small olives that were lifting off the water. After a few casts success came to me in the form of a nice little wild brown trout about twenty five centimetres in length which i released back to the water. I took nine more fish on the comparadun before it started to get dark. I headed down to a pool in which on my previous outing i had seen what i thought was a good fish rising to sedges. I changed from the comparadun to a Balloon Caddis to have a go at this fish. Two casts later and i was into a fish which i measured at thirty eight centimetres, a nice fish. I cast again a couple of times before i was into my next fish. This was a fish. A cracking fish at that. I battled with him on my four weight for over five minutes before i netted him. He weighed in at over two and a quarter pounds. After taking a photo i returned him safely to the water. The photo taken on my mobile phone does not do any justice to the fish.

River liffey Trout

I went out again the following night to the same stretch of water hoping for more success. I had seen on the previous night another good fish which i thought was feeding on the Black Gnats that were about in good numbers and i was going to have a go at him with my imitation of the Black Gnat. As i made my way to where i saw the fish, i was having a go at some of the fish that were rising in pools along the way. I caught and released five nice little wild brown trout before i got to my target. I sat on the river bank overlooking the pool in which i saw the good fish watching to see could i spot him again. I sat and watched for about fifteen minutes with no sign of any good fish. As i had my camera with me i was able to get some photos of the wildlife that was around me. Out of the corner of my eye i caught a glimpse of a fish rising so i packed away the camera and took up the rod to have a cast over where the fish rose. On my second attempt a fish rose and took the Gnat, it was a good fish by the feel of it. After a long battle i eventually netted the fish which weighed just under two pounds, another cracking fish. I took a photo of him before i returned him safely to the water.

River Liffey Trout


I managed to get out again for one more outing after that to the same club waters only this time i went a little further up river. Fishing with the black gnat again i had success with seven fish caught and released, the best weighed a pound and a quarter. The water temperature is now at eighteen degrees Celcius which has brought on some very good evening rises. In what started out as being a bad week with my first blank day the week certainly finished on a high with some great fishing and great fish. Was it changeing from the soft action R. L. Winston Boron IIX rod to the stiffer Action Sage XP rod that gave me my confidence back or is it all in this anglers mind? I still question myself after each outing as to the hows and whys of what went wrong or right with the fishing. Sure who knows maybe some day the answers will come, until then its on with the fishing.

River Liffey Trout


8 Responses to “Evenings on the Liffey”

  1. Jack says:

    Great fishing again, was down there last weekend and will probably be down there this Saturday. Missed countless rises last weekend, any recommendations of flies I should bring down. Small sedge and olive patterns were getting the fish rising, but I thought they were onto something else.

  2. Bud says:

    Hi, I would love to fish on this part of the Liffey, where could I buy permits? Are there just dayly ones or also seasonal?

  3. wgsten says:

    @ Bud, you will find out all the info on http://www.facebook.com/KilcullenAnglers or you can email kilcullenanglers@gmail.com

  4. wgsten says:

    You could try the Black Gnat especially when they are on the water in good numbers. The brown silverhorn sedges are on the water at the moment and some good fish have a particular liking for these but it takes time to spot these fish although it can be time well spent. I took some nice fish on an olive comparadun size 16 early in the day. Some days when there is strong sunshine the fishing will be hard going on such days i usually keep on the move all the while looking out for rising fish and then try to identify what the fish is taking. You could also try fishing a small sized Pheasant tail nymph under an indicator fly eg. large Kilnkhamer.

  5. Jack says:

    Thanks wgsten I’ll give a few of them a go for sure. Should be down there on saturday.

  6. bud says:

    Thanks for the info wgsten. I’m looking forward to go there.

  7. Great fishing Liam, they are serious trout.

  8. New Guy says:

    Great blog, thanks for taking the time to post here.
    As a beginner i depend on sites like this for tips and tricks.
    One of my biggest problems is knowing what fly to use (time of season, time of day etc, not sure if anyone knows of a site where i can actually see pictures of the fly so i can identify them in my fly box when they are referenced here.


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