I spent my first two days of the season fishing on the wonderful River Liffey in Co. Kildare. I had been looking forward to getting out for some fishing for some time now so when the weekend arrived i was all set to go. The first day i spent in the excellent company of Ashley Hayden, a fellow angling enthusiast and guide. We arrived at the river Liffey shortly after midday and got ourselves set up to head upstream. I set my rod up a Klinkhammer to fish dry and Ashley set his up with a team of wet flies. The day was cold with bright sunshine along with a strong upstream wind. The weather conditions were to make the fishing hard going on the day. Ashley wrote a full report for the day on his website.
The next day i headed out to the same part of the river, this time unaccompanied. I arrived at the river and started to get set up. While i was setting up i wondered if i should start off with the same set up i used the day previous. I decided to start off using a dry fly and wondered which one should i choose? I chose to tie on one of the experimental patterns that i had tied up during the off season. Each year i tie up a few patterns for trial during the open season. I have had some degree of success with a few of these trial patterns over the years along with some failures. The trial pattern i tied on was tied Klinkhammer style to imitate an emerging Olive, a light coloured one.
The weather conditions were similiar to the previous day only for the wind was stronger and a lot colder. While i was checking out the first pool i arrived at, i noticed a fish rising close to the far bank. I had to have a go for this. The wind was blowing strong up and across the river which made covering the fish rather difficult. I made several casts to this fish before i rose and hooked him. A nice little fish near the half pound mark which i safely returned. I rose two more fish in that pool before the wind got the better of me and i moved on. I was a good start to the day and the trial pattern was successful, the day was full of promise! Moving on upstream to the next pool, i tried a few casts to check it out. I stirred nothing in that pool so on to the next one all the while the wind was getting colder and stronger. I fished on for another hour and a half without stirring a single fish, the promise had gone from the day. If i thought the previous day was hard going this day was even harder going.
I moved on upstream towards a sheltered pool where i noticed a few Olives coming off the water so i had to have a few casts here. On my way upstream i was changing from a single dry fly to a team of wet flies to see if i could manage to tempt a fish or two. To fish this pool i tied on a new team of wet flies to include a Waterhen Bloa, a Winter Brown and a Hares Lug and Plover. I fished these down and across the pool and on my third cast i was rewarded with a nice little fish which took the Hares Lug. I caught and released two more fish in this pool before moving on. I headed on further upstream to where it was even more sheltered. There i came upon a a nice stretch of water which had a high bank on one side and overhanging Beech trees along the other side. I noticed a few fish stirring under the Beech trees but to cast over these fish was not going to be easy. My only option was to cast a team of wets across the river and let them drift down over the fish. I changed the team of wets around keeping the Hares Lug on the point and changing the other flies for a Snipe and Purple and one of my trial flies. Keeping low i sneaked up to where i could make a cast to these fish. I made several casts before i got a take but i failed to connect with the fish. Casting again i let the flies drift down over the fish and when the flies were almost straightened out i pulled back the rod to raise the flies up through the water level to try induce a take. After several other casts i eventually got a tug and tightened into a nice fish. A fish of almost a pound weight which was in fair condition for this time of the season. This fish was tempted by the trial pattern another success for this same pattern. I caught another fish using this method, it was tempted by the Hares Lug.
After i finished fishing that pool i decided to call it a day and make my way back to the car. Thinking over the weekend as i walked back to the car, it was great to be back out on the river again. As far as the fishing went it was hard going but it is only the start of the season so there will be better days than these. The water temperature (8 degrees Celcius) on the last day was warmer than the air temperature (5 degrees Celcius). I have not come across many of those days. On the results with the trial patterns i was quite pleased but again it is early days, i will be trying them out again throughout the season. Already i am looking forward to my next outing.
Lastly i would like to thank those readers who have supported the blog by purchasing flies from me. I am only tying up the flies for readers of the blog, if there any readers who would like to purchase flies you may do so through the contact page at the top of the site.