The dreadful weather that we have been having throughout this open season had all too often put an end to my plans of river fishing. My local river the Liffey is being flooded on a regular basis with water released by the dam at Golden Falls, leaving me having to go elsewhere to get some fishing done. The other rivers that are local to me are also suffering with the the heavy rain fall which leaves them out of condition for fly fishing. I have tried to make plans to fish on other rivers that are within a couple of hours drive from me but as yet i have not been able to fish on these, again due to high coloured water.
When the fishing season is open i usually fish for wild brown trout on as many different rivers and lakes as i can throughout the season along with fishing on my local river. I have now found myself looking to the stocked fisheries in order to get some fishing done. One of the fisheries i have recently fished on is Adaire Springs in Mooncoin County Kilkenny. I first heard about Adaire Springs from a friend of mine who recommended i should check it out as he said “there is quality fishing to be had for both Rainbow and Brown Trout into double figures”. With this in mind i made my plans for a days outing to the fishery.
On arrival at the fishery i met with Ned Maher who is the owner of Adaire Springs. Ned put on the kettle and we sat down and had a chat about the fishery over several cups of tea. I noticed while looking at the photo gallery there is some very nice double figure fish on display along with some very proud anglers. I also noticed that there were several fish rising out in the lake and i wondered what they were rising to. After the tea , i got set up for the fishing, i started off with a five weight rod and floating line to which i tied on a dry fly in a size fourteen. The fly i chose was one of my own tyings which i tie up to represent several different naturals, a general all rounder.
I set off around the lake and started casting to the fish that were actively feeding at the surface. On my third cast a fish rose and took the fly but unfortunately i failed to connect with it. Moving on to the next stand i could see a few more fish at the surface. I cast the fly over these and another fish rose and took the fly, this time i connected with it. After a good tussle i had a nice Rainbow trout in the net, a nice full finned fish of about three pounds weight. I replaced the fly with another of the same pattern. I generally change flies after each catch as the fly gets soaked and therefore does not float as it should. I was soon into another hard fighting Rainbow trout which i landed and released.
As i moved on around the lake i was casting to the fish that i saw rising, i caught and released two more nice Rainbow trout before i took a break for a bit of lunch. While having my lunch i got talking to some of the anglers who regularly fish at Adaire. They talked about some of the big brown trout that are present in lake and of the tactics they use to catch them. They also talked about their fishing adventure to Canada with MBB Fishing. The Canadian fishing trips sounded great, so much so that i am now pencilled in for one of the next Canadian ventures. Something that i will be looking forward to as i have never fished in Canada.
After lunch i set up a six weight rod with a sinking line and tied on a lure (Cats Whisker). One of the regulars Iggy swears by the Cats Whisker so i just had to give it a go. I fished this method for a while before i got the hang of it. I caught another four fish with the Cat all good hard fighting Rainbows. I then changed back to fishing with the five weight rod and a dry fly. I wanted to catch myself one of the much talked about big brown trout. I caught another two more Rainbow trout with the dry fly but the big brownies proved elusive. It was soon time to call an end to a great day out at Adaire Springs.
Before i set off for home i had another chat with Ned about the fishery and about having family day out there. Family are very welcome at Adaire and there is full facilities on site to cater for the young angler. Rod hire is available along with all the other bits and bobs that are needed for a day out. There is an on site BBQ which is available for any one fishing to use. Life jackets are compulsory for under fourteens and these are provided on site when you purchase a day ticket. Tuition is given freely to all junior anglers who require it.
Family day :
The following weekend i headed back down to Adaire Springs, this time i was accompanied by two of my nephews along with my sister and her husband, my brother and with his wife. We were all set for a family day out and we were hoping for some good weather. On arrival i introduced everyone to the fishery owner Ned. The two young lads were excited and were anxious to get out on the lake to get fishing. We got the lads set up and cast their bait out into the lake and we did not have too long of a wait before the first fish was on. A real excited 8 year old Dylan reeled in his first Rainbow trout.
We unhooked the fish and took a few pics of Dylan with it before we released it back to the lake. It was not long before the next fish was on, this time it was Gavins turn to reel in his first Rainbow trout. The lads kept me busy baiting and unhooking so I did not get much time to set up a fly rod for my brother in law until Iggy came along and gave me a hand with the lads. Iggy is one of the Springs regulars and he is always willing to help out with the younger anglers. While Iggy was guiding the lads, i set up the fly rod for Joe and gave him some tuition on how to cast and do a simple retrieve. I left Joe to fish away and went back to the lads. Iggy had everything under control in his easy going way. The lads enjoyed the guiding from Iggy.
While i was helping out with the lads another Springs regular Fergal called Dylan over. Fergal had a fish hooked on his fly rod and he passed the rod over to Dylan to get a taste of a big trout on a fly rod. It was fun to watch the young lad trying to land the fish, unfortunately for Dylan the fish was too strong and broke the leader. The lads traded fish for fish right up until we had a break for a bit of food. The girls had prepared a nice barbeque for everyone. At this stage the total count of fish landed and released was nine fish for Gavin, eight for Dylan, four for Ritchie and none for Joe and myself. The young ones were showing me how to do it. After we finished our food i said to the lads “will we try get into double figures with the fish totals”. They were all on for that.
I baited up the rods again and the lads started to fish, meanwhile Joe was busy trying to hook himself a Rainbow. The weather was absolutely fabulous all day with a nice warm breeze and full sun shine. The fish were proving more of a challenge as the were keeping down out of the sun. Next one to catch a fish was Joe, his patience paid off as he landed a nice Rainbow Trout. Another fish was landed soon after by Gavin bringing his total now to the magic double figure of ten. Dylan had one more fish to make his total nine, it was then time to call it a day.
We packed up all the gear and said our good byes to all at Adaire and thanked them for helping us all with having a great day out. The lads were completely worn out and they soon fell asleep in the car on the way home. A special thank you from myself to Ned, Iggy and Fergal for all the help making it a special day out for the young lads. They are now well and truly hooked, thank you.
Thanks also to Ned and Joe for the use of their photos here.