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Mid April on the Liffey

Over the past weekend i had two fishing outings to the River Liffey. My first outing was on Saturday evening. I was fishing from half past four up until seven o’clock. The weather all week long had been warm sunny and dry with temperatures well up to normal for April. Saturday itself was another bright sunny day with a warm breeze blowing upstream and the water temperature was now at eleven and a half degrees celcius. With the good weather and the water temperature reading double figures i was expecting to see some action. I wasn’t disappointed.

Liffey near Brannockstown


In the first pool i started fishing at, there were several fish moving to something at the surface. On looking around there was no signs of any fly life to give me an indication as to which fly i would use. I decided that i would try one of my favourites,  an olive klinkhammer (in size fourteen) and fish to find out what the fish were busily feeding on. I fished with the klinkhammer for a while and i caught two fish of about twenty cms. On my way up to another pool i changed the fly size down to a size sixteen of the same pattern. The change brought better results. I finished the outing with eleven fish, the best of which made thirty cms. I noticed a few spinners when i was making my way back to the car, these i think were large Olives.

Wild Brown Trout

Sunday i was able to get out to the river earlier in the day. I got there shortly before noon and set the rod up using the same fly as the day before.  Heading  upstream i fished several pools along the way, only managing to rise and miss one fish. Things were not looking good, too bright maybe?  While i was having a short break i noticed some olives coming off the water but there was no signs of any fish rising to them. On catching one of the olives i identified it as being a Large Dark Olive (LDO).

Large Dark Olive

Deciding to change tactics altogether, i set up the rod with a team of North Country Spiders i.e. waterhen bloa, snipe & purple and a harelug & plover. These i fished using the down and across method. After a few casts i hooked and landed a nice little brownie of about twenty two cms long. He had taken the waterhen bloa which was tied on at the point. Then i decided to change the snipe & purple for another bloa  that i was wanting to try out. It is a similar pattern to the waterhen with the exception of the tying thread, i used Light Cahill thread. With the olives still coming off the water i fished my way back towards my car. My day ended with a total of fourteen wild brown trout the best (pictured above) measured thirty four cms. All fish were returned safely back to the water.

Red Tailed Bumble Bee

An observation that i made during my two outings to the Liffey was the large number of bumble bees buzzing about busily searching for nesting sites along the river bank. One of which was a red tailed bumble bee (pictured above) of which you don’t see too many buzzing around these days. All in all i had two great outings to the river Liffey. With olives hatching, the water now running very clear and temperatures on the rise i am already looking forward to the next outing.

6 Responses to “Mid April on the Liffey”

  1. bobby says:

    excellent read I am a great fan of the spider paterns it’s what I learned on fished for trout and grayling with them on the couple of visits I have had to your site i am struck with the photography and the quality of the site I enjoy it and will return again
    tight lines

  2. wgsten says:

    Hi Bobby
    Cheers for the comments. I never head out without the camera. Sometimes i feel i do more photography than fishing! It’s trying to find a balance that’s the problem.
    Tight Lines

  3. Alek says:

    Finally proper blog about fly fishing not only in Kildare.
    Grate piece of info for beginner like me.
    Well done.

  4. wgsten says:

    Hi Alek
    Glad you enjoy the blog. If you need any advice on fly fishing, please ask.

  5. G says:

    Thanks for this, any more fly tips for the liffey much appreciated especially as the season progresses.
    Looking at going out this evening…


  6. bobby says:

    the more I read tis the more intregued i am good work these pictures are excellent

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