Feed on


My earliest memory of fishing takes me back to growing up on Dublin’s Southside in the early sixties and setting long lines on Sandymount strand. My first venture out to set a long line was with some of the men from my street. They would set the line’s up when the tide was well out baiting each hook with either Ragworm or Lugworm that they would dig for while on their way out to set up the lines. When the lines were set they would wait for the tide to turn before they would head back home. They would wait then for the hours to pass and the tide to retreat before they went back out to gather up their catch. This to me was always an exciting time as you never knew what would get caught on the day. Most times the catch would consist of Cod, Plaice, Flounder and if your luck was in there would be a Sea Bass or two on the line. I eventually got a long line for myself with the monies collected on my First Communion day. My first real adventure into fishing.  

Poolbeg Lighthouse

My next adventure was being brought down on the crossbar of my neighbours bicycle to fish for Mackeral from the Poolbeg Lighthouse on the Great South Wall. This was my first time that i saw a fish getting caught on a rod and line. I just had to get myself a fishing rod. Money was scarce back then but again with the help of my neighbours i managed to collect enough Green Shield Stamps to get myself my first fishing rod and reel. The excitment of getting the bus into the city centre to head down to Henry Street into the Green Shield Stamp depot with my books of stamps to get the fishing rod and reel. I remember the rod it was a yellow five foot two piece solid glass fibre one.

West Pier Dun Laoghaire

There were many places to fish near to where i lived back then one of those was Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the west pier. This was another adverture for me getting the 7A bus from Ballsbridge to Dun Laoghaire and the long walk down the west pier with my new fishing rod. I spent many days fishing from the west pier some were successful and others not so. One of my best memories of the west pier is of the catching of a nice big Plaice on my little fishing rod. This fish i brought home for the table as i always did back then. On my way home with the fish i asked our local Greengrocer to put it on his scale to weigh it for me. It weighed in at all of four pounds and twelve ounces. I never had a Plaice as big since that one. I caught many fish on that little Green Shield Stamps rod.

Another early memory is that of getting to go boat fishing with some of the local anglers who used to drink in the bar across the road from my house. They used to hire a boat from Lawless out at Bullock Harbour every Sunday the weather permitted during the summer. This was another big adventure for me as a young lad. I eventually got to go out with these men every Sunday but in order to get them to bring me out i had to dig the bait for them. With a fork borrowed from one of the neighbours i would on each Saturday at low tide head out to dig up the worms. This involved lots of effort on my behalf as i needed to dig up at least two hundred Lugworm or Ragworm. A mixture of the two baits was always their preference. The producing of the bait guaranteed my seat in the boat along with the loan of a boat rod and reel with all the tackle i needed. I had some great days out boat fishing with these men.

With the help of an  introduction from one of those men to the lady from ABC tackle shop off Capel Street i got a job as a bait digger for the shop. This earned me some much needed money during summer holidays from school. With this money i bought myself a beach casting rod and reel from one of the locals who luckily for me was stuck for some beer money. Beachcasting brought on a whole new dimension to my angling experiences. The east coast beaches back then were great places to fish from. I could get a train down to Greystones and beyond that to Wicklow to fish from those beaches.

Getting into the fishing for Pike back then was another easy step for me. I used to take the 65 bus from the city centre out to Blessington to fish for Pike on the Poulaphuca Reservoir. I recall at one time hooking into a double figured Pike on my little Green Shield Stamps rod. I successfully landed, weighted and released fish which was another exciting experience for myself.

Ovet the time i had been hearing from other anglers who were fly fishing on the river Dodder which flows through Dublin’s southside. This was another method that i was keen on trying out and with the river Dodder flowing close to me it was not long before i decided to invest some of my hard earned money in a fly fishing set up. One Saturday morning with cash in pocket, i got the bus into the city centre and headed to Temple Bar and into Rory’s Fishing Tackle Shop.

Rorys Temple Bar

I did a deal with Rory for my very first fly fishing gear, a two piece hollow fibre glass Shakespeare rod with a reel and line to suit in a six weight. Rory as usual threw in a few flies and some tippet to get me started. He always threw something or other in when you spent a few quid in his shop. With the new fly fishing gear in hand i set off for the river Dodder near Firhouse to see could i get myself a Trout or two. This fly fishing lark was not so easy. My first outings were frustrating  to say the least. Not one to give up easily i persevered and eventually i was rewarded with a beautiful wild Brown Trout all of six inches long. Wow! I was now hooked on the wonderful world of fly fishing. I have never looked back since that day i caught my first wild Brown Trout.

Bohernabreena Reservoir

I have fly fished in many beautiful places since then but i will always remember my first wild Brown Trout from the river Dodder. Getting into fly tying was my next step this opened up another new world to me and brought my fly fishing experiences to another dimention when i caught my first wild Brown Trout on a fly which i tied. Getting interested in Entomology was another easy step for me as fly fishing is very much involved with insect life.

Avonmore River

Through my blog i would like to share my experiences as a fly fisher while i make my way around some of the many waters of Ireland.  Here are some pictures below of some of the waters i have fished… Hope you enjoy them.



Falls Lake Kildare

Falls Lake Kildare

Mist on Poulaphuca Reservoir

Mist on Poulaphuca Reservoir



Moon rise Lough Talt

Moon rise Lough Talt


14 Responses to “About”

  1. Eduardo says:

    I´m very glad to find a fly fishing blog of Ireland!! Excellent information and nice pictures!

    I add this blog to my blog list of friends.

    I will pass from time to time to say “hello”.

    All the best from Argentina.

  2. wgsten says:

    Hi Eduardo, thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi I just came across your page, addictive reading and very enjoyable , keep up the writeings. looking forward to your next artice.
    All the best for 2011
    Jack Matthews

  4. wgsten says:

    @Jack Matthews, thanks Jack.

  5. Kenny says:

    I will be keeping an eye religiously on your blogs. I find them very informative . Im not a beginner but never seem to be as successful(unless im pulling in stockys) as I have no one to learn from.
    First day out today with no takes on the rivers. I love being there but would love to C&R a little browny. I would love if you could take photos of your set up and flys used . Even add technique . It would be greatly received. I see you like to use teams. I have never even tried that. could you recommend a do all book for our rivers?

  6. wgsten says:

    Hi Kenny. I have set up a Fly Tying page if you click into it you will find some pictures of the flies i am using for the early part of the season. It is a work in progress as i intend to add to it as the season progresses. I have also considered setting up a page for techniques and tips as i have had many enquiries about this subject.

  7. Glenn Weisner says:

    Dear WGSTEN (who ever you are?)

    I will be in the Dunboyne area for a few days the week starting May 16th…..traveling accross the pond from the USA. I favor smaller, spring creek type, streams with “dry fly” fishing opportunities and really don’t care how many trout I catch or how big they are. It seems my research steers me toward the Liffy quite a bit which is how I found your site. Any chance you can provide some advice regarding which streams you recommend I try to fish when in town? I would like to keep within about 30 to 40 minutes of Dunboyne by car. Also, I really enjoy your insect section outlining the various hatches- perhaps you could detail the bug sizes for me with hook equivalents for the olives, big drake, “sulphurs”, yellow stones and caddis (assuming you think I might see these guys in mid May when I am there).

    Hope to hear from you and look forward to dialog to learn more about fishing your area!

    Glenn Weisner-USA

  8. wgsten says:

    Hi Glenn, i have sent you a pm.

  9. Olive Maher says:

    Have just come across your blog – fabulous reading for someone who had a “go” on the Poddle one time with, if I remember rightly, a bit of string, a stick, and a safety pin! Catch NIL. All the best.

  10. wgsten says:

    Hi Olive, welcome to my blog. You may have noticed that I have not posted anything on it for some time now. The main reason for my not updating is/was I had run out of disc space on the site. I now have purchased extra disc space and I have plans write more articles. I also plan to visit and review more of the private stocked fisheries over the coming months.
    I will also be adding a new page early in the coming year. The new page will solely be about my year on the river Liffey, a weekly diary of sorts starting during the closed season going right through the open season up to year end.

  11. Tony Vegh says:

    Heading to Ireland from the States to coach my high school rugby team (St. Ignatius, Cleveland, OH, USA). Yes, we play rugby here. I will be staying in Dublin from April 7th to April 12th. I’m bringing my fly fishing gear with me. Looking for a guide and a bit of advice.

    By the way, your blog is top shelf.

    Tight Lines,

    Tony Vegh
    Cleveland Heights, OH

  12. wgsten says:

    Tony you can contact me through the contact page here

  13. Valery Howell says:

    I was enquiring about Tree Creepers and came across your blog … such an enjoyable read, written obviously by someone who is enjoying life and its natural wealth!

  14. Hans Kluken says:

    Dear sirs,

    We like your website and are also keen on North Country Spiders.
    we are a group of 4 men from Holland and are planning to visit Ireland 14 may 2016. We come for the wild brown trout in small loughs and prefere bankfishing and river fishing , we also look for beautifull surroundings and remote fishing. Can you give us some information about the rivers flowing in lough Cullin and the surrounding small loughs in this area.
    We like the things written about the Callow loughs and lough Talt.
    Hoping to hear from you Hans, Ruard, Mark, Frits.
    Greetings from Holland

Leave a Reply