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On the oars

It’s a strange game which lacks even a definitive name. Boatman, ghillie or guide, take your pick. All those titles are in common usage across Ireland. I do a bit of it, helping anglers here in the west of Ireland to try and catch a few fish, handling a boat for them on the big […]

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Shorts

Four short, random pieces which have been lying around on my laptop. Hope you enjoy this eclectic mix of unrelated fishing topics. Donegal Blues Friday 13th, I should have known not to try anything adventurous on this day! A plan for the day ahead, detailed and coordinated, fell apart after a couple of early morning […]

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Near the end

Afraid this is a rambling and at times barely coherent tale which spans decades and continents but at the end I will give you a really good salmon fly pattern. Trout and Salmon magazine was an integral part of my angling education. When I was still living at home with my parents my bedroom had […]

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Holiday Monday

I had hoped to fish on Sunday but in truth I was exhausted so took some time out to rest and gather my strength. Ghillieing on Saturday followed by a couple of drinks that night proved to be too much for my covid damaged body and so I made flies and drank coffee while listening […]

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Clare river

The fickle Irish weather scrunched up my weekend plans and tossed them in the bin. I was been due to take two anglers out on lough Beltra on Saturday but the high winds of last week had melted away like April snow to present me with a flat calm by early this morning. We exchanged […]

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My favourite mayflies.

I know it is only April but the merry month of May will soon be upon us so with that in mind here are a few of my favourite Mayfly patterns. My own fly boxes are full of old masters and new patterns and most of them will catch a fish or two. Finding consistent […]

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PC fishing

In this case ‘PC’ stands for ‘post Covid’. I contracted the dreaded lurgy last week. Thursday was the day it played its hand and I became quite ill that night, forcing the cancellation of two days on the loughs which I had been so looking forward to. Sleep was impossible, uncontrollable shakes were followed by […]

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Casts and retrieves

Some thoughts on traditional boat fishing Casting and retrieving in traditional lough style. Now here is a subject we fly anglers can really get our teeth into! As someone who fishes a fair bit with other boat partners I get to see first-hand the wide variation of casts and retrieves employed. Experienced anglers find what […]

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Pulling flies

I should have started my trout fishing by now but work and some other obligations have got in the way so far. I am hoping to sneak out for an hour this weekend but there seems to be an awful lot of chores to get out of the way first before I go swishing a […]

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Join the club

On a windy day last weekend I tried fishing lough Aclaureen near Tuam. I failed to register even a single bite there and so headed off to try my luck elsewhere, eventually spending a couple of desperately cold and windswept hours on one of the Castlereagh lakes near Irishtown. On the way there I checked […]

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