About me

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That’s me in the photo, motoring along on Lough Mask. Looking at the photo you can see that my boat could use a lick of varnish, but there is no mad panic about that yet. Those waders look a bit dodgy too, but nothing a few patches won’t sort out. Of much more importance is the nice ripple on the lough, just grand for the wet fly. From this you will have gathered that I am not a tackle tart who invests huge sums in the latest hi-tech angling equipment. I try to maintain my gear so it lasts as long as possible and view the tackle industry through a jaundiced eye – it looks like a marketing managers dream and we anglers are the suckers who rush to buy the latest new-fangled gadgets!

Achill

I live in Co. Mayo and this blog is where I write down my thoughts, ideas and experiences of the angling in these parts. Fishing in Ireland is much more than just going out with a rod and catching a few fish. The challenges are great and the results sometimes leave a lot to be desired but the ‘craik’ is a huge part of the the whole angling scene. In modern Irish culture ‘the craik’ is good enough reason to do just about anything and fishing is an extension of that devil-may-care attitude to life which goes a long way to defining the Irish. A days fishing is often rounded off with a pint of porter in one of the local pubs and the details of the day discussed in great detail by all present.

Now a confession – I am not Irish. I am in fact ‘a blow in’, born a raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. The locals put up with me because I have been hanging around this neck of the woods for many years now. My fishing apprenticeship was on the rivers Dee, Don and Ythan in Aberdeenshire in the company of some excellent fishermen, many of whom are sadly no longer with us. In those far off days salmon and sea trout were present in good numbers and big baskets were not uncommon. I vividly recall my mother groaning ‘not another salmon!’ as I came through the front door with a fresh springer.

Mugiemoss sports and social club angling section circa 1978

In addition to the actual angling I also tie a few flies so look out for patterns and tales of the ones which worked and the ones which didn’t (many more of the latter than the former I am afraid).

sharing some flies with Pat

sharing some flies with Pat

I fish with a small number of friends or simply wander off on my own with rod and line. At my age (knocking on for 60) and physical limitations (plagued with arthritis in my feet and ankles) I have to leave the more adventurous fishing venues to the younger lads and I dearly miss scrambling down to distant rock marks or deep wading fast rivers. For me, a day on the lough in a boat or messing around on a spate river chasing grilse is about my stretch.

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I fish all over Mayo and rather than specialising in any one method or concentrating on one target species I cast a line for anything. You will see fly fishing, trolling and beachcasting all cropping up here, with a sprinkling of boat fishing in the sea, depending on the time of year and my general inclination at the time.

I will post as and when I have something which I think may be of interest to others, which is basically my way of saying when I can be bothered. If I don’t post for a while that will probably indicate that work is getting in the way of my fishing. Please feel free to get in contact, I like to think I am approachable and tend towards helpfulness as a rule. Enjoy!

4 pounder

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10 thoughts on “About me

      • donal raftery says:

        I just signed up 2 ur site great blogs about the fishing in the west im heading 2 conn 4 a fishing weekend on the 28 of april i have fished it a few times i have a few flies that i depend on that work every year like a gold bead bibio cathal rush wetmay fly olive bumble and dabbler claret wet mayfly is there any other wet or dry flies i should try i tye all my own flies adding different colours and materials would appreciate any tips u might have 4 me thanks donal

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      • OK, around that time we will have olives hatching and the very first of the mayfly will be hatching if the weather is kind. The patterns you mention will all work but I would add a small (size 12) Connemara Black with an orange fl. tag. Adding a touch of Globrite no. 4 floss as a rib or a tag seems to make a difference to many patterns on Lough Conn. yellow and olive mayfly emergers do well if the mayfly is up. Anything claret on a dull/wet day.

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  1. donalraftery says:

    Thanks for the email I wil tye up a few Connemara black flies 4 that weekend what about some olive patterns I seem 2 get stuck when it comes 2 the olive hatches wet or dry thanks

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    • olives often cause difficulties. you can see fish rise they refuse everything you throw at them! When all else fails I fish a cast of size 12 wets with a Green Peter on the leader somewhere.

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  2. Hi, i have also been “Blown In” from Scotland, Stirlingshire. I have started doing a lot of sea trout fishing around the Belmullet area. I just started last season and have had a good few trout this season. If your ever down this way, would be good to meet up and cast a few rods together??

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  3. Peter Ross says:

    The sutherland specials caught my eye, I used them myself all over the ADAA waters when I was a young lad, the flash back photo of the mugiemoss social club, I think with Davie MacKay (I think from memory) holding the fishing trophies from the mill angling section. Great fishing at the back of the mill many a fine fish caught in the 1970-80. regards Pete Ross,

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  4. Hi Peter, there are a few weel kent faces in that old photo from the Mugiemoss social club! You are right, Davie McKay is there along with Ally Skinner, George Gauld, Brian Ord, Stanley Angus etc. Great days and some brilliant fishing.

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