Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, trout fishing, wetfly

Mayo Bumble

The Mayo Bumble used to be a very popular fly during the mayfly season here in the west of Ireland but its popularity seems to have waned of recent years. I don’t understand why this is as it is a grand fly when the yellow drakes are hatching out in a good wave.

looking towards the canal

The mouth of the canal on Lough Mask, an area where the Mayo Bumble does good work

As Bumble patterns go it is fairly easy to tie but I throw in an extra hackle at the head which means you need to leave plenty of space there for winding all the feathers.

The body is formed form the tying silk dubbed with the brightest yellow fur you can lay your hands on. I personally used fl. yellow silk and think this helps a bit to keep the fly as bright as possible. Rib is fine oval silver tinsel and the tail is a golden pheasant crest feather. Body hackles are a red and a yellow cock hackle palmered together down the body. The ‘extra’ hackle I like to add is a french partridge dyed lemon and in front of that there is a guinea fowl feather dyed bright blue.

In use, cast to rising fish when possible but keep the fly moving briskly. Some days the trout will hammer this fly and yet on other days it will be completely ignored. Loughs Mask and Carra are the natural home for this pattern, I have never caught a fish on lough Conn on it!

Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, trout fishing, wetfly

Flies for Lough Conn, part 3

I hope you are enjoying this series of posts about the flies I recommend for Lough Conn. Today I will take a look at patterns which fish well from May onwards, an exciting period for us fishers in Western Ireland. The Lake Olives will still be hatching and the Mayfly will start to appear any time from the first week of the month depending on the weather.

My Light Golden Olive Bumble.


I finally arrived at this pattern after years of tinkering with the standard GOB. My reasoning is that during May/June the trout must see scores, if not hundreds, of standard GOB’s as most anglers give the pattern a try when the Mayfly is on the water. I wanted something just a little bit different and numerous small (and not so small) variations have been created and then rejected. This fly however has eared its corn and delivered some excellent catches for me on all the local lakes, so I can heartily recommend it to you.


My Light Golden Olive Bumble


Tail: a GP topping

Rib: Fine oval gold tinsel

Butt:light claret seal’s fur or synthetic dubbing

Body: pale golden olive seal’s fur or synthetic dubbing

Body hackles: a pale golden olive cock and ginger cock hackle wound together

Head hackle: A guinea fowl body feather dyed pale yellow

Tying silk: olive


Hackles tied in, Topping tied in and butt trimmed


Rib tied in and butt/body dubbed and wound


Almost there, body hackles and rib are wound and now just the waste to trim off and wind the head hackle.

The method of tying is exactly the same as a normal bumble pattern, just watch out for not leaving enough space at the eye for winding the hackles. I use size 10 and 12 hooks for this one. Fish this one as a bob fly and keep it moving though the waves.

Claret Murrough


Claret Murrough

A really popular fly on the Conn, this will catch you a trout or two any time from may to the end of the season. I think the colour of the hackles is important, they should ‘glow’ with a red tinge in my opinion.

Tag: bright orange seal’s fur

Body: medium claret seal’s fur

Rib: fine oval gold tinsel or yellow fl. thread

Body hackle: rich chocolate brown cock hackle, palmered

Wing: a slim bunch of red squirrel tail hair under paired woodcock slips

Head hackle: same as the body hackle but longer in fibre

Horns (optional): 2 strands of cock or hen pheasant tail tied forward.

Silk: brown


Horns are optional


Chocolate CDC Sedge


Finally for today here is a dry fly pattern which has seen good days on Lough Conn. Funnily enough I can’t recall using it on any other lake, so there is room for experiment on Mask and Carra. My Chocolate CDC Sedge is a grand floater thanks to the CDC wings and is very east to tie. You could use the same method to tie sedges in a range of different colours but I like this dark brown version as it matches those smallish dark  caddis which hatch steadily during May and June.

Hook: size 12 dry fly hook

Tying Silk: Brown or black

Body: dark chocolate brown synthetic dubbing

Wings: 4 dark grey CDC plumes tied down close to the back

Hackle: A small grizzle cock hackle wound in front of the wings

In use I carefully apply a small amount of Gink to the body and hackle only, NOT the wings. Fish it singly or in tandem with a dry mayfly. You may be surprised how many trout take the sedge even though they are mopping hatching Mays from the surface!

Chocolate CDC sedge

Chocolate CDC Sedge


Sun going down over Lough Conn


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Fishing in Ireland, salmon fishing, sea trout fishing, trout fishing, wetfly

Three flys from my table

I was trying (unsuccessfully I might add) to tidy up the mess of feathers, hooks and other assorted odds and end which have accumulated on my fly tying bench. In amongst the detritus I found some flies so I thought I would share them with you.

First up is a Grey Winged Salmon Gosling. Goslings are widely used in this area for trout and the occasional salmon has grabbed one in passing before now. The difference with this one is the hook, a large bronze double (size 6 or 8). Tied on the tail of a cast for salmon it can do the business on lough or river. It looks so radically different to other salmon patterns I am sure it is taken sometimes just because the fish haven’t anything like it before.

Next we have a variant of the Clan Chief, this one is tied in Fiery Brown colours. It is sporting a couple of strands of twinkle in the tail too and the head hackle comes from a grouse body feather. I tie this on a size 8 for salmon but there is no reason why it would not work for brownies on a size 12.

 I love this fly. The Charlie MacLean hails from the outer isles and does well here on the small brown trout bog lakes. There is a bit of work required fitting all the materials on the hook but when you see this fly in the water and how those long hackle work with every pull of the line you will forget that it took you 20 minutes just to make one. I am toying with the notion of adding a glo-brite no4 head to this pattern