I will add a couple of final posts to this blog before it shuts down.
I had a request today for some help regarding what flies to use when fishing the river Robe in Mayo so here is a rough guide to twelve of the patterns I use on a regular basis. Other anglers will have faith in many other flies but these have all served me well over the years.
Beaded Pheasant tail.
I guess this is my ‘go to’ nymph pattern for the Robe in the early part of the season. It is a multi-functional fly that can be fished in the usual nymphing techniques or added to the tail of a wet fly leader and swung down-and-across. Some days a gold bead is better, on other days the duller, copper beaded version catches more.
Partridge and Orange.
I have used this fly since I was a boy back in Aberdeen and have probably caught more trout on it than any other pattern. During an early season hatch of olives it can be deadly. A great all-rounder it works best in streamy water early in the season. Don’t be without it if you are going to fish the Robe in springtime.
Olive Partridge Spider
This is one of my own patterns that does well from the start of the season through to the month of June. It has caught me many trout over the years and I still recall losing a huge wild trout at Hollymount a few years ago. I only got brief look at it after it had emptied the reel twice; I got it close to me then it thrashed on the surface and threw the hook. How big? I reckon it was about eight pounds!
The Adams is by a long way my favourite dry fly for the Robe. I use different variations as circumstances dictate but the original with the grey fur body is hard to beat.
The Robe gets good hatches of Blue wing olives, usually starting in early June and going on for the rest of the summer. When the spinners return to lay their eggs the trout feed hard on them and this simple dry fly has worked a treat during those hectic late evening rises.
When the Lark Dark Olives return to lay their eggs the Rusty Spinner comes into its own. Using the same design but changing the colour of the body you can produce a range of spinner patterns to cover most occasions. Claret, red and pale olive have all caught me trout.
Iron Blue Dun
The Robe get small hatches of Iron Blue duns and I can’t say I have ever seen them in big numbers. The trout do seem to pick them out though when they do hatch so having a good copy can save the blank. Always tied on a small hook like a 16 or smaller. Sometimes you get a hatch of IBD in September too.
Summer evenings, the setting sun and fish slashing at sedges on an Irish river, the stuff dreams are made of! The Wickham’s Fancy is a poor copy of anything in the natural world but the trout love it. A brilliant fly you simply MUST have in your box.
Elk Hair Caddis
An American fly now, the Elk Hair Caddis. Again, you can fool around with the materials but I find a hare’s ear body is very good. Tied very small it is a great searching pattern on difficult days in the summer.
My Ginger Sedge
This is one for fishing into the dark on summer evenings. Either fished singly on a stout leader or on the tail of a two fly cast with a Wickham on the dropper this fly can often produce the best trout of the day. You can also grease it up and fish it dry.
Falls of Hawthorn fly happen each May on the Robe, eliciting exciting rises from the fish. There are lots of patterns to pick from and they will no doubt all catch fish on their day. I like this one though.
Goldhead Hare’s Ear Nymph
Trout feed below the surface for 90% of the time so you need a good nymph pattern in your box. In different sizes this one will catch you trout on the Robe all season long.
As I say, this is just a dozen of my favourites, there are many other patterns which succeed on the river Robe. Size is important and a size 14 or 16 is usually about right.
Here is a very rough guide to when these 12 flies usually give their best:
|Partridge and orange||wet||14||X||X||X||X|
|Olive Partridge spider||wet||14||X||X||X|
|Iron Blue Dun||wet||16||X||X||X|
|Wickhams Fancy||wet||12, 14,16||X||X||X||X||X|
|Elk hair caddis||dry||12, 14,16||X||X||X|
|Ginger sedge||wet||12, 14||X||X||X||X|
|Hare’s Ear Goldhead||nymph||12, 14,16||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|