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

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dryfly, Fishing in Ireland, salmon fishing, sea angling, trolling, trout fishing, wetfly

Random photos

My computer is full of photos taken when fishing, most of which will never see the light of day, so here are a few random pics for you to enjoy.

My boat in Pike Bay, Lough Conn

a boat in Pike Bay, Lough Conn

This one has obviously been idle for some time!

A Beltra Springer

A Beltra Springer

Favouite lures for Pike trolling in the winter months

Favouite lures for Pike trolling in the winter months

The view across Lough Mask from Cahir Pier. Mamtrasna is in the distance

The view across Lough Mask from Cahir Pier. Mamtrasna is in the distance

A small,coloured grilse about to go back

A small,coloured grilse about to go back

Ben with a nice, fresh 6 pounder off Carrowmore Lake a couple of years ago

Ben with a nice, fresh 6 pounder off Carrowmore Lake a couple of years ago

An audience

An audience

Rising tide, Ballyness bay, Donegal

Rising tide, Ballyness Bay, Donegal

Moorhall Bay, Lough Carra

Moorhall Bay, Lough Carra

While working in Oxfordshire some years ago I tried my hand at Carp fishing

While working in Oxfordshire some years ago I tried my hand at Carp fishing

A big wild Brown trout form the River Robe

A big wild Brown trout form the River Robe

Bridge over the Robe

Bridge over the Robe

The usual suspects on a boat fishing trip

The usual suspects on a boat fishing trip

Fly caught Mackerel from a few years ago

Fly caught Mackerel from a few years ago

The weather is settled and dry so salmon fishing is dead slow here. Trout angling is patchy but there are still some good fish being caught on Lough Mask. Expect things to pick up with the next spell of wet and windy weather. Planning an all-nighter off the shore this week!

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

Mayo angling update

It has been generally quiet from what I can gather but here is the latest angling news from the area around me here in Mayo.

On Lough Conn

Loughs Carra and Mask are turning up the odd brown trout but the sport is far from hectic by all accounts. Evenings are best. Lough Conn is patchy with some anglers finding feeding fish and catching good numbers while others fish hard and fail to even see a trout all day.

sunset over Castlehill

I heard (third hand, so don’t take this as gospel) that one lucky angler had 20 grilse in the space of a couple of hours at Pontoon Bridge. It is highly likely these would have fallen for the charms of a prawn, or at best a bunch of worms. Certainly some grilse were jumping in Lough Conn on Sunday evening when I ventured out with Ben for a couple of hours. Despite our best efforts we failed to contact any fish but some perseverance should result in a fish or two.

Sea fishing seems to be picking up a little with some large mackerel beginning to show up. I hope to be out doing a bit of boat fishing later this week so watch this space for a report.

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

Latest angling news from Mayo

We are into the last week of May and the fishing has finally started to pick up. The salmon are still scarce but  Carrowmore lake is reporting up to 11 salmon per day when conditions allow fishing to take place. Beltra is ticking over nicely with a steady stream of 8 – 12 pound fish. A small number of salmon have also appeared in Lough Conn, presumably part of the same run which saw improved catches on the River Moy last week. I encountered an early grilse yesterday outside Pike Bay on Conn and heard of many fish seen up at the top of the lake near the mouth of the Deel.

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an early grilse

The mayfly hatch is in full swing but anglers are reporting difficulty in meeting good sized trout. Mask and Conn appear to be stuffed with undersized brownies with very few larger trout in evidence, despite excellent hatches of greendrakes. Carra has yet to see the peak of the mayfly hatch but is producing the odd better fish to those who persevere.

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Undersized trout which took a Golden Olive Wulff

Castlebar Anglers club held a competition yesterday (Sunday) and the results were poor given the amount of fly on the water, the winner weighing in just two trout.

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Tony Baynes in charge of the weigh in at Healy’s Hotel, Pontoon

I have been having success fishing emergers in the surface film and casting to rising fish. While I am catching my fair share of the little lads I am picking up the occasional better one. A CDC emerger with a green grizzle hackle seems to be a pretty good fly at the moment.

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The successful emerger

As always, finding feeding fish is 90% of the battle and visitors are advised to talk to the locals to get the latest information. I sometimes see visiting anglers using drogues on the lakes here and this is to be discouraged for two reasons. The first is safety, underwater outcrops and shallows appear out of apparently deep water with no notice and in a high wind this can lead to swamping of the boat. The second reason is that it is better to drift with the wind so you cover as much water as possible. Trout can be active in relatively small areas at times, while on other occasions they are spread out over huge expanses of the lake. You need to cover a lot of ground to find the fish most days.

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Nephin from Lough Conn

Wind direction is also very important and certain drifts will produce fish when the wind blows from particular directions. Again, local advice is critical for success so don’t be afraid to chat to the locals!

The outlook for the next couple of weeks is positive. With the mayfly and olive hatches in full swing the trout should be active and provide excellent sport to both wet and dry fly. As always, the dap will bring up the best trout if you have the patience for this form of the sport (I don’t!). There is some rain forecast from Wednesday onwards and that should bring in some more fresh salmon if we have sufficient to raise the water levels.

Dry mayflies

Dry mayflies

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All blogged out for the day

The wind picked up again in the afternoon and I had some phone calls to make which could not be put off any longer so I failed to make it to the river today. Maybe tomorrow I will wet a line for the first time this year. I’m sure that most of you can empathise with me; there is always something urgent which needs to be taken care of before any ideas of fishing can be turned into reality. I spent a bit of time on wordpress getting to know a bit more about what I can and can’t do here. I suppose that will prove to be time well spent in the future.

St.Patrick’s day is just around the corner, next Tuesday to be exact. Here in Ireland that is an excuse for the over consumption of drink, parades of tractors and dodgy floats in every rural town and general giddiness among the populace.

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For me St. Patrick’s Day marks the true start of the fishing season after a long empty winter. Around this time we gather to ‘tumble’ the angling boats which have been in storage since last October. 8 or so hardy souls gather to lift the boats out of a shed and get them ready to be launched over the coming weeks on loughs across Mayo. Conn, Cullen, Beltra, Mask and Corrib will all be visited and one or more boats safely moored up. This saves us from loading, hauling and unloading a boat every time we want to go fishing and as long as we remember to make a phone call or text to the actual owner of the boat beforehand, you simply borrow someone elses boat for the day. If it so happens that one particular lough is fishing well we sometimes divert a boat from a less productive water to the good one. Cullen for example weeds up after the mayfly so we tend to move that boat off once the fishing tails away and plonk it on Mask or Carra.

tumbling the boats

Of course, all of this pulling and dragging of heavy boats is inclined to leave one with a powerful thirst. Under these circumstances it is highly desirable to deport to a local hostelry after the lifting to perch up on a high stool and enjoy a pint or two.

Now folks, I feel ‘blogged out’ and will sign off.

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