dryfly, Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, trout fishing

An easy mayfly pattern

May came and went with unreasonable haste. I hardly wet a line during the merry month, a combination of work commitments and Mediterranean weather kept me occupied and the fish unmolested. Reports suggest the mayfly was late but is still hatching in good numbers as I write in the first week of June and as usual some trophy-sized trout are being landed on the big loughs.

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3 pounder from lough Conn

So in keeping with the time of year here is a pattern for a dry/hatching mayfly imitation which I dreamt up a few seasons ago. It works well when the fish are mopping mays off the top and Lough Conn trout in particular seen to like this one. Tied on a size 10 hook, different colours can be used such as yellow, olive and green to meet the requirements on any given day. I will show you the yellow version here today.

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Mayfly Emerger

Tying silk can be either olive or fl. yellow. If you use the yellow it creates a very bright fly so it pays to have some of both in the box.

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Floss for the rib and fl. yellow tying silk

Run the silk down the hook to the bend where you tie in 3 or 4 fibres from a moose mane. I much prefer this material for making tails to the more traditional pheasant tail fibres because they last so much longer. Even up the ends of the moose hair before tying them in and aim to flair them out (a small ball of the body fur under the tail can help here). Now fix in a piece of rib which is globrite no. 4 floss. Dub a body of seals fur in the colour you desire. Leave plenty of space at the neck of the hook for tying in the wings and hackle. Wrap the floss forward in even spirals and tie it in at the head.

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CDC.

Now for the wings which are made of 4 CDC feathers. These are tied in over the back of the hook, almost in wet fly style. Tie in a matched pair of grey CDC with yellow or green CDC flanking them. I especially like the ‘dirty yellow’ CDC from Veniards. Take time to get these wings sitting just right, nice and straight.

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The hackle should be good quality

The hackle is made from a good quality grizzle cock hackle dyed green or yellow. Tie it in and make at least 5 turns before tying it off and snipping off the waste. Form a head and whip finish. I make the hackle quite thick because this is a pattern which will be fished in a wave so it needs to be fairly robust.

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Finished fly

The fly can be fished either well greased and riding high on the waves or ‘damp’ with just the CDC keeping the fly in the surface imitating a hatching insect. I use it on the loughs but there is no reason why it wouldn’t work on the rivers during a hatch. I like to fish this one on a cast with a spent gnat imitation in the evening. Sometimes the trout will prefer one fly over the other but often both will take fish in equal proportions.

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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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