Fishing in Ireland, trout fishing

Big fish from Mask

Just a very quick few lines to tell you about a couple of very big fish caught just before the end of the season on Lough Mask.

My good friend Toby Gibbons from Westport was out in the deeps the other day when a huge wild brownie grabbed his Octopus. I have yet to catch up with Toby to hear all about the fight but you can be sure it put up one heck of a battle. Toby is a fine angler though and the beast was finally netted. The fish of a lifetime it turned the scales to nine and a half pounds.

Not to be outdone, Sean Moogan boated another fine trout the same week. I don’t have a weight for this one but it looks to be around the eight pound mark or so.

I’d like to say this is normal but in truth both of these trout are exceptional fish. Fishing the deeps usually produces fish in the one to two pound range. How these monsters came to be out there in the middle of the lake is not known and maybe we are seeing the start of something new.

Hats off to two experienced and dedicated anglers who know the lough well and thoroughly deserve the accolades being showered upon them now. What a way to end the season!

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Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, trout fishing, wetfly

Sunburst Octopus

A few years ago nobody had heard of the colour ‘sunburst’ but now it is widely used in pulling patterns. I tie a version of the Octopus using sunburst colours so I thought I would share it with you.

I like to tie this pattern on a size 10 heavyweight hook. That is because I want the fly to settle in the water quickly and fish well below the surface. Silk is usually red but I have used other colours and I don’t think it is really going to make a huge difference if you fancy a different shade of tying silk. Begin by starting the tying silk at the eye,remove the waste end and then catch in two golden pheasant yellow body feathers. I like to use two hackles as  single one looks a bit mean to me.

chinese cock cape dyed sunburst

Now strip the fluff from the butt of a cock hackle dyed sunburst and tie it in before running the silk in touching turns to the bend of the hook. Here you tie in a length of no.4 fl. silk and wind a small tag. For a tail I use a golden pheasant topping. Now catch in a length of no.14 oval silver tinsel which will be used for the rib.

tying in the tag

Dub the tying silk with your preferred sunburst dubbing and wind a nice, tapered body back up to where the hackles are tied in.

Taking the cock hackle in the pliers wind about five open turns of the hackle down to the tail where it is secured with the ribbing tinsel. Wind the rib in the opposite direction through the body hackle and tie it in at the neck before removing the waste end.

Grab both pheasant hackles with the pliers and wind them together. This can be a bit tricky as these feathers are slippery customers. Stroke the fibres back as you wind the feathers then tie the ends down with the tying silk and trim the waste ends off. Form a neat head and whip finish to complete the fly then apply a drop of varnish to finish off.

If you want, you can add some knotted cock pheasant tail fibres before you wind the head hackles. These can either be natural, dyed claret or dyed red. I can’t in all honest say the addition of a few legs will make a huge improvement to the fly but they certainly look nice to our eye.

With legs……………

or without

This is a fly for fishing as part of a team in the deeps, searching for daphnia feeders in the middle to late season on waters like lough Mask.

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Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, wetfly

Octopus variation for you to tie

Born here in the west of Ireland, the original Octopus has spawned a huge number of variations, some more effective than others. Very much in the camp of ‘pulling’ patterns, these bright concoctions do good work over deep water when the browns gather is loose shoals. That is not to say they don’t catch trout in other conditions and many angers swear by them during the mayfly. Here is a wee variant fresh from the vice.

Hook: a size 10 or 12 heavy wet fly hook, something like the good old Kamasan B175

Silk: fl. yellow 6/0 or 8/0

Tail: Globrite no. 10 or 11 with a couple of strands of pearl flash

Tag: Mirage Opal tinsel

Rib: fine silver, no. 14 oval is good

Body: Naples yellow seal’s fur

Body hackle: Golden olive cock hackle, palmered

Throat hackles: A couple of turns of a mallard flank feather dyed golden olive wound behind a yellow Golden Pheasant body feather.

Head: tying silk and clear varnish.

Tying is  very easy and the only point to watch out for is leaving enough space behind the eye to accommodate all the hackles.

 

 

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