Fishing in Ireland, shore fishing, trout fishing, wetfly

It’s that time of the year

I have never liked Christmas. Even as a kid I found the whole thing a waste of time and once I had discovered fishing this time of the year became unbearable. No fishing to be had, terrible weather and still the seemingly never-ending month of January to suffer until the new season opens.

With nothing better to do I console myself with carrying out all the little jobs of repair and replace in my tackle boxes and fly wallets. Rusty hooks are discarded and replaced with nice, sharp ones. I review the serried ranks of trout and salmon flies like some sort of piscatorial Sergent-Major, weeding out those which are sub-standard. A chewed hackle or broken ribbing are sufficient reason for the axe to fall and the gaps created are an incentive for me to spend more time at the vice.

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I didn’t manage to fish very much last season, so most of the fly boxes require only a cursory top-up. The exception this Christmas is the box of spiders which looked a bit forlorn last week. A couple of tying sessions has put that right though and along side the usual suspects there are a few of my new patterns to try out next Spring.

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Spinning tackle, by the very nature of the technique, takes a hammering and so I go through the lures and replace rusty split rings, dodgy swivels and bend hooks. While others are immersed in ho, ho, ho-ing and other such nonsense I am beavering away with pliers and WD-40. About 20 Devon mounts had to be discarded and new ones made up this week, using those wonderful Owner treble hooks.

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Next job for me is the shore fishing gear. I was horribly disorganised last summer and my box seemed to be full to overflowing but it contained practically nothing that I really needed. On one trip I could only find 2 four ounce weights at the bottom of the box. On another occasion I ‘lost’ both spools of elastic (only to find them the next day). I not only need to organise the box better but I need to drastically reduce the amount of gear I bring with me. Wish me luck!

 

 

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Fishing in Ireland, fly tying

A couple of old spiders for this time of year

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OK so there is nothing even remotely new about these two patterns but they are so effective that I think there is no harm in reminding you about them both.

Let’s start with the Poult Bloa. Yellow tying silk with the faintest mist of water rat or mole’s fur dubbed on it form the body and the hackle is a turn or two of the shiny under covert feather of a waterhen. That’s it, the only hard part of making this fly is making sure you don’t put too much fur on the silk or take too many turns of the hackle feather. Light and slim are the order of the day with all spiders. This is a really excellent pattern when the Large Dark Olives are hatching so please make some up and have them in you box.

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Next up is the Plover and Hare’s Ear which has been particularly good already this season for me. Yellow silk again (Pearsill’s for preference) this time dubbed with fur from a Hare’s ear and then ribbed with fine oval gold tinsel for the body. the hackle comes from the outside of a Golden plovers wing, a lovely gold spangled feather with a natural curve in it. Only one turn or one and a half at the most. I think this fly is taken as hatching stonefly but it is a general copy of a wide range of insects.

Give both of these flys a try over the next few weeks.

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