salmon fishing

Up and running

I took a couple of days off work, initially to fish the Burke competition down in Clonbur but when that was cancelled I switched to salmon fishing and headed for the Moy and lough Beltra.

The Moy at Ballylaghen

Despite good conditions Tuesday was fishless for me and Ben. Micksy Clarke landed a sea liced springer for the EMAA water but we saw or touched nothing on the same stretch. Beltra was similarly dour despite a nice wind and great overhead conditions.

Wednesday morning and we decided to repeat the same choices as yesterday. Off we went to the EMAA waters and commenced operations just before 10am. By noon we had seen no signs of fish but my confidence was high as the river was in excellent order for spinning (but too high for the fly) and there were one or two salmon around.

Ben was fishing opposite me while I spun through the good lies below the bridge. A fish grabbed the Flying C and the battle started! He headed off down the river and I had to apply a huge amount of pressure to turn him before walking him back up in the pool and safety. He tried one more time to exit the tail of the pool but I was able to apply side strain and put him off balance. The old ABU rod was bent over and the drag on the reel was wound down to keep in control. Ben made his way over to me and after some more short runs the fish tired and came to the net without too much fuss.

The fish was very fresh but there were no sea lice present. It tipped the scales at exactly 10 pounds. As you can see from the photo, he was a very handsome fish with broad shoulders. He took a 20 gram black flying C

Other anglers appeared and so we called it a day on the Moy and headed to Beltra where we fished hard in the afternoon but without rising any salmon. Ben rose a few small brownies and I landed a small, thin seatrout kelt before I called it a day and packed in. To be honest, my heart was not in it after landing the salmon earlier in the day. Anyway, I had a few things to do in town so I made my excuses and departed in the middle of the afternoon. At least I am up and running for the 2019 season!

Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, salmon fishing

2 for the Moy

Saturday afternoon, in the room listening to my collection of Pretty Things albums. I guess that is a sure sign of my advancing years! Got through all the classics and ended up at Savage Eye. Loved every minute of it. Oh, and I was making salmon flies too.

I have plans to fish the river Moy this season so I need to update my fly box with some flies for that famous river. I am OK for small flies which will be needed in the summer when the grilse are running but I seem to be a bit short of patterns for the spring fishing. Here are a couple of flies which should produce the goods for me.

Gold Ally’s Shrimp

A fly for a bright day, this is a variation on of the normal Gold Ally.

 Tail: long orange bucktail with a couple of strands of sunburst flash

Rib: Oval gold tinsel

Body: flat gold tinsel/mylar/lurex/whatever you’re having yourself

Under wing: tied below the hook, orange squirrel under natural grey squirrel tail

Over wing: tied on top of the hook and slightly longer that the under wing. Orange squirrel under Natural grey squirrel under GP body feather fibres dyed claret

Hackle; tied in front of the wings, long fibred Orange cock

Head: red varnish

I also tie a variant which has a split body, gold tinsel at the rear and Globrite no. 5 at the front.

The next fly is also a variant of a popular pattern, this time the Hairy Mary.

Tag: oval gold tinsel

Tail: a golden pheasant topping or a small bunch of yellow hair

Body: black floss

Rib: fine oval gold tinsel

Hackle: Blue cock or hen. you can wind the hackle on either before or after you tie in the wing. I like to double the hackle, it seems to lie better that way.

Wing: bucktail dyed red

Tied on a single………………..

or a double hook
Sorry about the colour, that wing is actually crimson red

Sizes for both of these patterns range from 6 down to 12, depending on conditions. I like them on either singles or doubles but there is no reason why you could not tie them on trebles. To me these are patterns I associate with the Moy but they would probably work elsewhere too. I may give them a swim on Carrowmore or Beltra this year.