Monday, 30 September 2013

Connemara Silver at Screebe by Trevor Down

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7 pound salmon caught on Screebe
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Trevor's 22.5 pound Salmon caught in Norway

Well what a season and were to start. Firstly my trip to Norway in early June. Breaking my p.b. with a 22.5 pound salmo salar. Landed on the first evening was a dream come true, but with bright days n low water it proved to be a tough week to follow. I struggled...

But with the 20lb plus salmon caught I was in a fishers dream and happy to just enjoy the place and scenery of Norway catching a few Seatrout most days to fill the gaps. On my return to Connemara there had been a small fresh and nice big tides.

I traveled all night to get back for a wedding and missed last 2 days of my weeks fishing in Norway! I heard afterwards they caught 6 salmon on last day after 5 days on the banks with nothing.

So I missed out but made up for it on my return to Connemara.

An hour on the way home the night of the wedding and in that hour I had 4 takes from salmon successfully landing one fish of about 7 pounds before releasing it.

I returned the next day and sold a ticket to regular Kevin Kronin who had caught one salmon and lost 2 by lunch time. Fish were jumping and rolling all over the place so I started fishing from the lake shore where I rose two good salmon on small wet flys. I lost another before changing my fly to a shrimp pattern on tail fly. Then bang, with a few casts a fish traveled 20 feet to hit my fly I just held on for the rise. After a acrobatic fight I released a 5pound bar of silver to fight another day.

The following 9 days took the same course. Each day losing rising and landing one fish, I thought then this was true. Ireland is the fly Fishers dream destination!

Article submitted by Trevor Down - Head Chef and Fishery Manager of Screebe

Fly Fishing Ireland

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sea Trout on Carlingford Lough

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Tom Williamson caught this fine 4 pound sea trout using a shrimp pattern, on a falling 5m tide on Carlingford Lough

fly fishing ireland

Carlingford Lough is a sea lough that opens on to the Irish Sea. It forms part of the boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Several rivers run into it, including the Newry River (and, indeed, the Newry Canal), Clanrye River and the Whitewater River.

On the County Down shore lie the pleasant resort towns of Warrenpoint and Rostrevor, backed by the Mourne Mountains “sweeping down to the sea”. On the southern (or Cooley Peninsula) shore, the visitor will be impressed by the County Louth coastal towns of Omeath, Carlingford (a village with a wealth of heritage sites stretching back to Norman times) and Greenore.

Fly Fishing Ireland

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Eckhardt Wagner goes Flyfishing for Sea Bass in Clonakilty

I had a cast this morning at 9:15a.m at Inchadoney, Clonakilty and caught a beautiful sea bass. Low tide was 10:30a.m. Happy with this fish because I have only little practice in Bass-Fishing. It was not easy with wind in front of me. But what can be better for a Fly fishing purist as a Bass on the Fly? Released the fish with great pleasure.

Rod and Reel: Orvis,
Line: Guideline "Coastal".
Fly: Sandeel Imitation.

Fly Fishing Ireland

Bass Alley by Alan Cogan

fly fishing ireland

“I’m in”. I uttered the common phrase used by fisher folk worldwide, announcing to all and sundry that they are stuck in a fish whilst their companions may not be.  It is said in a humble tone in most cases but in reality one-upmanship is to the fore in a subtle yet evil way.

Saying “I’m in” this time, however, really was a case of “I’m in”...up to my neck in salt water.  It had seemed to be going well. Companion  and self were happily peddling in pursuit of bass (yes peddling, more of which later) around Cork Harbour in our Celtic Tiger Yaks (CTY) safe in the knowledge that their longevity and durability was far more impressive than the quality of property constructed in the same period.

It wasn’t as if we hadn’t been out in them before, the usual routine had been followed, forensic inspections of straps on the top of the car ensuring that one of the CTY’s  didn’t slam down a bonnet or, worse still, end up impaled in some ditch.  Fly rods prepared, eight weights, large arbour reels and intermediate lines inspected, clousers tied on and all gear strapped to the CTY to prevent any mishap occurring, little did I know!

Then there was the not so subtle exercise of immersing myself in my drysuit, not an easy task in any persons language especially when I had the ability to make myself look like a priapic seal (for all the wrong reasons) if I didn’t get it right first time.  Suitably immobilised in my dry suit, off we pedalled, yes pedalled, I did say they were CTY’s, not your standard paddle and go model. Theory being we could move as we fished, not so simple an exercise if you have a paddle in one hand and a fly rod in the other!

The tide was just beginning to ebb which meant that the bass would start hunting any small baitfish washed by the current into their path. It really was a case of lambs to slaughter as the tide quickened, baitfish wouldn’t stand a chance in the current and we could see the bass begin to hunt. We had chosen a place I affectionately call bass alley, a narrow strip of water that races alongside an island in the Harbour. I had christened the place one day as I watched my companion land nine bass and miss as many whilst I managed one measly take and promptly missed the fish. In truth I had probably christened the place when I missed that fish but decided, to prevent profanity, to shorten the word I used to Bass!!

Lengthening line I focused on not giving myself an unwanted chartreuse earring, one does feel extremely vulnerable so low to the water in a Yak and a weighted fly whizzing past your ears, or, perhaps, it is just me. I had just assumed my classic angling position of head down shoulders hunched squinty eyed pose when a fish moved to the right of my fly. Leaning back and false casting to cover the fish I noticed that suddenly the landscape had turned on an angle and, for some strange reason the water was coming up to meet me at an impressive speed.

Being in excess of 100kg and overturning a Yak really is a skill that few have mastered, and yet, first time trying, I had carried out the feat with alarming speed and no little grace. I should have been proud of myself...I wasn’t. Managing to immerse myself up to my neck whilst maintaining my hold on fly rod AND not getting my head wet, now that was a feat to be marvelled at.

The companion was used to me uttering the “I’m in” phrase, (unfortunately I was far more used to hearing him say it). He didn’t even turn around, but when I repeated with “no, I’m in” he did turn around. Controlling his laughter and smirks was a feat for which I will ever be grateful but in reality my dignity was at the bottom of the briny, luckily, on its own, as the strapping had contained all my fishing bits in the upturned Yak.

Examining the cause of my immersion didn’t take long. There was no black box examination required. In my haste to be the first one humbly muttering “I’m in” I hadn’t securely clipped one of the restraining straps on the seat, thus when I leaned back, off I slewed to one side with all the grace of a swan after hitting the vodka.

Wading to shore fly rod in one hand, upturned yak in the other I got to thinking that maybe they should have an Olympic event for fastest Yak evacuation. I think I had just made the qualifying standard.

Fly Fishing Ireland

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Pollack Fishing on the Cork Coast

The summer of 2013 has been a great year for pollack fishing off the coast of Cork. Great sport has been had off the rocks around Cork Harbour, Kinsale and Clonakilty

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fly fishing ireland

fly fishing ireland

Fly Fishing Ireland

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Night Fishing for Sea Trout below Innishannon Bridge

It had been a while since I fished by night for sea trout below Innishannon bridge, so my mind was focused on catching these enigmatic fish once again in the darkness of night. I checked the tide timetable and low tide was 12a.m. Perfect! Innishannon is a tidal part of the Bandon River and is best suited for fly fishing for sea trout and salmon at low tide. The stretch is free to fish below the bridge however anglers must hold a state salmon/sea trout licence.

Innishannon Bridge, Co Cork
Ideally two hours before or after low tide is the optimal time to catch sea trout on most estuaries, particularly the Bandon estuary. The month of August is usually the best time to fish Innishannon with warm nights and evenings getting dark around 9:45pm

fly fishing ireland
Snowbee Diamond 5-6 weight fly rod

The moon phase on this particular night was perfect with a dark moon making prospects for sea trout fishing good. My choice of fly rod was the Snowbee Diamond 10 foot, 5-6 weight fly rod. Perfect for sea trout fishing by night. The rod is rigid enough to hook and play decent sized sea trout and summer peal while enjoying the comfort of being lightweight.

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Sea Trout mini tube

I selected a few favorite fly’s from my main fly box for the night (Teal Blue & Silver, Bloody Butcher, Stoats Tail and black mini tube with treble) on 8pound clear mono tippet. I made my way below Innishannon bridge at dusk. The sun was setting nicely but the evening wasn’t dark enough yet, so I waited patiently for darkness to fall while I sat on a rock a kingfisher glided past and the the brown trout slurped flies off the top. A lovely August evening to be at one with the river and nature.

So 20 minutes later it was dark enough to start the sea trout fishing, while entering the water quietly and carefully I started casting below the bridge. Then the sound of a big splash and then another…

Yes they were the unmistakable sounds of sea trout leaping. Wading down closer to where the fish jumped I cast across the river and began slowly retrieving the fly (figure of eight) up river against the current. Wallop… a good strong take and a fish was on the line. A good battle ensued with the fish making a few acrobatic jumps in the air before coming to the landing net.

Sea Trout No.1

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Sea Trout No.2

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Diving Full Length Into Six Inches of Water by Alan Cogan

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It wasn’t going to be easy. Here we were in the middle of the best stretch of weather for years, clear blue skies and soaring daytime temperatures. The arm was getting twitchy, weeks without a cast except for mackerel bashing, but there is only so many of those you can catch on the fly rod before even that becomes a chore.

To say conditions weren’t conducive to salmon fly fishing would be an understatement. Knowing that the River Blackwater was down to its bones did not bode well, however all things aside I still felt there could be a chance of sport if I could get the time and location right.

With the heat, sun and blue skies, fishing during social hours wouldn’t yield anything except a bad dose of sunburn, conditions dictated a dawn raid or else fishing into darkness. Rolling over in the bed at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning really only left one option, it would have to be an evening sortie.

Doing the family thing during the day didn’t bother me as I knew that any chance of sport would have been hopeless so I arrived at the Beat at 9 p.m. Having fished this particular stretch for over 15 years, and bearing in mind the high water temperature I knew that if there was going to be any fish around the chances were extremely high that they would lie below a man made groyne that oxygenated the water to some extent.

I had to decide on a stealthy approach and knew that skagit tactics weren’t going to be the order of the day. Setting up a 10’ #7 rod with a long leader and small flies really was the only choice, as to the fly it didn’t really matter as long as it was small and imparted some life as it would swing around. Fishing around in my overfilled fly box I chose a size 12 shrimp fly. Working down from the groyne I fished the stretch, as I had done for numerous years.

As is often the case my mind wandered to times when this stretch of water yielded me some feisty fish, the time in extremely heavy water I managed to hang on to a 12lb bar of silver that had literally exploded on my brass monkey. And then there it was, yes, the rock that I had waded past for numerous years, except, this evening, in my fishing stupor I had forgotten all about. Over I went, and not being small of stature caused a considerable din to the surrounding wildlife. Knee one wounded.

It was surprisingly refreshing to immerse oneself in the river, certainly it eased the body temperature and actually came as a welcome relief. Wading to the bank taking off my tee shirt and squeezing the remnants of water that the river had kindly given up was cathartic, it wasn’t as if I was going to chill in the balmy evening temperatures.

Hobbling back to the place of my dignity removal I lengthened line and watched as a strong pull took the line from my hand. It must have been a nice trout I mused, after all, in spite of my bravado I really didn’t expect anything else would be lying in no more than three feet of oxygenated water in these conditions.
The beat being short I finished out my cumbersome casting routine and returned to the top of the groyne. It was going to be worth one more shot, just in case, but the reality was it was beginning to darken and I knew I still had to traipse through two fields, one of which was populated by a herd of frisky bullocks, somewhat like a bunch of teenagers on a street corner just waiting for an opportunity to laugh at my predicament. Limping past them, I would be a sitting duck.

The take was not subtle. A savage wrench and a lifting of the rod indicated that this was no 6oz brownie having an evening snack waiting for hatch of the day to come on. I’m still puzzled a few months after how the fish took well below me yet in the space of half a second exploded in an arc directly across from me. It was pretty obvious that this was a good fish and that I would do well to land him.

The space was limited for this man against fish battle. Swimming directly towards me didn’t help the situation as I frantically handlined slack fully expecting there to be a slack line followed by a number of expletives filing the warm air, however, miraculously there he still was, the tip of the rod pulsing under his weight.

Ten minutes or more of battle ensued and I knew he was tiring, the runs were weaker and I began to gain an advantage. I knew from experience that the water shallowed on the left bank but that there was no room to walk the fish up the bank as there were overhanging trees. Possibly, and just possibly, with the shorter rod, if I held the rod above half way on its length I could manoeuvre the fish onto the small gravel bank.

I surprised myself, a plan actually worked, holding the rod and applying gentle strain I managed to beach the salmon but still was not happy with his positioning as he tail flapped inches from the waters edge. Holding the line in my hand I gave a gentle pull to pull him further from escape. That is when it happened, that sickening moment when you hear a pop and as the line goes slack, I had only pulled the fly out of his mouth!!

Now I’m one of the people who think fish may not be intelligent but they are intuitive, this fish was no different, although played out he saw his future ahead of him as getting the chance to contribute to the repopulation of this fine species as opposed to ending up at the end of a filleting knife. Somehow, in my clumsiness I not only pulled the hook out of his mouth but gave him a push start on his quest for freedom. I really couldn’t have screwed up so spectacularly if I had tried. The next second or two played out in slow motion. Frantic tail swiping and expletives and this vision going through my head of the salmon and steelhead runs in Canada watching salmon frantically swim through inches of water evading the jaws of bears.

Don’t ask me how or why, call it instinct call it stupidity but it just happened. Now it’s a long time since I tackled a person on a rugby pitch, mostly unsuccessfully I might add, but still it happened.  Diving full length after a fish really isn’t to be recommended but knowing the chances of landing a fish were so slight it just happened. Knee two wounded!

Miraculously because the fish wasn’t a grilse my left hand grabbed the tail and my right the head. He must have been one extremely annoyed fish, inches from freedom, and yet now the game was up. Standing there with two wounded knees, damaged pride, a wet tee shirt and a fine fish, was it worth it, would I do it again? First chance I get I’ll hobble on down there past the laughing bullocks!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Snowbee Magic Line²

Snowbee Magic Line² is the latest generation of Snowbee 'double strength' 100% Polymer nylon lines. Based on the popular old Magic Line, this new line is now smoother, softer and stronger, exhibiting a low-stretch formula for optimum feel and performance.

...the properties of a 'double strength' line, with the behaviour of a modern monofilament

Buzz Style Flies

These flies were originally created by Judge T.T. Kingsmill Moore of Ireland Over 50 years ago. He refered to them as "BUZZ STYLE" flies. They were predominantly used by him on Lough Corrib and on the Costello and Fermoyle fisheries.

Judge Kingsmill Moore

Fly Fishing Ireland