Saturday, 14 September 2013

Night Fishing for Sea Trout below Innishannon Bridge

Innishannon Bridge, Co Cork
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.

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

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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