Showing posts with label Sea Trout Fishing Cork Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sea Trout Fishing Cork Ireland. Show all posts

Friday, 16 September 2016

The Salmon Hat-trick

Written by Simon Toussifar

The phone rang, it was one of my fishing buddies. The conversation was the usual, we need rain, lots of it. Where are the salmon... Next flood we'll get a good run of fish surely? Having watched the 5 day forecast with anticipation, it appeared that heavy rain was finally due. So the usual ritual ensued, preparation of fishing gear, flies and make arrangements to get out!

The Bandon River
A good amount of rain fell a week and half into the month of September after a very long dry spell so there was an expectation of a good run of fish. The river came up and started to drop. It was time to go fly fishing. I met the fishing buddy that morning and off we went on a mission to catch salmon!

On arrival the water looked perfect, still up high with the colour clearing. No sign of fresh fish travelling, a few coloured fish jumping alright. First pool worked it down and nothing. Moved on to the next pool and cast the fly across waiting for that subtle take. Then sure enough as the fly swung around I felt that slow pulling of the line, it was the unmistakable take of a salmon. Doing nothing as is the way when salmon fly fishing when a salmon takes I let the fish turn to hook itself and slowly but firmly pulled into the fish so setting the hook.

I was using my 12 foot Shakespeare Oracle double-hander with Hardy Marquis No.2 fly reel. A nice setup that rarely fails. It wasn't a big fish but fought well doing acrobatic jumps and darting up and down the river. I called the buddy to come over with the landing net and do the honours. Well done lad he said. A nice coloured 4 pound salmon. We released it straight away. You'll probably get a second fish knowing your luck he said.... I laughed and said you know what that sounds about right while casting the line across the water.. Then no sooner had the words been uttered... bang.... another fish on...

This was a bigger fish I could feel the weight of it bending the rod forward. It jumped to reveal itself, wow... A double figure coloured fish... The battle continued with the fish running and charging towards me. And that lovely clicking sound of the Hardy reel as the fish ran with line.... This is what its all about.... The fish finally came to the landing the net weighing 12 pounds. It was a coloured hen fish so we wasted no time and returned it back to water carefully...

You lucky bugger he said... You might aswell go for the Hat-trick now.... Two casts after he said those words... bang and into a third fish... Hey I'm on again I said... What!!! This was another big fish... It battled hard and took its time getting into the landing net. 14 pound coloured hen fish, again we wasted no time in returning this fish and it took a few moments to recover before swimming away.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sea Trout Fishing in the South of Ireland by Hans Eckhardt Wagner

One of Eckhardt's homemade sea trout flies (this photograph is copyright protected)

40cm Sea Trout caught by Eckhardt Wagner (this photograph is copyright protected)

The most dominant water level on Ireland's so called "Spate Rivers" is low water. The chances of catching a salmon are low but not for sea trout! The sea trout can be best described as "Nomads of the Tide" who will travel up rivers regardless of water level, even in very low water conditions.

Great sport can be experienced by using a small-medium sized trout rod (6-7wt) with a silvery streamer fly, hook size 8 or 10. During the day it’s no harm to look in the pools before fishing by darkness of night. This means in the month of July, sea trout fishermen don’t start fly fishing till it’s completely dark.

There are plenty of rivers in County Cork that enjoy good runs of sea trout in the summer months. The Argideen river, Bandon river, Ilen river, River Lee, Owenabue (Owen Boy!) to name but a few and some smaller rivers with tidal influence as well.

If you catch a sea trout by fly don't be at all surprised that the fish will spend most of the fight jumping in mid air, providing great sport. The use of barbless single hooks is encouraged and release of all sea trout unharmed.

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.

fly fishing ireland
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

fly fishing ireland
Sea Trout No.2

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Nomads of the Tides Fishing for Irish Sea Trout

Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout.

The book is now available at

Left: Ken Whelan & Chris McCully

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Argideen River: What lies beneath

Damien Enright on a search for bars of silver.

Newly-arrived visitors to Ireland, passing Inchy Bridge on the Argideen River at midnight, could be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusions upon seeing a huddle of men in polaroid glasses standing about, hands deep in pockets or leaning on the parapet looking into the water below.

Might it be a Timoleague family of the Sopranos sending an associate to "sleep with the fishes"?
In reality, the shadowy figures are not menacing at all but a companionable society of dedicated sea trout anglers, decidedly non-threatening unless you happen to be a fish. Nightly, during the season, they leave the comfort of their firesides and set off into the dark, there to try, by subtle wrist-flicking and lure-dangling, to seduce clever fish to take their bait and join them on the bank. Sea trout are shy and anglers fish at night, casting flies over the murmuring waters by the light of the moon or, on moonless nights, in total darkness but for the river’s silvery glow. The Argideen is one of Munster’s premier sea trout rivers. It issues into Courtmacsherry Bay. Those living by the sea tend to forget the sweet tranquillity of inland waters. This was brought home to me when, one afternoon during our first week of summer in late July, a friend, Peter Wolstenholme, led us along the Argideen banks above Timoleague. A dedicated sea trout and salmon angler, he has fished the river by day and night for 20 years.

From the start, we were amazed at the large number and diversity of the fish we saw. Firstly, in the lower reaches, mullet, dense shoals of large fish facing into the brown current, healthy and shining, singularly unlike the slow, grey mullet one sees cruising limpidly in the murky waters of the Lee below Morrison’s Island, in Cork. These Argideen mullet swim into the shallow river waters in June and sit there for months, no one knows why. Walking upstream via dappled paths, we paused at pools and gravel beds created by the Argideen Anglers Association. Jewel-like damsel flies and dragon flies danced over the water. The banks were a-buzz with bees and a-flutter with butterflies, and the waters were awash with fish. I had no idea the river held so many and that they could be so easily seen.
But then, I had never before searched its deep pools with the aid of polaroid sunglasses.
In the deep pools, adult sea-trout could be glimpsed, lying on the bottom, their dark shapes and white fins visible when the polaroids cut the glare on the water. Closer to the surface, juvenile sea-trout swam in shoals. Sea-trout spawn in November, digging a depression in the gravel and depositing their eggs which are then fertilised by the male fish ejecting their milt over them. The eggs are covered and hatch into ‘elvins’, like tiny tadpoles. After two or three years in the river, these move into sea for feeding. Some return after a few months, weighing about half a pound. Others, "one-sea-winter fish", feed for longer and return weighing two to three pounds. The adult sea trout go to sea in winter and the females return in May. They sit on the bottom until November, moving little and feeding not at all.

Our guide told us the fascinating story of how spawn is made inside the female; he cut open a fish he’d caught the night before to demonstrate. Bright red roe spilled forth.

From May onward, the females’ body fat transforms into roe so that, as the spawning time comes, they have pendulous bellies and hardly a pick of meat on their bones. The juveniles, with a mere teaspoonful of roe, also attempt spawning, lying between larger females whose potent and abundant eggs attract the milt of the males. While roughly 50% of Atlantic salmon die after spawning, and 100% of some Pacific salmon varieties, female sea trout spawn year after year. There were brown trout in the river too, and silvery minnows and salmon parr with thumb-print markings on their flanks. A kingfisher shot by, a bolt of iridescence through the shadows. We saw the dipper’s nest, but not the dipper: previously, I’ve seen these remarkable birds walk along the bed of the Argideen. Above all, we enjoyed the cool and dappled peace, and the river’s murmuring and twinkling in the sunlight. It must be other-worldly to stand silently on the bank at night, half-hypnotised by the flow, one’s mind lost in the arcane strategies of fish-luring.

Article: Monday, August 20, 2007 Read more:

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Chris McCully fishes the Bandon, Argideen and Ilen Rivers

Last month I had the pleasure of fishing with Chris McCully, fly fisher, author and writer. Chris has written several books and has published many interesting articles for Trout & Salmon magazine over the years. When Chris first made contact with me he mentioned he was in the process of writing a new book on Sea Trout called "Nomads of the Tides" and asked if I would show him along the Bandon and Argideen rivers. Chris loved the sea trout fishing in the estuary pools and up stream beats. The new book will examine Irish sea-trout fishing past and present.