On May 17 we held our salmon fishing course on the beautiful Ballincurrig beat of the Ballyduff Salmon Fisheries. I was joined by Maurice Cahill (Mackenzie Pro) and Denis O’Toole (Pro Fly Tyer). Our regular top photographer came along to take more amazing photos for my blogs! We met up with the participants at the village of Ballyhooly and then headed over to beat. We got our waders on and headed off down to the river.
In the morning I explained some different fishing outfits to the guys, including: spey, switch, skagit and shooting head. The approach was to simplify the range of available tackle into matching outfits for different fishing situations.
After this I demonstrated 4 useful spey casts: single spey, double spey, snap-T and snake roll. Maurice explained some likely holding lies and we had a great informal discussion about fly selection and leader set up. Denis showed the lads different styles of salmon fly and talked about how they would behave in the water – really useful stuff.
We took a break for lunch and held a raffle for the free Mackenzie Perflex rod which was sponsored by Scott Mackenzie. The lucky winner was Cal from Bandon.
Denis did a fly tying demo and tied some cracking intruder flies on tubes. Then he gave everyone on the course some of his amazing flies to use for the evening. What a nice chap!
The guys then worked on their casting and everyone saw a good improvement in what they were doing. A few useful tips and a little confidence made a significant difference. They fished on and Frank from Dundalk had a short take not long after Damien had seen a fresh fish enter the pool below.
The course came to a close but it was great to see lots of happy anglers and get some fantastic feedback. I received several messages after the course which were all very positive. One participant wrote that: “It was a really great day, exceptional in every detail. I think the course content, the simple and effective delivery, having the opportunity to get coached on how to cast a double hander and the fly tying demonstration from Denis made the day great value for money. For myself it gave me a greater understanding of what I need to do to enjoy fishing the fly for salmon.”