Having very recently received a new Mackenzie 9ft / 9wt I was really keen to put it through its paces but saltwater fly fishing for sea bass is not likely to kick off for another few weeks.
I was delighted to get an invitation from The K Club (www.kclub.ie) Fishery Manager, John O Neill, to visit with my friend Ken and to fly fish for pike, both along the River Liffey and in the wonderfully productive lakes on the estate.
Our trip to County Kildare also offered us the opportunity to assess a number of potential venues for our first Fly Fishing for Pike Course planned for this October. Little did I realise what an awesome venue this hidden treasure of a fishery would turn out to be!! It has first class facilities and seriously high quality fish: massive rainbows and browns, and excellent pike. During our all too brief fishing session I witnessed a number of large pike harassing and smashing relentlessly into shoals of silvery roach. The pike proved choosey at first but once I launched a large whistler fly, tied by Dougie Loughridge (Scotland), in among the swirls the pike just couldn’t resist!
A massively powerful fish engulfed the fly and after a challenging 10 to 12 minute battle amongst the luscious marginal weeds, John landed my PB pike – a 103cm fish of over 20lbs.
It just doesn’t get any better! The Mackenzie rod handled the big predator exceptionally well. I’m so impressed and can’t wait to try it out on some feisty Copper Coast bass in May.
For details of fishing at The K Club contact John on: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring him for a chat on: +353 871361689
I had heard a few times that the western Lough’s can fish well at the end of the season to daphnia feeding fish in the deeps. There can also be a chance of dry fly fishing with sedges and daddies.
With this in mind I contacted my pal and Corrib boatman Tom Doc Sullivan to see if a trip would be worthwhile. Tom really knows his stuff and he told me to make the journey. However I wouldn’t be fishing any of the drifts I had fished on previous trips. It seemed like – go deep or go home!
I was joined by my mate Dave who has also fished the lake before but never at this time of year. Preparation had gone well and I was armed with a Mackenzie FX1 10ft #6 and #7wt. Tom had recommended tying up some bright daphnia patterns to pull on an Airflo Fast Intermediate line. As usual he was spot on.
We didn’t know what to expect but followed Tom’s advice and with good conditions we had great sport catching beautiful wild Irish trout in a fantastic location. 24 trout landed in 2.5days fishing is awesome.
We learned a lot about fishing the lake at this time of year and it was brilliant to have several nice trout take our dry flies.
There is still a month left and the great thing was there wasn’t as many boats out compared to mayfly time. The weather was much milder than some of our early season duckfly and olive fishing trips too.
We will definitely be contacting Tom around this time next year and if prospects are good we will be back.
Recent guided sessions produced some nice spring salmon from the Munster Blackwater river. This season the water levels have been quite high on our local rivers and fly fishing opportunities have been fairly limited. Luckily the weather has been improving and the rivers reached a better if not ideal fly fishing height, particularly in the upper stretches. As a consequence we managed a few very nice salmon.
My guests were using two outfits, one was a 13’7 Mackenzie Atlas rod matched with a Mackenzie Phased Density Shooting Head in Float/Sink 2 and a short leader to a White Francis fly.
The other client used a 15ft Mackenzie FX1 GRAPHENE Rod matched with a Mackenzie Float/S1 shooting head and attached to the business end was a local shrimp fly pattern called Hick’s Bug. The guys were blown away by this kit and when good fish came the were even more impressed.
So some very happy anglers and a nice tackle test was a great result. The river is coming into good order again after the latest flood so fingers crossed for some more action. Tight lines!
This year a pal and I delayed our visit to Lough Corrib until late April due to the abnormally cold spring. It proved to be a good move as the weather was horrible all March. We knew we had missed the duckfly hatch but were hoping for Olives and large buzzer. Once again we stayed at Grasshopper cottage Cornamona near Clonbur.
We hired a boat and engine from our good pal and top guide Tom Doc Sullivan. Unfortunately we were too early for Olives this time. Our approach was to fish the conditions as there was no significant hatch. On the morning s the Lough was calm and the sun was high although it was cool enough with a Northeast wind.
In these conditions we fished buzzers. I was really impressed with my Mackenzie FX1 10ft 6wt for this method. Luckily we managed to boat some nice trout with the largest 58cm and in prime condition.
In the mid afternoon the wind picked up and we tried pulling traditional wet flies and dabblers on intermediate lines. This was productive especially around shallow areas. We had a mixture of small trout with some better fish to just over 2lbs and quite a few missed takes also.
Overall we had a great weekend and are really looking forward to next year already.
On May 18th to 20th Ken Whelan is once again teaming up me for a salmon fishing course on the River Erriff. This course will be suitable for beginners and improvers.
We are delighted to be back on the Erriff following fantastic feedback from our previous course at this stunning location. Moreover the fishery had a very good salmon season in 2017.
This weekend course (Friday evening to Sunday) covers all you need to know to get started and improve your salmon fishing – from tackle selection and casting to fishing techniques and much more. See details below:
This time around accommodation is available at Delphi, both at the Resort itself and in the new, recently opened hostel accommodation. See below for contact details. (https://www.delphiadventureresort.com/) For anyone wishing to fish on arriving early or stay on an extra day, Erriff Fishery is offering day tickets at a reduced rate to those attending the course. [Contact Erriff Fishery Manager Osgur Grieve (087 4644183].
It was great to get out guiding on the Blackwater this morning. Unfortunately, for my salmon fishing newbie the water was too high for safe wading for fly fishing and was continuing to rise and colour up while we were at the fantastic Cable Island beat. My client had a go with his spinning rod.
We did see two very nice salmon show which bodes well. It was more a case of salmon watch than salmon catch.