Savage Fishing

The local reservoirs have been fishing well lately.  Today was another great example when Wayne who has returned to Ireland from Australia had a super session on Carrigavantry.  The fishing was quiet in the morning but fish were moving.  I suggested a few tactical changes and after lunch he was just slamming the resident bows on dries.

fish on

Fish on

These were not easy fish to fool but when they did hit the takes were just SAVAGE!

A quality bow.

A quality bow.

We even managed a few double hook ups which came as a surprise to Wayne as earlier in the day a lot of these fish were not interested in his offerings.

One each safely in the net

One each safely in the net

It was very pleasing to see that Wayne is a fan of catch and release.  He rarely ever keeps a trout.  One trout that we spooned was his bag limit for the day.

CPR (Catch Photo Release)

CPR (Catch Photo Release)

 

Monsters on the Move

The MONSTER Waterford browns have been active in the last two weeks. We have had some cracking sessions on both Carrigavantry and Knockaderry. With the warmer weather hatches have increased resulting in good surface activity on the calmer days. Expect to see black and grey buzzers hatching on the mild calm days and lake olives on the less pleasant days. The first of the damsel nymphs are also making an appearance on the trouts diet. On my last trip to Knockaderry I had some fine brown trout on both wet fly and on buzzer.

IMG_3834

IMG_3849

Carrigavantry also fished very well to light buzzers and dries. I had two days there recently taking Kuba and Martin out on different occassions. Kuba managed some lovely browns on his trip.

IMGP9302s

Martin and I landed a mixture of rainbows and browns on dry flies when I took him out.

Facebook-20140421-070155

Corrib Duckfly Weekend 2014

We spent the weekend on Lough Corrib. As usual we stayed in Grasshopper Cottage, Dooros.  For us, this is an ideal guesthouse, overlooking the lake, and where the owner knows his fishing on the Lough. It is also just over the road from where our good friend Tom Sullivan lives. He is always a great help to us when we go to Corrib. We like fishing around Cornamona, you can generally find a sheltered bay somewhere!

image

The start of the weekend was horrible weatherwise, bitterly cold and strong winds. We knew from last year that with little duckfly hatching in such conditions the fish might be feeding on hoglouse.

image

This proved to be the case as is evident from the photo above, and we caught on dabblers and hoglouse patterns. 

image

The Sage One 7wt performed great for pulling wets. I think the 6wt would be an ideal “all round” rod.

image

The forecast was much better for Sunday – warmer weather, light winds, and no rain.  Time to change tactics.  We set up the 7wts with smaller wets (duckfly emergers). The fast intermediate lines were replaced with slow intermediates and hover lines.  On the Sage One 5wt it was a full floater and buzzers.  I also prepared a leader with 2 CDC dry duckfly patterns in case there was a good rise.

image

Conditions were very good and a lot of fly hatched. We caught on wets and buzzers.

image

After lunch the lake went calm and we spotted trout rising in one corner of a bay.  We switched from buzzers to dries.  I hooked one trout on a shuttlecock fly but failed to land it. It was a good days fishing where we kept two trout that we had spooned.  They had been feeding on buzzers rather than hoglouse.

image

Lessons learned:
– there is no guarantee of good conditions in March so be prepared for tough weather and fishing
– you have to adapt to the conditions and what the trout are likely to be feeding on
– when the conditions are good the potential for great fishing is certainly there
– make sure your digital camera is properly charged for the weekend so that you don’t have to use your phone (oops!)
We will back again around the same time next year. Hopefully we get a full weekend of good weather.

The ONE!

Received two new outfits to try out from Pat at Premier Angling Supplies.  So it was over to Ardaire Springs yesterday to see how they would go.  I was joined by my pals Mick and Kuba.  The rods were 10ft Sage One in 5wt and 7wt.  I set up the 5wt with a full floater and some buzzers and the 7wt with a lure.  I started in front of the hut with the 5wt.  It is a seriously impressive item of tackle and almost immediately I was into a nice rainbow.

5wt one

I really liked this rod as a buzzer/dry fly rod.  Catching a few more bows on it helped too.

5wt one 2

I was chatting with Kuba about his switch rod when Mick hit into a nice fish on lures.  It put up a great battle.

mick 1

It was a decent rainbow, typical of this fishery.

mick 2

I decided to try the 7wt sage one with a DI 5 sinking line.  This was awesome for casting big flies big distances.  It had lots of power and I was really able to control the fish I hooked.

7wt one

7wt one 2

The fishing wasn’t easy but we did pull a share of nice trout and Kuba finished off the day with one on a bloodworm.

kuba

I think Sage got the name of this rod just right, the 7wt is the One for lure fishing and the 5wt is the One for dries/buzzers.

Brewin’ up a Storm!

A storm raged across Ireland last night and today’s forecast was for gusts of wind to 150kph.  Fly fishing – surely not!  BUT, Shane and I were committed to fishing Ardaire springs – and opted to brave the elements!  When we arrived at Ardaire the wind was howling.  There was a little shelter on one side of the lake, and a lot of waves on the other.  Shane opted for buzzers on an intermediate line and I decided to fish a bloodworm on a floater.  I was first to get amongst the fish.

A nice bow on a bloodworm

A nice bow on a bloodworm

This method caught 15 trout for me in the morning which was superb fishing.

Another one falls to the bloodworm

Another one falls to the bloodworm

In the meantime Shane had been hitting some very nice fish on his buzzers and seemed happy to be breaking in his new Greys rod.

A nice fish on the new Greys GR50 10ft rod

A nice fish on the new Greys GR50 10ft rod

l moved around the lake trying any likely looking spots and landed a few more really good fish including the belter pictured below.

A super Ardaire Bow

A super Ardaire Bow

After lunch the fishing continued to be good but did slow a little.  I switched to buzzers and had a few more bows and the odd small brown.

IMG_3462

IMG_3477

As the wind died down and the temperature dropped the fish went deeper and we both switched to mini-lures on sinking lines to try and tempt a few more fish.

Shane into one.

Shane into one.

Safely landed

Safely landed

As the light began to fade I managed a few more bows before it was time to tackle down and head home.

IMG_3476

IMG_3478

IMG_3487

Overall it was a great days fishing and worth the trip.

Flat Calms in Winter!

The weather has been pretty good recently for this time of year but no wind means flat calms on a reservoir and this is far from ideal for the boat angler.

Flat Calm on Vantry

Flat Calm on Vantry

Factor in the cold weather on a stillwater that hasn’t been stocked for some time and you can expect some pretty tough fishing.  BUT you can still catch some quality fish like this cracking brownie!

Nice Vantry Brown

Nice Vantry Brown

These were exactly the conditions that faced me on a very recent trip to Carrigavantry reservoir.  My tactic for the fishing session was to set up  a 10ft 6wt rod with a full floater and 4 of my own buzzer patterns on a 20ft+ leader.  I always have confidence in fishing buzzers on this reservoir no matter what the time of year.  The no. 1 thing you have to remember though is to fish these buzzers extremely slow or static. 

IMG_3256

At times the fishing was really tough with no drift whatsoever.  But perseverance and a a little luck where the wind blew ever so slightly (just enough to move the boat along) for about 30 minutes meant I landed 3 browns and 3 bows for the session including the ones pictured above, this brown:

Spotty Brown

Spotty Brown

and this SMASHING bow!

Superbly Conditioned Bow

Superbly Conditioned Bow