Go Deep or go Home!

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.

Trout n About

I’ve been very busy lately with casting tuition and guiding. There is a good run of salmon at the moment but most of my guiding has been for wild river trout and a day or two on stillwaters. The reservoirs have been fishing really well.

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The hard fighting rainbows give a great battle.

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Still there is something about wild river browns that makes them special regardless of size.

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Although when you hook up into a good one the heart races.   One of my clients from Atlanta lost an 18inch brown at the net on the River Blackwater the other day.  His face said it all!!

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There is a lot more trout food in that river than some people realise.

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I have been hearing a lot of talk lately about getting more youth involved in fishing and fly fishing.  I know my local club has a youth day coming up and despite a hectic guiding schedule that weekend I will be there to help out. But there is no point talking about it, you have to get out there and do it!

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This weekend I’m one of the experts at the Northwest Angling Fair in Strabane. I’m looking forward to it a lot.  I’m demonstrating and giving casting advice on the Suir next weekend and on a stillwater the weekend after. And Ken Whelan and I have Seatrout fishing courses coming up in July and August. I think the August one will be a cracker so watch this space!!

Feeling Squirmish!!

Been having great success lately fishing various bloodworm type flies static.

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A material I’ve come across this season is the Squirmy material used on squirmy worms and it really works. I got a sample in orange from Funky Fly Tying.

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This is great material that has super action as the worm rises and falls through the water.  It is very soft making the worm lifelike, although after a good few fish it can break.

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I tied some of my worms with a weighted bead in the centre and these have been outfishing the unweighted ones for me.  All I gotta do now is acquire some more colours and get tying a good supply.

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Ardaire Springs recently stocked the Fishery with monster fish, one brown of 20lbs 5oz already caught!! Best get tying;-)

Course Update

So far we have had a great response to the Matching the Hatch Course to run in Courtlough Fishery on January 18th. Further to Derek Evans article in todays’ Irish Times angling column please find below some additional detail on the course content:

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Phase 1: (classroom) – slides and images as an introduction to small still water entomology, including images of what we may find in the lake. A summary of the various life cycles (including fry) and the sequence of insect hatches throughout the season.  Details of important terrestrials likely to feature on the trouts diet during the year.

Getting prepared in the seminar room.

Phase 2: – collecting and sorting the insects into groups along the lake shore

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LUNCH BREAK

Phase 3: – going through the fly boxes and tying in the imitations with the natural animals. Emphasis will be placed on how the insects, crustaceans / snails move and how the flies move in the water and at what depth.

Articulated Zonker with diving vane

Fry imitation Articulated Zonker with diving vane

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Shrimp Imitation

Phase 4: – angling approaches, equipment and tackle, techniques and set ups

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A place on the course would make an ideal Christmas gift!