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.

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Lough Corrib 2018

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.

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!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Duckfly Preparations

As a new trout season approaches it is time for me to prepare for an annual trip to Lough Corrib in late March.  All this stormy weather every weekend means there is little else to do but tie flies and dream of some proper wild lough trout fishing! Last season it was absolutely freezing for the time of year and no flies hatched.  Our most successful method was a team of wet flies fished on a fast intermediate line.

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We also picked up a fish or two in sheltered bays on epoxy buzzers and shrimp patterns.  BUT this year, hopefully, things will be better.  Milder weather, a hatch of fly etc.  So I have already started tying up a few flies to try.  Some wets, dabblers and these small bumbles:

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I wouldn’t be happy lake fishing without a selection of buzzers.  It is worth having some light ones to fish on the top dropper and heavier ones for the point:

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I may also need some emergers and dries if fish are moving at the surface.

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Lough Bumbles

Tied up a few new bumbles to try on Lough Corrib this March.  The bumble is a great top dropper fly in a wave.

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For these flies I have decided to use black, claret and reds.  A few trigger points with fluorescent tags, holographic tails and jungle cock cheeks will hopefully draw the fish.

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The most likely fly to hatch in late March is the duckfly (a black midge) so these bumbles are tied on standard wet fly hooks in size 12 and 14.  You don’t have to tie all your bumbles really bushy.  You can tie some a little sparser for calmer conditions

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Looking forward to giving some of these a try.

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