Kick Sampling the Waterford Reservoirs

Following on from his last visit to Waterford where Dr Ken Whelan caught a superb 8lbs brown trout after kick sampling the margins of Carrigavantry, he was back again but this time it was Knockaderry Reservoir. To say Ken was impressed with the rich variety of quality food items available for the resident trout would be something of an understatement. Each area of the lake sampled showed some fantastic aquatic insects. There were everything from tiny fish, various caddis, chironomids, water worms, leeches, to nymphs shrimps and water boatmen.

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One scoop of the little sample net near the boat dock contained some cracking damsel nymphs. Any trout would be glad to get hold of these beauties.

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There was also some serious snails in the margins and lots of hoglouse.

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After the sampling was completed Ken had a try at catching some trout. Conditions were more suitable to nabbing a rainbow trout as it was very warm and bright. There were a few rainbows rising in the wind lanes and Ken managed to catch several of these on emergers.

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They were very hard fighting trout and some of the overwintered rainbows were fin perfect and of a good size. Nice going Ken.

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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.

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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