Taking the Mick!

My pal Mick had heard we had been putting the Mackenzie DTX single handed 10ft 7wt through its paces over at Ardaire Springs recently so he decided to have a go there himself.  Having fished the lower Suir for years Mick was very familiar with the Mackenzie Spey Rods but had not yet tried any of the single handed rods.

The average trout at Ardaore is a very good size and there are plenty rainbow trout in the 4lb to 6lbs range.


These are broad well finned hard fighting rainbows that can really test your tackle.


Mick is a very good angler and has a habit of catching decent fish so it came as no surprise to me that he managed one of the even larger rainbows in the fishery although this one just fell short of being a double.


After a quick photo the trout was safely released.


When I asked Mick to sum up his trial of the rod he used just two words “top class”!




Des & the DTX

A local chap Des who normally river fishes was keen to have a go at lake fishing during the closed season on rivers.  I arranged with him to go over to local fishery Ardaire Springs to try some bank fishing for a few hours.  Des started off with his own 9ft 5wt rod and although he is a very capable caster it was something of a struggle in the strong wind on the day.  However, he did manage a fish or two on a dead drifted bloodworm pattern in a sheltered corner.


I suggested to Des to try fishing deeper with a lure on a DI5 line. As he only had his 5wt with him I gave him the use of a Mackenzie DTX G2 10ft 7wt Rod that I am trying out at present.    I tried this rod myself at a local reservoir recently and I am already a massive fan.  That said, I was keen to see how Des would get on with it too.  After a cast or two Des was impressed with the ease with which the rod cast a long line into a strong wind.  In no time at all he was comfortable with the rod and caught fish to boot


In fact, fishery manager Ned came out for a look and couldn’t resist a few casts with it too.  It was a good sign when Ned asked if I could bring it over again soon so that he could spend more time casting with it!!


Des caught his largest trout to date shortly after that while using the DTX.  A lovely conditioned rainbow trout of about 6lbs.


Well done Des – your hooked now!   Designed by 3 times world spey casting champion Scott Mackenzie, the DTX 10ft 7wt is a superb rod and I would happily recommend one for reservoir fishing.  To find out more about the DTX range of single handed rods click here.

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:


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

IMG_3927 IMG_3922


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


Shrimp Imitation

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


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

Matching the Hatch – 2015 Course

I am very pleased to announce that I will be teaming up with Ken Whelan for a unique ‘match the hatch’ type course for those who fly fish small lakes and reservoirs.  The course will take place 18th January at Courtlough Fishery in Balbriggan Dublin and will include insect identification and how to fish matching imitative flies successfully.  If you are interested in participating on this course just get in touch with me by email at: gamefishingireland@gmail.com or by phone at 087-2965712.  Enrolling someone on this course would also make for a very timely Christmas present at this time of year.  Course fee includes a light lunch and places are limited. For further course information click on the link below:

Matching the Hatch Course

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. 


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