Ireland Angling Expo Review

Last week I was in Dublin for the Angling Ireland Expo.  What a great fishing show this was.  There were lots of trade stands at the show with top quality fly fishing gear.  I was good to meet up with old pals from Funky Flytying, AM Angling, Cleeres, and Southside.  Good bargains were to be had from these boys on all sorts of brands from Simms clothing to Snowbee fly lines.  My very good friend Denis was tying beautiful intruder flies at the show and Paula and Andy were doing their magic on saltwater and pike flies.  I was in awe of some of the craftwork on the Outlaw stand (well done Wolly).


Outlaw Flyfisher Stand

On Saturday and Sunday mornings I gave talks on Matching the Hatch in the lecture theater with my pal Ken Whelan.  The audience was very interested in all things trout, seatrout and seabass. Speaking of seabass it was good to catch up with Jim Clohessy and Henry Gilbey at the show.  I hope we beat the English in the Rugby tomorrow or I will never hear the end of it from Henry!!


Ken and I preparing to present


Presenting at the show

When I wasn’t at the lecture theater or having a look around the show I was based at the Mackenzie/Ballyduff Bridge Salmon Fishery Stand.  I put up a little display of salmon tube flies and some imitative trout flies that was well received by the passers by.  Scott Mackenzie had a great display of his range of single and double handed rods which were available to purchase from Ardaire Springs at the show.  He did a great casting demo and also helping out on the stand was the ever reliable Mackenzie Pro Team Member Maurice Cahill.


Scott Mackenzie


Ballyduff Bridge/Mackenzie Banners at the stand


Happy faces on the Ardaire Springs Stand

Of course Scott wasn’t the only one giving a casting demo.  There were also demos by Mads Pedersen, my good pal Stevie Munn and Glenda Powell.  I particularly liked Glenda’s analogy of the trampoline when explaining the double haul.  The show wasn’t all about fly fishing though.  There was plenty on display for the pike, bass and coarse enthusiast.  It was my first time meeting Jan Porter who I had seen on TV with Matt Hayes and I have to say he is a real gentleman.


Great fly display by Andy and Paula


Nice intruder tied by Denis

Of course it is the people who attend a show that help to make it a success and there was plenty of them, especially on Saturday.  It was great to meet lot of new people who were interested in the rods and the fishery and of course some old friends too.  I’m looking forward to seeing the photos on Facebook that the Clonmel lads took of the stands on Sunday!!  Of course our main man for photos Kuba was on hand to take lots of pro photos for us.  This guy is really good at what he does.  So, overall it was possibly the best show yet and great credit goes to the Mara Media Team.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

Fine Weather & Fine Fish

The dry summer has continued into August in the South East with high temperatures and little rain.  This fine weather is great for the beach etc but can make for some very tough fishing conditions . . . . tough but not impossible.  On the trout front the rivers have been down to their bones.  Still there was a rise in the evenings and this also included a rise of seatrout, particularly on the Munster Blackwater.  The opportunity to catch seatrout on light tippet and small dries was not to be missed and casting pupil Peter and I had some superb fishing.

Blackwater Seatrout

Blackwater Seatrout

Lovely Wild Brown trout

Lovely Wild Brown trout

Most of our productive bass fishing had been by night using soft plastics but the tides were springing this week and the brisk wind from the land was making a nice disturbance on the water.  This allowed for some decent lure fishing during the evenings.

Bass over 50cm

Bass over 50cm

Soft plastics continued to work well fooling some fine sea bass.

Bass over 60cm

Bass over 60cm

Salmon fishing had been really difficult.  A few fish were laded in the lower Suir on fly in the early mornings but it was very difficult.  The Blackwater was a similar story.  Regular visitor Brian had one nice 10lbr on spinning tackle from the tidal waters but nothing on fly on this occasion.

10lb salmon

10lb salmon

The Suir rose by 1ft on Sunday which gives very good salmon fly fishing prospects in the lower river for the coming days.

River Drowes Salmon Fly Fishing Weekend Course

drowes logo

Venue: Drowes Salmon Fishery (

River Drowes

River Drowes

Date:  Saturday April 5th & Sunday April 6th 2014 (includes overnight stay on Saturday night!)

Price: Only €180 per person which includes accomodation at the Drowes Salmon Fishery on Saturday night. (Special course rate of €160 per person for groups of 3 or more!) Deposit of €80 per person applies.

Course Details:

Salmon fly fishing tuition on Saturday with pro guides – casting, demos and instruction.   Fly tying demos and advice from a pro team tyer.  Overnight stay on Saturday night included in the course fee.  Free fishing for all course participants on Sunday.  Places are limited so book early.

Course Instructors:

Jason O’Riordan (Pro Guide, IFFF Casting Instructor).


Jason O’Riordan

Jason is a pro guide with Premier Angling Supplies and guides on the Munster Blackwater and River Suir for salmon.  He is a qualified IFFF Casting instructor and regularly gives talks on salmon fishing at Ireland’s leading angling shows.   His website is:

Maurice Cahill (Mackenzie Pro Team)

Maurice Cahill

Maurice Cahill

Maurice is a well respected guide on the Munster Blackwater River where he guides at the Ballyduff Bridge Fishery.  This year Maurice was appointed to the Mackenzie Pro Team for Ireland.  Maurice will have several Mackenzie demo outfits with him for the weekend including shooting head and switch rods.

Denis O’Toole ( Fly Tying Ace)

Denis O Toole with some of his templedog style salmon tubes

Denis O Toole

Denis recently joined the AM Angling “Ace” Team of pro tyers.  He is a superb tyer and is well known for his excellent salmon tube flies.  You may have seen Denis tying on the Drowes stand at various angling shows in Ireland such as the Irish Fly Fair (Galway) and Ireland Angling Expo (Dublin).


Shane (Drowes Fishery)


Tel: +353 (0) 71 98 41055
Mob: +353 (0) 87 80 50806

Spring Salmon Flies

Here are a few salmon flies for the Spring.  Some Irish rivers will be open very soon and of course the Munster Blackwater will open on February 1st.  Experience says the best fishing will be between Ballyduff and Fermoy.  Some cold weather with low clear water would be ideal.

Black & Green Double

Black & Green Double

Black and green can be a good combination in the spring.  It is worth noting that when the water is low and clear you don’t always have to fish really big heavy flies.  I also like flies with some yellow in them in the spring.



Of course any combination of yellow, orange and black is great for salmon.  The profile of flies tied with arctic fox always looks good.

Arctic Fox Profile

Arctic Fox Profile

If you are faced with high coloured water then some big bright tube flies are worth a go.

IMG_3491 IMG_3493


So if the river is good order it will surely be worth a try.  However, always be mindful of kelts and baggots at this time of year!