1 Day Stillwater Fly Fishing Course

Building on the success of last years fly fishing courses I will be holding a stillwater fly fishing course at the purpose built fly fishing lake, fishing lodge and tackle room at Ardaire Springs Fishery, Mooncoin, Kilkenny on February 15th 2015.  This is an ideal course for those new to fly fishing and also for those wanting to improve upon their stillwater fishing techniques.  Based on very positive feedback from last year I have decided to maintain the same affordable price of just €60 (including lunch).

Mick catches at Ardaire

The course covers all the standard fishing techniques (lures, wets, nymphs and dries).  There will be lots of helpful hints and tips relating to tackle set up and fly selection to help you catch that “big one”.


There will also be time for participants to put some new methods to practice themselves before the day ends. This worked well last year with some participants catching their personal best trout on the day!

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In addition to being a Pro Guide and International Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor I have also completed a Child Welfare & Protection in Sport Awareness Training Course and have been Garda Vetted for coaching.


Given the date of this course it would make an ideal Valentines gift for the angler in your life.  If you would like to book a place on this course just send me an e-mail at: gamefishingireland@gmail.com or phone: 087-2965712.

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

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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!

Savage Fishing

The local reservoirs have been fishing well lately.  Today was another great example when Wayne who has returned to Ireland from Australia had a super session on Carrigavantry.  The fishing was quiet in the morning but fish were moving.  I suggested a few tactical changes and after lunch he was just slamming the resident bows on dries.

fish on

Fish on

These were not easy fish to fool but when they did hit the takes were just SAVAGE!

A quality bow.

A quality bow.

We even managed a few double hook ups which came as a surprise to Wayne as earlier in the day a lot of these fish were not interested in his offerings.

One each safely in the net

One each safely in the net

It was very pleasing to see that Wayne is a fan of catch and release.  He rarely ever keeps a trout.  One trout that we spooned was his bag limit for the day.

CPR (Catch Photo Release)

CPR (Catch Photo Release)


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.


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.


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



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.


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


River Trout Fly Fishing Course

This course will take place at the fantastic Ballyduff Bridge Fishery (River Blackwater) on Sunday April 13th 2014 at 9.30am.  At a very affordable price of just €60 per person the course will incorporate:

  • Dry Fly
  • Wet Fly
  • Dry/dropper (New Zealand Style)
  • Nymph Fishing
  • Streamers

A nice trout caught New Zealand style.

All aspects of these techniques will be explained including tackle choice, leader set up, fly selection and presentation.  The course tuition will last for approximately 4 hours and course participants can fish the beat for trout (catch and release) for the evening. We will be available to provide further advice if needed.

I am delighted to be able to announce that I will be joined on the day by Mackenzie Pro Team Guide Maurice Cahill.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to spend time with both a myself and a Mackenzie Pro at such an affordable price.

MacKenzie Pro Guide Maurice Cahill

All course participants will be provided with a detailed set of course notes. If you want to learn about river trout fly fishing or improve upon your current knowledge book a place by contacting me by phone 087 2965712 or e-mail: gamefishingireland@gmail.com.  Places are limited.  A booking deposit of €30 applies.


Stillwater Fly Fishing Course

This course will take place at the excellent facilities of Ardaire Springs Angling Centre on Sunday February 23rd 2014 at 9.30am.  At a very affordable price of just €60 per person this course will cover:

  • Dry Fly
  • Wet Fly
  • Lures
  • Nymphs/Buzzers

All aspects of these techniques will be covered including tackle choice, leader set up, fly selection and presentation.  The course tuition will last for approximately 4 hours and course participants can fish on at Ardaire for the rest of the day. We will be available to provide further advice if needed.  Course participants will also be provided with a set of course notes.

If you want to learn about stillwater fly fishing or just improve upon your current knowledge book a place by contacting Ned at 086 812 8937 or myself at 087 2965712.  Places are limited.  A booking deposit of €30 applies.

A quality Ardaire bow.

A quality Ardaire Rainbow.