This was the earliest in the season I have ever fished Loughs Corrib and Mask. At this time of year there is normally no hatch of fly and the trout will be feeding on hoglouse, shrimp, and fry. The best tactics are to fish fry imitations slowly on fast intermediate or sinking lines.
Hoglouse and shrimp patterns can be fished slowly on long leaders using a floating line. A good retrieve is a slow figure of eight with the occasional long draw of the line. Concentrate on the margins and shoreline as this is where fish are likely to be.
The forecast last week predicted dry weather for the weekend with a moderate wind. When we arrived at Clonbur last weekend the wind vanished and we were faced with bright sunshine and doldrums! This required a tactical approach if we were to winkle out some wily wild trout.
It was a real team effort for my boat partner Dave and I and our renowned local boatman Tom Doc Sullivan. A good boatman is essential in these conditions and Tom is one of the best.
Dave and I set up two rods each. A 7wt with fast intermediate lines for pulling wets and a 6wt with a slow intermediate or full float for hoglouse patterns. I was using my 10ft Mackenzie FX1 rods and Dave was using his NX1 rods.
By adapting to suit the conditions we managed to catch.
For a while on Sunday the breeze picked up slightly and even this light wind made a difference. The fishing improved for a while and we had lots of plucks and some positive hits that turned into boated fish. In the circumstances we were very pleased.
For us it was a positive start to the lough season and we are already looking forward to returning later in the year.