Fly Fishing in Co. Wicklow, In the Footsteps of A.A.Luce

There are day’s when you are reminded why you chose to go fishing, spring starts to show its face, the air is warm with just a little zephyr of a breeze, a hazy brightness fills the landscape, and trout dance with your flies, pulling and cavorting as you work down the runs. Low,almost to the bones my chosen stream diverted and sluiced between the boulders, trout sat in the back eddies waiting for morsels to drift by, and my spiders twitched irresistibly enough to lure a fish at regular intervals, a man couldn’t wish for more.

Downstream wet fly fishing in County Wicklow, Ireland.

In his 1959 published treatise on angling “Fishing and Thinking” Dr. A. A. Luce, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin wrote of his best day on the river. Casting a line on the same stream almost 73 years to the day I couldn’t but feel a sense of deja vu. Commencing fishing around noon after having walked a step upstream I felt confident as my initial cast snaked across the stream, throwing a mend the flies worked along a seam whence simultaneously a boil and a tug signaled my first trout of the afternoon.

A six ounce Wicklow mountain trout taken on a Greenwells spider.

A little six ounce brownie, perfectly formed, yellow bellied, and brightly spotted, taken on a Greenwells spider it tricked and darted in the swift current not out gunned by my four weight wand, a nice start. Carefully wading down stream I placed my flies in runs between rocks, into back eddies, and through likely pockets searching out ambush points where a wily trout might lie up, the pool head runs being very productive.

Trout heaven in Co. Wicklow.

Newly born lambs suckled and gamboled in the fields and the smell of coconut drifted from gorse bushes high up on the bank, other than the chatter of the stream there was complete silence. An hour or two had flown by and noticeably rises to my flies had slowed down. Taking advice from Dr.Luce I switched the point fly for a Coachman his successful pattern from 63 years ago and bingo a gut produced three trout on the bounce.

A half pound Wicklow trout as the sun was setting.

Making my way around a long meander I came across a nice riffle with a constant depth, casting my flies towards the far bank at a forty five degree angle, as they swung around BANG my best trout of the session took the coachman. At half a pound and in great condition the cake had been well and truly iced, time to call it a day. Eleven trout all returned along with numerous rises, a busy afternoon for sure. County Wicklow has some wonderful trout fishing in beautiful locations, the best of it found in the most out of the way places. You have to work for what you catch, but the rewards, a picture paints a thousand words….

Click on: Guided Fly Fishing for Wild Trout.

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