Fly Fishing In Wicklow, Blustery Day on the Derreen

Wind angled off my left shoulder as the weight forward number four line snaked out at a forty five degree angle to the current. Fishing a long line the twelve foot leader uncoiled depositing the kill devil point fly and its spidery team mates in the still water beyond the gut close under the far bank. Feeding a foot of line to sink the flies, entering the seam a boil followed by a heavy tug and a tight line, the fish bored deep and my reel screeched, zzzzzzzzzzz a good trout.

Casting a long line while keeping low, River Derreen, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Twisting and turning the brownie gave a good account of itself, running towards a bed of ranunculus I applied side strain, the fish turned, a few hops more and it was in the net. Between a half and three quarters, a fine fish for the Derreen, two plump trout in three casts from the same deep run, the God’s are smiling. Ten minutes earlier a riffle further upstream had delivered three fish, all flies had scored from the kill devil to the greenwells but the partridge and orange had its nose in front and was to keep it there.

A River Derreen trout fooled by a partridge and orange.

Although bright and sunny a stiff north east breeze blew and with snow lying on Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in Leinster, it was chilly to say the least. Gusts ruffled the surface and although a few terrestrials were flying about there was no hatch as such, that said a few trout were rising. The Derreen flows down off Lug’ crossing the border into Co. Carlow then flowing past Hacketstown before meandering through rich farmland towards Tullow. The river bed is gravely well suited to spawning salmon which run up from its parent River Slaney. Today however the target was trout and although not giving themselves up they were on occasions obliging.

A plump River Derreen trout.

My tactics given the strong downstream wind were to keep low and cast a long line down and across keeping false casts to a minimum. The wind helped in this matter by ruffling the surface so breaking up the trouts field of vision. By combining the broken riffled water, where the trout would be positioned along the seams with the disturbed still water while keeping low I could get close and cover potential fishy lies. The system worked, it’s great when it does, with at least a half dozen wild brownies to the rod for a short two hour session. Later in the month as the weather warms up evening dry fly, in particular to the black gnat, should come into its own. I’ll be back…..

Click on: Guided Fly Fishing for Wild Trout.

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