Fly Fishing in Wicklow, After the Flood

The river ran peat stained but clear, prone to spates evidence of a recent deluge was littered everywhere along the banks where mats of ┬ábroken twigs and branches lay among the fast growing bracken. The flood must have been a big one for this flotsam lay in one instance ten feet above the rivers normal height and on lower stretches 20 meters from the now babbling stream, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How the trout survive is beyond me but they do, down stream my leader swung around, feeding a yard the line pulls sideways and I set into an eight inch brownie.

Downstream wet fly fishing on a Wicklow mountain stream, southern Ireland.

Taking a bead head pheasant tail on the point my first trout of the afternoon dips and dives in the current as I work it towards my hand. Quickly released the brownie scoots off towards a suitable lie while I continue to wade downstream. The air is humid and midges make me itch, a breeze develops from the south west giving relief from the little beggars and the sun shines brightly. Farmers shear sheep in an adjacent field, good idea as it’s too hot for a jumper.

A small well marked Wicklow mountain trout.

The trout are not giving themselves up today although enough snatch and pull to make my wade interesting. By now it’s very bright and hot. Doubling back I cast my bead head upstream searching the seams, every so often a forward movement or stop of the fly line is met with a simultaneous left hand pull and right hand lift of the rod, actually more a twist of the wrist, end result being a miss, a rock, or a trout. In jig time afternoon rolls into evening, eight or nine of the smaller brethren is my lot, wild and beautifully marked, on a four weight set up, magic…..

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