Fly Fishing in Ireland: Off the Beaten Track

Standing at the ford I surveyed the scene, downstream a cloud of black gnat, sheltered by a line of trees, danced above a fast narrow run, while upstream the river meandered through more open pastoral country, fields of horses delineated with post and rail fencing and well tended hedgerows. Here the banks were clear of willow and alder, yes there were trees providing cover for shy trout but there was also space to cast a line. I chose to continue upstream finding a starting point where the stream took a dog leg right, bouncing off the left bank then rushing hard into the pool below.

Fly fishing in Ireland for wild brown trout.

Again fishing a four weight rod to a team of three spiders (Kill Devil, Greenwell’s and Iron Blue) I cast across at a 45 degree angle into the fast water and let the flies swing round into the seam. Now on the hang, twitching induced a take from a six inch brown who proceeded to swim down into the gut. BANG, over went the rod further as a three quarter pounder nailed the point fly. Two fish on my first cast, who would have thought.

Wild brown trout.

The monarch of the pool and its understudy gave a good account of themselves swimming into and out of the fast water, diving deep then cavorting on the surface before eventually being brought to the net. Usually a start such as this signals a poor session but not this time, working the riffles and pools downstream toward the ford produced a succession of trout averaging 7 inches with the odd one bigger. On this occasion all flies tempted fish with the greenwell’s shading it by about two to one.

Stream view, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Rain in the morning had freshened the river and it tumbled over and between boulders creating slack pockets where trout holed up waiting for tasty morsels to enter their field of vision. Using the broken water as cover a succession of trout were winkled out as the afternoon progressed. By five bells the trout had lost their enthusiasm and to be quite honest I was glad of the break. As they say, make hay when the sun shines, I most certainly did……..

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