An Irish Anglers World

Ireland’s Sea Trout, a Definitive Account

Six years in gestation Nomads of the Tides co – authored by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan is the definitive book on Irish sea trout fishing. Driven by a narrative that transports the reader to a mid summer river bank as dusk falls, shadows lengthen and sedges dance, this wonderful publication is a must have for those anglers entranced by a species that to this day is still shrouded in mystery.

Nomads of the Tides.

Passion and warmth underpin the narrative as the authors traverse the length and breadth of Ireland meeting, conversing, and of course fishing with like minded souls. Peter Wolstenholme and West Cork’s Argideen, the little silver stream, Eamon de Buitlear and the River Dargle, David Dobbs on the Slaney, amongst a host of others unlock the secrets of their special fisheries. Within each interaction men fleetingly become boys as authors and guides relive a tangible past in the present.

Denis O'Toole (centre) and Chris McCully (right) talk sea trout while Dean Kennedy (left) prepares.

Sea trout have a special attraction, for this writer a passage written by Geoffrey Bucknall on night fishing Devon’s River Torridge was the catalyst. Capturing the atmosphere and approach to a tee, it took more than twenty years but I got there, not the Torridge but the Slaney. Positioned mid stream casting towards a long gut flowing under overhanging trees on the far bank. An upstream mend, flies dip, a solid wrenching take magnified in the half light, can a three quarter pound fish be this powerful?

Butcher and a Kill Devil Spider, sea trout flies of the Slaney.

Bewitched we anglers gladly succumb lured by a fish and punctuated moments that stay the course throughout our lives. Nomads of the Tides encapsulates this perfectly. De Buitlear in the course of an interview talks about Bray locals back in the day calling sea trout “clowns”, derived from the Gaelic caile abhain (maiden of the river). Peal, a common term for the larger sea trout in Wales and South West England is also referred to, possibly derived from the Gaelic word Pil (the big one). Through these and other gems both McCully and Whelan unearth a connection with the species that transcends both time and the migration of man.

Denis O'Toole and his plus Irish sea trout of a lifetime.

Containing memories, anecdotes, characters, places, methodology, and science within its 170,000 word, 480 page narrative, what the reader will feel most is the love affair Chris McCully, Ken Whelan, and their willing contributors have for “white trout” and their chosen pastime. Melding both an historic and a contemporary view of what sea trout represent within an Irish context, Nomads of the Tides stands tall alongside  Falkus Sea Trout Fishing and Harris and Morgan’s Successful Sea Trout Angling as a must have follow on to these seminal titles.

Nomads of the Tides can be ordered through the publishers Medlar Press at a cost of £35.00 excluding delivery charges.

See also: Nomads of the Tides.

See also: Slaney Sea Trout.