Posts Tagged ‘Avoca’

Record Fly Caught Sea Trout Graces The Avoca.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Ace fly dresser and passionate salmon angler Denis O’Toole couldn’t believe his eyes at the end of a twenty minute battle with one of the Avoca Rivers migratory visitors. On reaching into the landing net to cradle his prize, incredulity took over on recognition of the heavy set head and broad shovel like convex tail, a sea trout of lifetime proportions, Denis was in dreamland. Experiencing all of the emotions, both Denis and his fishing partner Dean Kennedy (who netted the great fish) were shaking as they carefully removed the hook with a view to weighing and returning the superb specimen.

Game angler and top fly dresser Denis O'Toole cradles a Avoca Sea Trout tempted by one of his own creations, the "Lava Tail".

The needle bounced down to 16.75 lbs, taking into account the weigh net, officially the sea trout weighed in at, the largest recorded Irish fly caught sea trout and one which will be very hard to better. Denis has to be commended for releasing the fish, the action being a reflection of his passion and love for the sport, “Respect”. His fishing partner Dean Kennedy has to get special mention also, for it was he that netted the bruiser and did the photographic honours, for which I and many others who read this post are very grateful, “good job Dean”.

The very fly which tempted the record sea trout, the Lava tail tube, designed and created by Denis O'Toole.

For the record Denis’s sea trout of a lifetime was tempted by a 1.5 inch Lava tail aluminium tube fly designed and created by himself. He used an eight weight Partridge Switch rod, a large arbour Orvis Battenkill reel, and a weight forward 8 line.

This wonderful angling feat highlights the potential of the Avoca river as a game fishing location and hopefully will spur the decision makers, clubs , and stakeholders with an interest in the system to fast forward action plans regarding its restoration and future management. In the meantime lets celebrate Denis’s great feat, sea trout of this calibre usually only enter our lives in dreams. Denis O’Toole will dream happily for the rest of his life.

Click on: Salmo Spero Elite Salmon and Sea Trout Flies.

Footnote: Denis O’Toole is a professional fly dresser specialising in tying top quality salmon and sea trout flies. For advice and information email Denis at ,


A Passion For Sea Trout.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

It takes a Yorkshireman who lives and works in Holland to come to Ireland with the purpose of writing what will most certainly be the definitive book on Irish Sea Trout. Chris McCully lives and breaths this wonderful, mysterious, sporting, and ultimately fascinating species, and it is with real pleasure that I say, “thank you Chris for the last couple of days spent in your company. Your passion for white trout  has reinvigorated within me the reason why I took up fly fishing, and I look forward to exploring my local rivers and streams, on a regular and more diligent basis, with a view to hopefully encountering this most magical of fish”.

Chris McCully (on right) deep in conversation with Irish fly caught sea trout record holder Denis O'Toole.

Chris has spent three years on the project, visiting and fishing over sixty fisheries across the length and breadth of Ireland, north and south, meeting local characters, anglers, and clubs, garnering knowledge and making many new friends, the final draft will be worth waiting for. Until then I will visit the optician with a view to improving my night vision, and cast a line into that deep shadowy pool after midnight, letting it swing around before slowly figure of eighting that surface lure in the hope of, BANG, the stuff of dreams.

Thank you Chris, and best of luck with the book.

Fly Fishing in Ireland, Aughrim River, Co. Wicklow

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The Aughrim River is alive again, down to its bones with the summer drought, yesterday it was fresh and fizzing, having levelled off after the recent rains and running clear with that tea coloured peaty tinge. Parking in the village of Aughrim outside Lawless’s Hotel, closed for renovation after a fire gutted part of the building, I walk down the ramp to fish the weir pool below the bridge. A showery warm day in mid July with a good head of water in the system, sea trout must be running. Up went a Kill Devil Spider (size 14) on the point accompanied by a Butcher (size 10), it might be unorthodox fishing for sea trout in daylight, but for the sake of research why not.

The weir above the bridge at Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

Trout lie in the fast oxygenated water below the weir. There is a pocket on the near side that usually holds a good fish. Wading and positioning a rod length upstream I crouch and cast the flies working the seams either side of the main run. The line twitches, a parr, recast it twitches again, this time a small rainbow. Dibbling the flies once more on a short line the rod kicks over to a sprightly half pound brownie that feels twice the weight in the fast water. Staying deep while swimming backwards and forwards along the face of the weir, I eventually manage to unceremoniously lift the trout up and over the falling water, my only option due to leaving the landing net at home. Golden olive flanked with black and red spots rimmed with white, a nice fish for this river tempted by the Kill Devil.

The Stonecutter restaurant, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

A couple more smaller fish then a move to the deep run below the larger weir upstream of the bridge, constructed to supply water to the mill race which is now used by the local fish farm as a source of water. Good trout definitely reside here unfortunately a large branch is caught in the middle of the run causing an obstruction, it will have to wait until the next flood. On to the Stonecutter for a bowl of homemade tomato soup and brown bread. Ken and Louise run a fine restaurant and coffee shop, all fresh ingredients cooked and served to a very high standard.

Small rainbow trout, Aughrim River, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Mid afternoon working a favourite pool that always holds a pod of white trout in season, I feel a pluck. Recasting the fly swings a round and bang the rod heels over and locks, sea trout. Hooked on the dangle the fish swims deep in the pool before being coaxed towards me. A flash of a silver flank in the fast water, “how I need a net now”, the trout kicks and it’s gone. Further casts produce no interest, “I’ll work the pool again later”.

Lower weir, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

At Woodenbridge the Aughrim meets the Avoca river putting life into the dead water that runs past the old mine workings upstream. Salmon and seatrout hang a left here on their journey to the redds. It’s six pm now and I have to leave the river. No more white trout showed, activity confined to small brownies and a solitary rainbow. However with heavy rain forecast giving the promise of more fish entering the system, a dusk session is pencilled in for the coming week.