Posts Tagged ‘Bibio’

Fly Fishing in Co.Wicklow, Hailstones and Trout.

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Sporting early summer colours Lough Dan looked beautiful as we drifted along its eastern shore pushed by a stiff north/north west breeze. The unseasonal warm weather of recent weeks has morphed into a chilly showery pattern more akin with April than May. In between when the sun shines temperatures can reach 16 – 17 degrees, but boy when the wind blows and the grey clouds close in, it bites. Around lunchtime today a haymaker passed over bombarding Gary and I with hailstones, any wonder the trout dived for cover.

Lunchtime on Lough Dan Co. Wicklow, or could it be an olive grove in the Med'.

The lake has a personality that changes with the wind, fly fishing being totally at its whim. Last week we were drifting up the lake in front of a south east breeze, today a stiff wind from the north west pushed us in the opposite direction. Located high up in a steep sided glaciated Wicklow valley, Lough Dan, the largest natural lake in the county, is dog legged shaped and this feature allied to a number of conjoining valleys causes the wind to behave in mysterious ways. Respect is the key word on the water.

A half pounder from Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, typical for the water.

We had a great day, fishing a number of drifts all told we had a dozen trout to the boat supplemented with visual displays of every rise imaginable from boils and swirls to full on splashy rises to Polaris missile becomes flying fish. Now that was special, the trout  clearing the water by at least six inches while arking over a metre through the air, missing the flies of course. I recast in the vicinity receiving an immediate savage take but failed to set the hook. Lough Dan trout are free rising and fight hard, give me this kind of lake fishing any day. You could drive to the west and flog away on more famous waters for one or two larger trout, or experience regular fireworks in a gorgeous lightly fished location less than an hour from home, for me it’s a no brainer.

Click on: Lough Dan.

Click on: Becalmed on Lough Dan.

Fly Fishing in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Evening on Lough Dan.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Easing away from the beach around 16.30pm a strong north easterly breeze was blowing down the lake producing a nice wave. Heading towards the boathouse shore, Gary and I aimed to work a drift close to the tree line on the assumption that terrestrial flies would be blown onto the water. Gary fished a wet cell three with a Bibio on the top dropper followed by a Connamara Black and an Alexandra on the point, whereas I fished a floating line with a Bibio on the top followed by a Watsons and a Wicklow Killer on the point.

Casting a line, evening on Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Lough Dan is home to free rising wild mountain trout averaging 6 – 8 ozs, plump and dark they fight well above their weight. Closest to the bank, about ten meters out, I connected with the first trout who took the Watsons. Sprightly and game on that first drift I landed four trout to Gary’s one. We both rose a number of fish and close to a rock at the end of the drift I brought up one of the Lough’s biggies but failed to set the hook. Motoring up for the second drift it became apparent that the breeze was easing.

A brace of Lough Dan trout.

This time around roles were reversed with Gary landing four trout to my one. Again plenty of trout rose to the flies, some head and tailing which was great fun to watch. On connecting the trout would jump clear, tail walk, and bore deep, great sport the action was non stop that is until the wind died. It took a while, we managed to eke out another drift, but by 19.00pm the lake was mirror calm and the trout lost interest. As the sun disappeared behind the mountains it got decidedly chilly so we called it a day. Twelve trout to the boat and plenty of rises, a typical Lough Dan foray.

Rainbow’s End at Rathcon

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I am not mad keen on fishing for stocked Rainbow’s, preferring to target wild Trout. The fins of hatchery fish are usually damaged and larger fish give the appearance of being overweight and unfit. Not so at Rathcon Trout Fishery, Grangecon, Co. Wicklow. The Rathcon Rainbow’s are lean, fit, healthy, fully finned, and behave like steelheads when hooked, exploding into life and pulling yards of line off the reel, again, and again, and again.

Mark Corps, Game Angling Advisor CFB, with a perfectly formed Rathcon Rainbow

The Paige family own and run Rathcon Trout Fishery. Dermot Paige maintains that the Rainbow feed on the crayfish that thrive in the lakes that were formed when, a number of years ago the Paiges dammed a small stream that ran through their land, so forming the fishery. Fly life is also prolific with buzzers very evident, along with terrestrials such as hawthorn flies and daddy long legs.

Shane O'Reilly, angling advisor CFB, and his colleague Ronan with a monster Rathcon Rainbow

Having received a call from Mark Corps of the CFB that a group were heading over to Rathcon late Friday afternoon, I threw the rods in the car arriving about 16.00pm. Parking beside the clubhouse I could see a chap playing a good fish. Grabbing the camera and legging it over I was able to witness Shane O’Reilly netting a whopper Rainbow for his colleague Ronan. Caught on a viva, it was Ronan’s first ever trout on a fly!

Mark Corps playing a good fish, Rathcon, Co. Wicklow

With trout visibly rising to buzzers I put up a viva plus a bibio, with Mark Corps duplicating the bibio while fishing a shipman’s on the point. In that period takes came rapidly with Mark landing three fish in quick succession. The last one, on the bibio, jumping clear of the water on numerous occasions. A fish rose close to me which I covered, the water exploded and with a shout of “fish on” the reel screamed and ten yards of line shot through the rings, as the Rainbow bolted down the lake towards the clubhouse. A lively fight ensued with the fish boring deep and heading off on numerous shorter runs. When netted there was the bibio firmly embedded in the scissors, a quick extraction, photo, and away.

Perfect Rathcon Rainbow

After that a cuppa was in order, so over to the clubhouse for a biscuit and a chat. Rathcon is a fine place to spend a few hours, the location in a pastoral landscape, great facilities, and of course the fishing. Those Rainbow’s are special.  The next hour saw a couple more fish on the bank for members of the party as buzzer activity increased. It had been a year since my last visit to Rathcon, graced by a ten pound fish, I will not be leaving it so long next time around.

Rathcon Rainbow

Further information: Rathcon Trout Fishery.

Click on: Autumn at Rathcon.