Posts Tagged ‘Daddy Long Legs’

Game Fishing in Ireland, Autumn at Rathcon Trout Fishery.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

The first days of October and an indian summer beckons. With arrangements made it was off to spend Sunday afternoon fishing Rathcon Trout Fishery with Liam who runs, :/http/ . Rathcon, a rainbow trout water, is set in rolling parkland close to Grangecon in west county Wicklow. Spring fed, the fishery is inhabited by fighting fit rainbows which feed on an abundance of natural food such as crayfish, minnow, and damselfly nymphs. These trout grow to enormous size, fish of double figures are caught regularly, and boy can they scrap. Well conditioned they could be mistaken for steelheads, and strip line just as fast.

Garrett Byrne with a Rathcon rainbow tempted bt a small sedge immitation.

The weather was glorious with clear blue skies and just a slight breeze from the north east. Arriving at midday Liam and I introduced ourselves, and as you would discussed fishing before heading off to our favourite corners. A number of anglers were already trying their luck with some success, one being Garrett Byrne who quickly added to his tally with a hard fighting rainbow tempted by an elk hair caddis. Medium size sedges were skittering across the surface and fish were rising, using his polaroids to good effect Garrett was placing his fly in front of cruising fish and they were happy to oblige.

Running hard and deep, Rathcon Trout Fishery.

Having initially tied up a daddy and a bibio and not responded to the obvious signs of a sedge rise, I duly replaced the daddy with a sedge imitation and bingo, fish on. Close to three pound the rainbow sipped down the fly before exploding into action with a number of lively runs. Safely netted and admired it was put back to fight another day. By now the lake was mirror calm, fishing had slowed and there were few rises. The choice was fish buzzers or a big dry daddy, the latter being more in hope.

Barry Rogerson with a Rathcon rainbow which took a deep sunk booby.

Meanwhile Liam had been fishing New Zealand style with a buzzer fixed under a large dry indicator. The method was working too well, he had been smashed three times, Rathcon rainbows are unforgiving. The highlight of the day was witnessing a smash and grab take from a very large fish. The angler fishing a dry daddy placed the fly in front of the cruising trout, which it duly nailed stripping five meters of line off the reel and totally clearing the water before going to ground in a weed bed. One nil to a Rathcon bruiser.

The clubhouse at Rathcon Trout Fishery, Grangecon, Co. Wicklow.

At six bells I said my goodbyes to Liam, fish had been hard won today but hey that is angling. It had been nice to witness some good action and talk fishing with anglers such as Garrett Byrne and Barry Rogerson. Rathcon is a delightful managed fishery approximately one hour south west of Dublin. Take the N.81 towards Baltinglass and follow the signs for Grangecon. In the village take the junction at Moore’s pub and travel the road for half a mile, the (tiny signposted) entrance will be on the left. Contact Dermot Paige through their website,, in advance. A half day is priced €20.00 which is great value.

Click on: Rathcon Trout Fishery.

Fly fishing in Ireland, end of season cracker on Roundwood.

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

A warm dry summer, the first in four years, a feature of which was that prevailing winds returned to a more  normal south westerly pattern provided plenty of opportunities to cast a line. Sea angling this last few months had taken precedence over fly fishing, but with less then a week to go of what has been by all accounts a good trout season, having finally purchased an electric outboard it was time for its maiden run on Roundwood. Meeting Gary at Knockatemple around mid afternoon, we loaded the boat and set off up the south lake which was well down on normal.

Large male trout, end of season at Roundwood, Co. Wicklow.

Gary correctly chose to use a wet cell 2 sinking line armed with a peter ross on the point, daddy on the middle dropper, and a silver dabbler on the top. Yours truly went for a floating line, tying a silver invicta on the point, watsons on the middle, and a daddy on the top. Picking a parallel drift along a shore pushed ever so slowly by a weakening northerly breeze we cast our lines. There was little wave action, more a ruffling of the surface and no hatch, possibly due to the chilly evening. The sun is a lot lower in the sky now, disappearing behind the mountains around seven pm. We drift keeping a line about twenty metres offshore. Approaching a point where there is a sharp curve into another bay Gary casts, waits a few seconds to let the line sink, and on pulling his rod immediately locks over into a strong fish.

Into a good trout, late season at Roundwood, Co. Wicklow.

Staying deep the trout proceeded to swim in a wide arc to the right before doubling back around the bow of the boat. Keeping a tight line Gary played the fish for a couple of minutes before it tired, splashed on the surface a few times, and made one dart away from the net before being successfully landed. A fine male fish, although lean it made 12.ozs when weighed back at the clubhouse. The best of four trout Gary rose during the session, three of which went for the peter ross with a single on the daddy. Fry form a big part of the diet on the south lake and daddies are common in September, Gary’s choice of flies and tactics were spot on. 12.oz wild brown trout, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

A good fish for the lake and one destined for the pot, it made us realise what a fine wild trout fishery Roundwood is. The local club and Inland Fisheries Ireland have to be congratulated for the work that they have put in over the years, enabling this wonderful facility to be one of the best wild trout waters in the country. The fish do not give themselves up easy, but on a good day, well the pictures say it all.

For more information click on: Last day on Roundwood.

Wild Trout Fishing in Ireland, Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Lough Dan, the largest natural lake in Co. Wicklow, situated in a spectacular location close to the village of Roundwood is absolutely stuffed with free rising wild trout. With the average size knocking six – eight ounces, one in a dozen will head towards a pound+, with over the years an occasional monster up to five pounds in weight being recorded. Dark in colouration, these trout hit the fly like a steam train, fight well above their weight, and on a four weight rod provide wonderful sport.

Wild brownie tempted by a daddy long legs, Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Access to Lough Dan is limited due to most of the surrounding land being in private ownership, a feature which helps to preserve the fishing and contribute to a very unique and productive water. Having recently purchased an electric outboard motor and due its maiden voyage,  Gary had suggested Lough Dan and not having fished the lake this summer, it seemed like a good plan.

Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, looking north towards the Cloghoge river valley.

Lough Dan is situated in a glacial valley, part of a ribbon lake system that includes Lough Tay to the north. Linked by the Cloghoge River, overlooked by Knocknacloghogue mountain, and source of the Avonmore River, the lake once was home to a strain of arctic char. I say once only because the last recorded specimen was captured in 1988. Given that these fish normally live at depth, and that the lake is lightly fished using top surface fly fishing methods, there is a possibility that the species still frequents the Lough. Peregrine falcons nest in the steep cliffs surrounding the lake, and broad leaf oak woodland extends upwards from the shoreline, painting a picture of what the Irish landscape might have looked like at the time of the first settlers.

Gary casting a team of wet flies, Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow.

The day was warm with a steady southerly breeze blowing up the lake providing ideal conditions to drift the eastern shore. Putting up a team of wet flies to include a Wicklow Killer on the point, Daddy Long Legs on the middle dropper, and a Bibio on the top, Gary fished with a Peter Ross on the point, a daddy in the middle, and a small Silver Dabbler on the top. Choosing a drift starting at the mouth of the Avonmore we were pushed north at a fair clip by the breeze. Adjusting the line of drift by occasional reverse or forward touches on the engine we contacted fish immediately setting a pattern which lasted all day.

Wild trout, Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Casting long and stripping fast trout rose to the flies in spectacular fashion, head and tailing, sub surface boils, and mini explosions of water. They took the point fly on the strip, the top dropper on the dibble, even snatched at flies as they were being raised to recast. On hooking the fish felt twice their weight, plump and strong, Gary and I lost count of how many we caught. Top flies on the day were the daddy long legs and the silver dabbler indicating a September diet of fry and terrestrials. At five pm with the skies clouding over we called it a day. Wild trout fishing is not always about big fish. The great western lakes of Corrib and Mask may steal all the glory in terms of large trout and mayfly hatches, but for rapid fire bread and butter wild trout fishing in a glorious location Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow is hard to beat.

Click on: Hailstones and Trout.