Posts Tagged ‘Game Fishing’

Lightening Does Pike Twice

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

A slight tremor on the rod tip caught my eye, dip, dip, line peels slowly from the bobbin then stops momentarily. Tentatively commencing again dip, dip, peel, after ten seconds purpose replaces shyness as a fast spinning bobbin indicates intent. Rod now in hand the bump, bump of a swimming pikes tail transmits through the line, bait runner engaged, lean back, fish on.

A double figure pike placed carefully on the dehooking mat.

Initially the pike feels light however nearing the shoreline it gives a kick, about turns and doubles out towards deeper water the drag on my Shimano bait runner straining. Another few lesser runs and a grand mottled green double figure pike slips into the landing net. A mirror image of the pike which David caught a few days previous, two good pike in as many sessions what a start to the year.

Pike fishing reels for spinning (front) and dead baiting (rear).

Tackle used on each occasion were 10′ heavy spinning rods, Shimano Bait Runner and Spinning reels, running ledger rigs fished hard to the bottom with fresh rainbow trout the successful bait.

Assisting Fellow Tourist Anglers & Fishers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

In 2010 I set up the An Irish Anglers World website because as a traveling angler within my own country I could not access relevant and correct angling information that would enable me to hit the ground running wherever I chose to fish. Today An Irish Anglers World contains 329 posts and 129 pages of published articles across eight categories reflecting a range of Irish angling disciplines all of which provide current information relative to my own experience of Irish angling venues at specific dates and times.

A fine Greystones Co. Wicklow, Ireland tope and one happy sea angler.

It’s great to know that the sites ethos works especially when one receives messages of support and thanks from people who have contacted me for information. Such requests have emanated from countries as far away as New Zealand and the USA to the United Kingdom and as close as Co. Wicklow.

Typical questions would be:

Am over at the end of the month any suggestions as to were is fishing well, we’re staying around Kilmore way again so anywhere around that ways ….will be bringing my own bait over this time?

and

I’ve read your own angling report, Tope Alley, suggesting to fish at various marks inside and outside the red buoy using a mackerel flapper or whole joey but all I’ve managed, on at least ten occasions at this stage, is the odd LSD – is there any advice you could give me regarding tides, fishing depth, anchoring/drifting?! It would be greatly appreciated!

The end result for the latter question, caught within the last fortnight is pictured above, the anglers smile says it all, while the former sent me this report of an angling holiday in Wexford circa summer 2016:

Well them mullet are getting bigger had a few around 5lb.one of 6lb…but seen some that must be 10lb easy…but crafty as they come.had a go.at Rosslare yesterday had over 30 bass but none over a pound great sport tho….had a good day at Slade fishing for the wrasse and Pollock…

In all cases I am glad to help, like Ronseal An Irish Angler’s World does what it says on the tin…………..

Watch “The River Man”

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

One of the main reason for setting upĀ www.anirishanglersworld.com was to highlight Ireland’s wonderful rod and line fishing resource while also drawing peoples attention towards negative marine conservation issues, most of which fall below the average persons radar.

The River Man, a film about fly fishing for salmon in the river Blackwater valley, Co. Waterford, Ireland.

A new film directed, written and produced by Richard Gorodecky, who’s central character is Co. Waterford based salmon fishing guide Connie Corcoran, showcases modern day Irish rod and line fishing in a very real and deep way. Beautifully shot and narrated, The River Man pulls no punches in portraying a life salmon fishing in Ireland and the potentially grave sin of losing a precious heritage……..

To view “The River Man” trailer click on: www.seetheriverman.com.

Sea Trout Fishing in Ireland: Evening on the River

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Working down a fast run my line snaked out, unfurling before depositing the flies, a butcher on point teamed with a claret bumble as batman into the seam under the far bank. Throwing a mend the pair swept round entering slacker water at the run tail I pulled a yard of line to speed up and rise the flies, BANG, my rod wrenched and a silver migrant launched skywards.

Sea trout fishing in Ireland.

It never ceases to amaze how powerful and lively sea trout are, for a species that is so cautious once hooked they transform Jeckyll and Hyde like into a whirlwind of leaps, runs and dogged determination. This fellow played to form jumping, darting and thrashing all the way to the net. Lying in the meshes, butcher firmly in the scissors, glowing silver in the evening light, one could only admire the fighting qualities of a fish barely touching three quarters of a pound.

Sea trout flies.

The expression boxing above your weight comes to mind, it’s one of the reasons why I love sea trout fishing and the species is the sole reason why I took up fly fishing. Brought up on sea trout tales penned by Falkus, Gammon and Bucknall I had to experience the rush they describe when evening solitude is broken by an angry silver migrant intercepted momentarily on its journey to the scene of its birth. Magic…………..

Fly Fishing in Wicklow: A Blustery Day

Friday, August 28th, 2015

My favourite Wicklow stream has real character, flowing peat stained down what once was at the end of the last ice age an out wash channel for glacial run off, the wide valley floor as a result now composed of rich sand and gravel deposits. Adding to the river’s personality is a series of plateau’s followed by sharp descents, combining all these features one today finds a water that meanders in a mature fashion, falls youthfully then slows and meanders again, a pattern which repeats over a number of stages until the stream exits the valley.

Fly fishing in County Wicklow, Ireland for wild brown trout.

The wide flat valley in conjunction with the glacial soil enables cattle farming alongside the usual sheep, the surrounding land has become quite fertile and this is reflected in the water which is uncharacteristically productive for a Wicklow mountain stream. Today the river glowed, topped up by a few days rain it ran clear and at a nice level. Trout were showing along its length and coming to the fly albeit short, maybe it was the wind, warm but gusting all over the place, one second off your shoulder, the next in your face.

Wicklow trout.

I set up my four weight, initially working three flies a kill devil on point, coachman and a greenwells spider. After a time due to the wind, a tangle and a fly buried beyond the barb into the back of my head, that was fun, I dropped the greenwells and worked a pair. On cue a trout took the coachman followed shortly after by another to the KDS on point. However a pattern had started which became more frequent as lunchtime morphed into early afternoon, trout coming short.

Wicklow river view.

I have to say though the trouts half hearted approach actually added to the fun, pulls, slashes, a weighty lean all very visual. Line darting straight, splashes, head & tail rises, the whole experience quite joyful. Before I knew it the clock was heading towards four pm and I had a dinner to cook. A calm evening on this stretch will definitely throw up a few fish, Sunday is looking good, I’ll be back……….

Fly Fishing in Wicklow: The Timeless Coachman

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Lichen covered granite boulders deflect pristine peat stained water creating slack pockets, fast runs and glides. Coloured reddish brown yet still crystal clear, beneath the surface gravel banks merge into dark seemingly bottomless holes. Moorland trout love these places, a source of shelter and of food, tasty morsels channeled towards ambush points between rocks where sheltered slow water butts against fast. Placing ones fly to work down that line gives a trout no time to think before it zips by and if the angler is lucky BANG, a sharp tug followed by aerial fireworks will ensue.

Fly fishing in Wicklow, Ireland. Typical moorland stream.

Slipping carefully into the run, gingerly treading on gravel (it has non slip qualities) while also placing my left hand on nearby boulders for support I reach my casting position. Quickly looking around for bank side obstacles, a short steeple cast will have to suffice. Working a longish line towards a seam flowing left to right winkles out a small butter yellow bellied trout, deftly removed and returned. A left facing glance reveals a deep pocket at 90 degrees, false casting downstream to achieve the right length of line then a snap across. Instantaneously as the flies touch down a jarring shudder transmits through the four weight line and a good fish reveals itself jumping skywards in a twisting blur of yellow tinged with white, red and olive green.

Fly fishing in County Wicklow, Ireland for wild brown trout.

Played across the stream the trout chooses to dive deep within the fast water and jump out of the slow. Dip left hand into water then grab, a perfect half pound trout which couldn’t resist a dropper presented size 14 coachman, all peacock herl and white wing. On Wednesday 21st June 1939 Professor of Moral Philosophy at Trinity College and keen fly fisher Arthur Aston Luce employed a coachman while fishing this very same stream to achieve a catch of three and a half dozen “good” trout with as many more returned.

Fly fishing in Ireland: The coachman.

Seventy six years later, almost to the month, a coachman inside four minutes tempts a brace of trout, distant progeny from a bygone era where so much has changed and yet a constant remains. A. A. Luce in his book “Fishing and Thinking” describes this stream and one is transported not backwards in time but into the present. For as one casts a line here it is apparent, any differences between Luce’s stream and this are cosmetic, water gurgles and flows, boulders stand impervious and trout float in their sheltered lairs before snapping into action, attracted by a flash of white…………

See also: Fly Fishing in Wicklow: In the Footsteps of A. A. Luce.

See also: Wild Trout Fishing in Co. Wicklow.

Fly Fishing in Ireland: Tail Water Trout

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Line shot out turning over enabling team greenwell’s, a glory on the point covered by his batman spider on dropper, to enter the slacker eddy sandwiched between far bank and mid stream gut. Instinctively throwing an up stream mend I wasn’t expecting the savage take and leaping zig zagging yellow blur that captured all my senses over the ensuing twenty seconds. Pull leap, shuddering run leap, dive leap, into the fast water zzzzzzz line given, reposition myself down and sideways right, now back in control. For another couple of minutes fish and I played then safely over the rim now lying in the meshes, fat yellow bellied, black and red spotted, nestled a fine River Barrow trout running half to three quarters of a pound.

Wild brown trout from the River Barrow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Firmly hooked in the scissors applying wet hands I carefully extracted the greenwell’s glory, then facing trout’s head upstream cradled the fish until it revived, kicked and swam indignantly off. Gathering myself I waded towards the mid stream gut recast and instantly wallop I’m in again, this time not so lucky as trout and I parted after thirty seconds. Now most likely disturbed the fish holding pocket became silent, a few more casts and I moved on.

Fly fishing on the River Barrow, County Carlow, Ireland.

More noted for coarse fishing the River Barrow, especially in the streamy tail waters downstream of its weirs provides some quality wild trout fishing. Only picking at it over recent years, my experience wet fly fishing has been consistent catches of trout averaging half a pound, not many in any given session, usually a brace, but enough quality to make each trip worthwhile. Boat fishing I believe could up the ante, enabling more water and inaccessible places to be covered, of which more later.

Tail water below a weir, River Barrow, Ireland.

Fishing on until about one o’clock, hunger pangs took over directing yours truly to slowly wend my way bankside upstream towards ultimately the Step House Hotel in Borris, Co. Carlow to devour a bowl of chef Alan Foley’s scrumptious pumpkin soup topped with Parmesan shavings accompanied by a trio of home made bread, all washed down with a creamy pint of Uncle Arthur. Now that’s what I call fishing…………

Fly Fishing in Ireland: Off the Beaten Track

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

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……..

Fly Fishing in Wicklow: Moorland Spiders

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Is there anything stirring”, asked the farmer who on a break from tending to his sheep had spied me setting up and walked over for a chat. “With luck a few wild brownies”, I replied which sparked a historical conversation on the farmers experience of fishing the river as a young lad. How along with plenty of trout he also caught small perch no less, that the trout rarely topped half a pound and all but disappeared for a number of years when construction works on the ESB facility at Turlough Hill turned the water black with suspended silt.

Fly fishing in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Sourced in the blanket bog high up on the dome shaped Wicklow granite, I assured the gentleman that the stream based on my recent experience was pristine, had clearly recovered from the silt contamination of forty years ago and today was home to a good head of trout averaging 6/7 inches with an occasional larger fish topping half a pound. Now well past midday and with the river beckoning I bade farewell to the farmer, picked up my four weight rod, hopped over a gate and strode purposefully towards a favourite pool.

West County Wicklow, Ireland.

A strong warm breeze channeled down the valley dictated the order of play as downstream wet fly. Having set up with a team of spiders, kill devil on point, greenwell’s in the middle and an iron blue on the top dropper I proceeded to cast into likely runs, seams and guts. At session end ten lively trout to 6/7 inches had come to my rod with an equal number visibly slashing at the flies topped by a head and tailing half pound fish, his lie marked for another day. With evening drawing in I headed tired but refreshed towards the car marveling that such solitude and beauty exists within one hour of Ireland’s capital city, wonderful………

Save Ireland’s Wild Brown Trout

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Having taken up fly fishing for wild brown trout and sea trout at the age of 33 on Ireland’s east coast rivers in 1994, but worm fished occasionally on the same waters for both species since my early teenage years, I can categorically say that wild brown trout stocks have deteriorated within river systems such as the Slaney, Avoca, Liffey, Vartry and Dargle. Now some would say that a couple of the rivers mentioned are not great trout streams anyway, but take my word for it the trout were there in good numbers, today their populations are noticeably reduced.

Save Ireland's Wild Brown TroutA combination of factors has led to this situation and ultimately science will establish exactly why many riverine trout populations are declining, one factor is clear though which can be immediately addressed, angler attrition has played its part. Having fly fished well managed bountiful trout streams in Montana USA where catch and release was the norm, Ireland with a change in mindset has the opportunity and the natural resources to recreate similar angling waters. Each mature trout returned potentially can restock our home waters, let all us Irish fly anglers do the right thing not only for the species that we love but for that toddler fly fisher to be who is presently running round your feet, if you catch please release………

For more information please click on: Save the Brown Trout.com