Posts Tagged ‘Guided fishing’

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.

Guided Fly Fishing in County Wicklow, a New Departure.

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

I am told that Chinese people use the same word for both crisis and opportunity, and that Homer Simpson regularly has a crisortunity, so there may be something in it. As anyone living here can attest Ireland most definitely is experiencing a crisortunity, the economy is in melt down and our politicians, in election mode, are carrying on in the same old fashion, that is, “party before country”. In that light starting a new business can seem like a good idea, no greater challenge when the country economically speaking cannot get much lower, and at least it keeps you positive.

On Sunday the 01/05/2011 I will be open for business offering guided lough style fly fishing on Lough Dan, in Co. Wicklow. A beautiful water high up in the Wicklow National Park close to Roundwood, a village that is supposed to have, “The Highest Pub in Ireland“. Lough Dan is a narrow, long water at the head of the Avonmore River. Secluded and with limited access, its location is very scenic and most importantly the lake holds a large quantity of free rising mountain trout. Sporting a variety of colours, sometimes one would think there are various strains of trout in the lake, they fight above their weight providing great sport on light tackle.

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

Having made the decision, based on circumstance, to create a job for myself, I’m one of the half a million kicked into touch by the outgoing Fianna Fail Government. This Irishman is going to rise from the ashes, enter the fray, and deliver a first class service to tourist or indigenous anglers keen on experiencing fishing in Counties, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, or further afield in Ireland. Backed up by forty years of fishing experience, a professional realistic vision, and a willingness to continually learn and improve my craft, I look forward to getting started after five months planning and pulling the various strands together.

The website is up and running and my boat is ordered, a 19′ Lough Arrow lake boat, designed and built by Mr. David Gray up in Co. Sligo. The business, based on American outfitter operations will be mobile enabling me to fish various waters, and over time include bass and pike fishing offerings, along with wild trout rambles and guided shore fishing. An Irish Anglers World highlights real fishing in Ireland through the eyes of one fisherman. An accurate reflection but only a smidgen of what is actually out there. Browse the site, or better still drop me a line, either to book a days fishing or gather information to design that great Irish fishing holiday. Tight lines, Ashley. Email:


Piking Afloat.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Is winter pike fishing more productive from boat or shore? I do not know, does the presence of a boat put the fish off the feed? Probably in the wrong hands, however in the company of Peadar O’Brien a pike angling guide with years of experience the term silent running comes to mind. I think Peadar was a Uboat captain in another life the way he glides his Kingfisher 19′ across the flat calm waters of a small Co. Cavan lake. The pike feel safe, they do not know we are there, and the proof is apparent as Peadar’s float slides under, fish on.

A nice eight pounder for Co. Monaghan angling guide Peadar O'Brien.

Float drifting for pike is a great way to fish. You need a fish finder/echo sounder for best results. Set up two rods with sliding floats and adjust the depth relative to the drop offs where the fodder fish lie up, the pike will not be too far away. Today Peadar and I were fishing whole fresh rainbow trout at five metres depth working a drop off that varied between 7 – 9 meters. Fish, most likely roach, were showing 4 meters below the boat. The idea is to work the baits about thirty meters behind the boat slowly rowing or using the wind (with oar adjustments) to stay in line with the drop off. Pike will spot the bait and attack it.

Playing a pike on a Co. Cavan water.

That first pike was played to the side of the boat only to open its mouth and drop the bait, that after being played for at least three minutes, pike are mighty aggressive. A short while later I got a run only to pull the bait from its mouth on the strike. Immediately letting the bait sit hoping the pike might return my luck held and shortly after a well conditioned eight pounder graced the boards. A pattern was forming, the pike were not coming full blooded to the bait more intent to mouth it.

Ten pounds+ of Co. Cavan pike for Peadar O'Brien.

Searching various holes these Co. Cavan fish were hard earned. Towards days end Peadar connected with a well conditioned ten pounder which initially pulled the float under only to lose interest before turning and absolutely nailing the bait. Shortly after on the same drift my float went under, reappeared before sliding away. I could feel the double knock as the fish drew line before striking into nothing. You win some lose some, the story of the session. No matter we had two fish to the boat, one lost at the side, and three dropped runs. It had been a fine day in Cavan, frosty and still, Peadar on his return home from sunnier climes had his first pike of the year, all is right with the world.