Posts Tagged ‘Irish Fly Fisher’

A Masterclass in Dry Fly Fishing

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Sometimes you just have to step back and admire, a skill honed over many years can, when presented by a master, look easy. I’ve gotten to know Liam Stenson, like many other fly anglers, through his blog Irish Fly With a shared interest in both fly fishing and blogging our paths were bound to cross at some stage. A friendship has developed over the last few years, and not having met since last season it was nice to catch up while casting a St Patrick’s Day line on the River Liffey downstream of Ballymore Eustace.

A well conditioned River Liffey brownie taken on an Olive Klinkhammer.

Enjoying a fine day on the Liffey commencing around eleven thirty am, finishing around three thirty pm, a stand out few moments of the session has to be retold. Even colder than the day before, I found myself upstream of Liam fish less until a good trout took in a back eddy close to the far bank. Head shaking and sullen it sat in the current thrashing before cutting loose. Well that was it, cold and pissed off I walked down towards Liam who, as I approached, looked up from perusing his various fly boxes.

Irish Fly Fisher Liam Stenson nets a nice River Liffey Brownie.

“I’ve had a few trout Ash to a particular dark olive pattern that I tie for this section of river, unfortunately I appear to have none left”. Liam had given me a few flies before setting out, and not having used them all, maybe he could be lucky. “Here, look in the box you gave me this morning”. On cue the particular tying called out to Liam before quickly becoming attached to his 1.7 lb b/s tippet. That’s when proceedings got interesting.

Playing a half pound River Liffey brownie.

A narrow gut ran fast into a dog leg pool deflecting off a high bank so creating a back eddy on the inside. The current then flowed off fast under some low lying branches where most of the trout were resident. Occasional dark olives, swept into this run were being picked off by these fish who were sitting either side of the fast water, a heavy boil and plop signaling a particular trout’s presence on cue as I looked across. Liam dipped his fly in floatant then placed it in the water so removing any excess oil which could create a trout scaring slick. Wading through the pool he took up position ready to cast towards the rising fish.

A well conditioned Liffey half pounder for Liam Stenson.

Lengthening his cast Liam delicately placed his fly in the flow just upstream of the low branches. Feeding a half yard of line to prevent the klinkhammer skating he moved his rod tip in unison with the visible imitation. Ker plop, Liam’s left hand pulls line down in conjunction with right hand sharply raising rod top, the trout bores left and deep out of the current. A few dashes here and there and it’s in the net, a plump, yellow bellied Liffey half pounder in great nick for the time of year. Congratulations proffered, we discussed the years of passion and interest that went into developing the skills I had just witnessed. “It all boils down to being regularly on the water Ash”, I couldn’t disagree while equally admiring Liam’s humility, one of fishing’s gentlemen…….


Hooked Live 2011

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

What does one do in the close season but think about, read up on, and prepare for the new season ahead. Trade shows fill the barren months and Hooked Live at City West certainly delivered in terms of exhibitors and celebrity anglers. It was refreshing to see home grown talent such as Andrew Ryan (Clonanav), International shore angler John O’Brien, and Wexford and Ireland’s number one bass guide Jim Hendrick, rub shoulders with the likes of Henry Gilbey and Paul Young.

Bass supremo Jim Hendrick at Hooked Live 2011.

Jim was gearing up for his eighth season guiding bass in South Wexford. His record speaks for itself, you do not get invited to guide on Andros Island (Bahamas) if you cannot cut the mustard. Jim leads the way in lure fishing and particularly fly fishing for bass. County Wexford is his home patch and Jim knows the marks intimately, check out his website,, and give him a call.

Paddy Clarke, a high class rod maker from Co. Waterford.

You occasionally uncover a gem at these events and rod maker Paddy Clarke certainly falls into this category. Using top quality blanks Paddy produces a range of bespoke trout, sea trout, and salmon fly rods,  alongside a selection of spinning rods suitable for both fresh and salt water. With specifications to suit all pockets these rods are built to the highest standards using top quality fittings and the finish is superb. Paddy’s sales and marketing incredibly is by word of mouth only and that has to change, for his prices and product quality are a match for any of the known rod manufacturers. Thinking of buying a new rod, give Paddy a call on +353 (0)86 3820147.

Avonmore Tackle Products and Irish Fly Craft combine to good effect at Hooked 2011.

Many exhibitors catered for the fly fishing enthusiast, and one stand that stood out combined skill, knowledge, expertise, and quality products. Jimmy Tyrrell, the county Laois based fly dresser who is, Irish Fly Craft linked up with Pat Cullen and Peter Driver of Avonmore Tackle Products, suppliers of quality fly tying and fly fishing materials, to produce a fine display of tip top products suitable for the fly angler. Deep in conversation with the lads when I arrived was the Irish Fly Fisher himself Liam Stenson. Follow Liam’s exploits through the new season on

Anne and Paul Harris combined with John Angles to produce Beara Sea Anglings dream team.

Sea angling is close to my heart and the Beara Peninsula extending West Cork out into the Atlantic is in my opinion Irish shore fishing’s jewel in the crown. Totally under fished, I’ve been going down there six years now and it still wows me. The offshore fishing for pollack, ling, conger, cod, and haddock is superb, and as for the shore fishing, try mullet, pollack, coalfish, codling, mackerel, scad, plaice, dab, trigger fish, wrasse, conger, ling, ray, huss, and bass. Anne and Paul Harris run Dromagowlane House and specialise in shore angling packages, while John Angles skippers Tigger II a fine charter boat based in Castletownbere and markets self catering cottages close to the village of Eyeries.

Eric Parkes (on left) editor of Irish Angler's Digest, Ireland's number one rod and line fishing magazine.

The time passed so quickly, meeting friends and perusing stands. In its second year Hooked certainly delivered showcasing Irish Angling across a variety of sectors from boat building to rod making, accommodation to fishing guides. A stand that epitomises Irish rod and line fishing for so many was Eric Parkes Irish Angler’s Digest. A fixture since the 1980′s the Irish Angler’s Digest and its contributors such as Liam Kane, Brian Cooke, Bob Moss, and Leo Farrell have inspired and encouraged us all to get out there and cast a line. Yes it was a fine show which did whet my appetite for the coming season. I most definitely will be buying some new kit and thanks to attending the show know exactly where to purchase it.