Posts Tagged ‘Large dark olive’

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 Fisher.ie. 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…….