Posts Tagged ‘Rainbow Trout’

Game Fishing in Ireland, Rainbows in the Fall

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Annamoe Trout Fishery, Co. Wicklow, is a great place to while away a few hours, a secluded, mature water, home to a stock of hard fighting rainbow trout averaging 2.5/3.0 lbs in weight, they do not give themselves up easy, a trait which added to a fun and interesting afternoons fishing for Indiana USA visitors Troy Owen, his son Maguire, and grandfather Stephen.

Playing a good rainbow at Annamoe Trout Fishery, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Setting up with matching 10′, 5 weight kit married to 8lb tippets (you need to go heavy at Annamoe as these trout grow large) the guys varied their approach using boobies, green damsel fly bead heads, and dry daddies. Commencing fishing around four pm on a warm afternoon, signs of Autumn were evident and shadows lengthened through the evening as the sun dipped early behind the mountains. Damsel flies hovered, midges made their presence felt, lines swished, and then with a cry of “fish on” the reverie was broken.

Indiana state visitor Troy Owen displays a fine Annamoe rainbow tempted by a peach booby.

Troy Owen had connected with a tough “bow” which took a bead head daddy, threw a few cart wheels, ran backwards and forwards along the bank, before shaking the barbless hook free. Later switching to a sinking line and booby set up Troy hooked into three more lively fish netted with the help of his son Maguire, who not to be outdone showed that he can strip streamers with the best of them, hooking and landing a couple of quality rainbows like a seasoned veteran.

Nice fish, a quality Annamoe rainbow for Stephen from Indiana, USA.

Grandfather Stephen also weighed in with a couple of nice fish to a green damsel fly. Pulls, missed takes, thrown hooks, the evening flew by and at 19.30 pm dinner beckoned, Annamoe had delivered again, a great session, we’ll be back.

Owned and run by Brian Nally, Annamoe Trout Fishery is open all year and well worth a visit, contact Brian through the fishery website, Annamoe Trout Fishery, or just turn up. The fishery is located in the village of Annamoe, Co. Wicklow, situated equidistant between Glendalough and Roundwood.

Media Day at Annamoe Trout Fishery

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Enjoyed a great day fishing the annual media competition organised by Derek Evans, angling correspondent with the Irish Times, at Brian Nally’s well appointed Annamoe Trout Fishery located close to Glendalough in Co. Wicklow. A warm day punctuated by a brisk variable south/south east breeze, the resident rainbows were obliging, at least in the morning, and all 16 participants landed some cracking fish.

Rob Love with one of six Annamoe rainbows lured to his rod.

“What’s catching Brian?”, I asked eyeing the selection of flies and lures available within Annamoe’s club house, a spacious log cabin where anglers can relax before, during, and after fishing. Today at half time we were to enjoy a slap up hot buffet meal courtesy of Annamoe Trout Fishery and plenty of teas, coffees, and biccies in between, “you spoiled us Brian and thank you”. “Try that red bead head zonker lure, it was working very well last week”, replied Brian, so I did and it still worked as I was to find out.

Yours truly with one of four Annamoe rainbows I landed during the media event.

Three casts in my rod locked and the first of four rainbows lured by that red strip of fluff powered off. All giving a good account of themselves, they took a while to get to the net. Fishing an intermediate line to a 15 foot leader with a six pound tippet, slow long draws of the line worked for me. Using barbless hooks I lost two more fish which threw the iron after spectacular jumps, that while witnessing Killarney fly fishing machine John Buckley take 21 fish in the morning session. John blanked in the afternoon, as I did, but he still did enough to retain the trophy with Dave McBride of South Side Angling coming second. Thank you to Brian for your hospitality, Derek for inviting me, and to all the participants that I know and the new people I met, Ed, Remy, Chris, and Rob, see you on the water and tight lines….

Pike From a New Water.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Living in Wexford I do not have access to great pike fishing and invariably have to travel. Yes, Blessington isn’t a million miles away and does reward experienced regulars with large fish, but for consistent sport Cork, the north east counties, and Longford/Roscommon/Leitrim are the places to visit. Long range piking is hit and miss in terms of catches, keeping an ear close to the ground helps, invariably though it’s a question of using the noodle, trying out new venues, and keeping a record of conditions and returns.

Waiting for a run, pike fishing in Ireland.

Sunday the 12th of February dawned foggy and still, conditions that would persist throughout the day, and with air temperatures hovering around 7 degrees David and I felt confident of a result from our planned trip to the north east. Choosing a water that had intrigued me for a number of years we did our homework, collected fresh rainbow trout for bait, and headed off. Two and a half hours later we pulled in at the venue chose our swim and set up.

Playing a small pike from an Irish lake.

Depth increased gradually from the forested shoreline to a drop off approximately ten meters out which quickly fell away and bottomed out at I believe ten meters. Ledgering fresh rainbow with the tail cut off to reduce spinning and release blood David cast to just beyond the lip, while I placed a bait well into the deep. Tightening up and setting the bait runners we waited. Within a half hour my line dramatically dropped, a slack liner I lifted the rod and carefully wound in to connect, the line kept dropping. Reeling harder I struck into nothing, so continued on to inspect the bait, teeth marks said it all.

David with a well conditioned Irish jack pike.

Twenty seconds later line began peeling off Davy’s reel, the same fish it had to be, counting to ten he struck into nothing, “that’s one lucky fish”. From then on David’s rod was charmed, suffering another dropped run David eventually connected with number three. Not big it gave a good scrap though and was in perfect condition, beautifully mottled. Shortly afterwards line began peeling again, after another lively tussle a similar sized jack was landed, and that was it for the day.

Perfect winter conditions for pike dead baiting.

On another occasion they could have been doubles or bigger, that’s fishing though. Five runs, two fish, a nice day out, and further knowledge gained. Talking to local people out walking, the water is known for medium sized pike, but fish to 28 lb have been recorded. David and I witnessed the potential and most definitely will be back, an abiding memory being a heavy swirl amongst a shoal of roach fry as light closed in….

Southern County Fishing Resort.

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Pat Foley is a man with a vision, along with his family he has developed a fine angling and agri-tourism facility close to the village of Myshall in south county Carlow. The Southern County Fishing and Family Resort, 10 minutes from the M9 motorway, encompasses 45 acres of undulating landscaped surroundings in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains overlooked by Mount Leinster. Including 10 acres of water on three different rain fed lakes, stocked with rainbow trout reared from an on site hatchery, these fish are in superb condition fully finned and fighting fit. Ranging in size from 1.5 lbs to over 10.lbs, be prepared for fish to take you to the backing and tie on a leader of at least B/S.

Dr. Ken Whelan displays a quality rainbow trout tempted by a Woolly Bugger.

Officially opened by Minister Phil Hogan T.D. on 1st September 2011, the facility also includes 3 kilometers of walks and cycle ways, a pet farm, children’s play area, tackle shop along with a purpose built club house and function venue. Invited to the open day but not having the time unfortunately to fish, I did have the pleasure of witnessing fisheries scientist Dr. Ken Whelan land a cracking rainbow trout tempted by a Woolly Bugger,”They’re taking damselflies off the surface”, says Ken, so it seems the obvious choice.

Playing a good rainbow at the Southern County Fishing Resort, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Most definitely in the premier league of Irish managed fisheries, I will most certainly be paying it another visit, this time I will carry a stock of rainbow trout lures along with a selection of naturals. An ideal location for a family day out, Southern County Fishing Resort will satisfy experienced and novice anglers alike and in my opinion is the ideal place to coach youngsters new to the sport of fly fishing. Being a rainbow trout facility fishing is allowed 12 months of the year, and with talk of a club being formed why not give Southern County Fishing Resort a ring, Tel: 059 915 7773, Mob: 087 837 3032.

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.

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, Aughrim River, Co. Wicklow

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The Aughrim River is alive again, down to its bones with the summer drought, yesterday it was fresh and fizzing, having levelled off after the recent rains and running clear with that tea coloured peaty tinge. Parking in the village of Aughrim outside Lawless’s Hotel, closed for renovation after a fire gutted part of the building, I walk down the ramp to fish the weir pool below the bridge. A showery warm day in mid July with a good head of water in the system, sea trout must be running. Up went a Kill Devil Spider (size 14) on the point accompanied by a Butcher (size 10), it might be unorthodox fishing for sea trout in daylight, but for the sake of research why not.

The weir above the bridge at Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

Trout lie in the fast oxygenated water below the weir. There is a pocket on the near side that usually holds a good fish. Wading and positioning a rod length upstream I crouch and cast the flies working the seams either side of the main run. The line twitches, a parr, recast it twitches again, this time a small rainbow. Dibbling the flies once more on a short line the rod kicks over to a sprightly half pound brownie that feels twice the weight in the fast water. Staying deep while swimming backwards and forwards along the face of the weir, I eventually manage to unceremoniously lift the trout up and over the falling water, my only option due to leaving the landing net at home. Golden olive flanked with black and red spots rimmed with white, a nice fish for this river tempted by the Kill Devil.

The Stonecutter restaurant, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

A couple more smaller fish then a move to the deep run below the larger weir upstream of the bridge, constructed to supply water to the mill race which is now used by the local fish farm as a source of water. Good trout definitely reside here unfortunately a large branch is caught in the middle of the run causing an obstruction, it will have to wait until the next flood. On to the Stonecutter for a bowl of homemade tomato soup and brown bread. Ken and Louise run a fine restaurant and coffee shop, all fresh ingredients cooked and served to a very high standard.

Small rainbow trout, Aughrim River, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Mid afternoon working a favourite pool that always holds a pod of white trout in season, I feel a pluck. Recasting the fly swings a round and bang the rod heels over and locks, sea trout. Hooked on the dangle the fish swims deep in the pool before being coaxed towards me. A flash of a silver flank in the fast water, “how I need a net now”, the trout kicks and it’s gone. Further casts produce no interest, “I’ll work the pool again later”.

Lower weir, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

At Woodenbridge the Aughrim meets the Avoca river putting life into the dead water that runs past the old mine workings upstream. Salmon and seatrout hang a left here on their journey to the redds. It’s six pm now and I have to leave the river. No more white trout showed, activity confined to small brownies and a solitary rainbow. However with heavy rain forecast giving the promise of more fish entering the system, a dusk session is pencilled in for the coming week.

Rainbow’s End at Rathcon

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I am not mad keen on fishing for stocked Rainbow’s, preferring to target wild Trout. The fins of hatchery fish are usually damaged and larger fish give the appearance of being overweight and unfit. Not so at Rathcon Trout Fishery, Grangecon, Co. Wicklow. The Rathcon Rainbow’s are lean, fit, healthy, fully finned, and behave like steelheads when hooked, exploding into life and pulling yards of line off the reel, again, and again, and again.

Mark Corps, Game Angling Advisor CFB, with a perfectly formed Rathcon Rainbow

The Paige family own and run Rathcon Trout Fishery. Dermot Paige maintains that the Rainbow feed on the crayfish that thrive in the lakes that were formed when, a number of years ago the Paiges dammed a small stream that ran through their land, so forming the fishery. Fly life is also prolific with buzzers very evident, along with terrestrials such as hawthorn flies and daddy long legs.

Shane O'Reilly, angling advisor CFB, and his colleague Ronan with a monster Rathcon Rainbow

Having received a call from Mark Corps of the CFB that a group were heading over to Rathcon late Friday afternoon, I threw the rods in the car arriving about 16.00pm. Parking beside the clubhouse I could see a chap playing a good fish. Grabbing the camera and legging it over I was able to witness Shane O’Reilly netting a whopper Rainbow for his colleague Ronan. Caught on a viva, it was Ronan’s first ever trout on a fly!

Mark Corps playing a good fish, Rathcon, Co. Wicklow

With trout visibly rising to buzzers I put up a viva plus a bibio, with Mark Corps duplicating the bibio while fishing a shipman’s on the point. In that period takes came rapidly with Mark landing three fish in quick succession. The last one, on the bibio, jumping clear of the water on numerous occasions. A fish rose close to me which I covered, the water exploded and with a shout of “fish on” the reel screamed and ten yards of line shot through the rings, as the Rainbow bolted down the lake towards the clubhouse. A lively fight ensued with the fish boring deep and heading off on numerous shorter runs. When netted there was the bibio firmly embedded in the scissors, a quick extraction, photo, and away.

Perfect Rathcon Rainbow

After that a cuppa was in order, so over to the clubhouse for a biscuit and a chat. Rathcon is a fine place to spend a few hours, the location in a pastoral landscape, great facilities, and of course the fishing. Those Rainbow’s are special.  The next hour saw a couple more fish on the bank for members of the party as buzzer activity increased. It had been a year since my last visit to Rathcon, graced by a ten pound fish, I will not be leaving it so long next time around.

Rathcon Rainbow

Further information: Rathcon Trout Fishery.

Click on: Autumn at Rathcon.