Posts Tagged ‘Sea trout’

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…………..

Nomads of the Tides

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Six years in the making, Nomads of the Tides, co-written by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan, to be published later this year by The Medlar Press, will I am certain become the definitive book on Irish sea trout angling, growing to hold its own alongside such seminal works on this wonderful species to include Falkus; Sea Trout Fishing, Morgan and Harris; Successful Sea Trout Angling, and Fahy; Child of the Tides.

Nomads of the Tides. fishing for Irish sea trout.

In August 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting and fishing with Chris on some of my local rivers in south east Ireland. Over consecutive evenings we fished the Slaney, Avoca, and Vartry, furthering Chris’s experience and knowledge of what sea trout fishing is to Ireland. During a presentation both Chris and Ken made at the recently held Irish Angling Expo 2013 memories of those evenings and the people we fished with came flooding back, in particular Denis O’Toole who only a few weeks previous had hooked, played, landed, and released a fish of a lifetime Avoca river sea trout of 16 lb 4.oz.

Nomads of the Tides authors (L - R) Ken Whelan and Chris McCully.

In the course of writing “Nomads” Chris McCully undertook 18 research trips to Ireland, flying 24,440 air miles, hired 18 cars driving 6,500 miles, wrote 24 published articles for Trout and Salmon magazine along with one scientific paper, gave five presentations on the project, and kept the day job going too. A labour of love, you could say so. I cannot wait to get hold of my copy………

Chris McCully enjoying a spot of evening sea trout fishing on the River Slaney, Co. Wexford.

See also: Record Sea Trout Graces the Avoca.

See also: A Passion for Sea Trout.

Record Fly Caught Sea Trout Graces The Avoca.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Ace fly dresser and passionate salmon angler Denis O’Toole couldn’t believe his eyes at the end of a twenty minute battle with one of the Avoca Rivers migratory visitors. On reaching into the landing net to cradle his prize, incredulity took over on recognition of the heavy set head and broad shovel like convex tail, a sea trout of lifetime proportions, Denis was in dreamland. Experiencing all of the emotions, both Denis and his fishing partner Dean Kennedy (who netted the great fish) were shaking as they carefully removed the hook with a view to weighing and returning the superb specimen.

Game angler and top fly dresser Denis O'Toole cradles a 16.lb Avoca Sea Trout tempted by one of his own creations, the "Lava Tail".

The needle bounced down to 16.75 lbs, taking into account the weigh net, officially the sea trout weighed in at 16.lb, the largest recorded Irish fly caught sea trout and one which will be very hard to better. Denis has to be commended for releasing the fish, the action being a reflection of his passion and love for the sport, “Respect”. His fishing partner Dean Kennedy has to get special mention also, for it was he that netted the bruiser and did the photographic honours, for which I and many others who read this post are very grateful, “good job Dean”.

The very fly which tempted the record sea trout, the Lava tail tube, designed and created by Denis O'Toole.

For the record Denis’s 16.lb sea trout of a lifetime was tempted by a 1.5 inch Lava tail aluminium tube fly designed and created by himself. He used an eight weight Partridge Switch rod, a large arbour Orvis Battenkill reel, and a weight forward 8 line.

This wonderful angling feat highlights the potential of the Avoca river as a game fishing location and hopefully will spur the decision makers, clubs , and stakeholders with an interest in the system to fast forward action plans regarding its restoration and future management. In the meantime lets celebrate Denis’s great feat, sea trout of this calibre usually only enter our lives in dreams. Denis O’Toole will dream happily for the rest of his life.

Click on: Salmo Spero Elite Salmon and Sea Trout Flies.

Footnote: Denis O’Toole is a professional fly dresser specialising in tying top quality salmon and sea trout flies. For advice and information email Denis at , otooledenis96@yahoo.com.

 

A Passion For Sea Trout.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

It takes a Yorkshireman who lives and works in Holland to come to Ireland with the purpose of writing what will most certainly be the definitive book on Irish Sea Trout. Chris McCully lives and breaths this wonderful, mysterious, sporting, and ultimately fascinating species, and it is with real pleasure that I say, “thank you Chris for the last couple of days spent in your company. Your passion for white trout¬† has reinvigorated within me the reason why I took up fly fishing, and I look forward to exploring my local rivers and streams, on a regular and more diligent basis, with a view to hopefully encountering this most magical of fish”.

Chris McCully (on right) deep in conversation with Irish fly caught sea trout record holder Denis O'Toole.

Chris has spent three years on the project, visiting and fishing over sixty fisheries across the length and breadth of Ireland, north and south, meeting local characters, anglers, and clubs, garnering knowledge and making many new friends, the final draft will be worth waiting for. Until then I will visit the optician with a view to improving my night vision, and cast a line into that deep shadowy pool after midnight, letting it swing around before slowly figure of eighting that surface lure in the hope of, BANG, the stuff of dreams.

Thank you Chris, and best of luck with the book.

River Slaney, Evening Sea Trout.

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Fished the Slaney yesterday evening for sea trout below Scarawalsh old bridge accompanied by visiting angler David Balsdon. A native of Devon who fishes the famous River Torridge, David was looking forward to casting a line on this equally famous Irish river. Conditions were not great, with a cool south easterly wind blowing upstream driving a constant mist of rain before it. Perseverance though did pay off, with David netting a three quarter pound sea trout tempted by a Kill Devil Spider as dusk closed in.

David Balsdon with a hard won River Slaney sea trout tempted by a Kill Devil Spider.

In good condition, fat and beautifully spotted, the sea trout took with a bang giving a good account of itself before being netted, photographed, and returned. David fished on until close to mid night catching parr and small brownies, along with a few tentative plucks from their migratory cousins, however the brace alluded him. Conditions were tough it has to be said, the upstream wind in particular making life difficult, but hey that’s fishing. David appreciated the experience, and if the opportunity arises would most definitely make a return visit.

River Slaney Salmon and Sea Trout Seminar

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The Slaney River Trust held a seminar on Saturday 5th March 2011 to discuss various aspects of this great spring salmon and sea trout fishery, with respect to its current health and future management. Notable speakers included Dr.Paul Johnston, a fisheries consultant who has produced a comprehensive report on the conservation and recovery of the River Slaney salmon fishery, and Dr. Willie Roche, a senior fisheries scientist with Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Celtic Sea Trout Project Logo.

Over a very informative day the life cycle of both salmon and sea trout were explained in context with the River Slaney based on current data. What became very clear are the large holes that need to be filled before we come up with a true understanding of what is happening on the ground, and the protracted timeline involved before any pertinent information unveiled is acted upon. That said, a presentation by Dr. Willie Roche on the Celtic Sea Trout Project ,a multi agency partnership between Ireland and Wales, afforded great hope for the future of this much loved but poorly understood species.

A colony of seals off the Raven Point, Wexford harbour mouth, Ireland.

A topic which exposed a key flaw in the multi agency approach to environmental and natural resource management was predator control. Misinformation abounds and wagons are circled relative to the various vested interests,¬† seals and cormorants receiving particular attention, most of which was negative. Yes 210 seals minimum live on the Raven Point at the mouth of Wexford harbour, I took the ariel photo’s and have counted them. Yes, an individual seal eats between 5 – 10.kgs of fish per day which means that the Raven colony consumes up to two tonne of food per day. Is this having an effect on migratory fish stocks? We do not know, but it is very likely.

Wexford Harbour, Ireland, from the air.

Equally cormorants pose a problem in particular as they predate on smolts (juvenile salmon and sea trout) heading out to sea. In both cases the seals and cormorants are innocent victims to man’s exploitation of the marine environment. Over fishing within the Irish sea where stocks are critically low, certainly upwards of an 80% reduction in white fish such as cod, has forced seals and cormorants to change their feeding habits. Catch returns and observations of salmon from rivers north and south of the Slaney show signs of improvement since the drift nets were bought out in 2006, however the Slaney has stuttered, why? It’s hard not to consider that predation is a factor. Only a full ecosystem approach based on marine conservation will provide the answers and radically change the present status quo, unfortunately under present EU legislation and work practices I cannot see that happening.