Posts Tagged ‘White trout’

Salmon Tails and Trouty Evenings.

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The power of that salmon and the vision of its tail are burned into my memory for life. Working my way down a run last evening on the Slaney, a nibbling sensation coupled with an increase in weight similar to when your hook becomes weeded transferred up the line. Lifting my rod, to free as I envisaged the hook from underwater weed, in unison I was hit by an arm wrenching tug and the vision of a silver scaled, black spotted wrist and large forked tail of a very angry salmon, who proceeded to swim at a rate of knots across the river. My reel screamed and I instinctively palmed the drum to control the run.

A wild River Slaney brownie tempted by a Kill Devil Spider.

On reaching the far bank salmo salar now doubled back and positively fizzed back to its lie while I winded like billyo in tandem with walking backwards against the current. The fish then decided to swim up the channel to my right and sulk a rod length from me. A slight rest then like greased lightening the salmon tore downstream, rounded the gravel bar that I was fishing off before proceeding to run the shallower channel to my left where again it sulked. Gathering my wits I scanned for a slack out of the main current to guide the fish towards, fully aware that my six pound sea trout cast would have to play this fish very carefully.

Evening rise on the River Slaney, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Without warning my now fishy companion turned and swam purposefully towards Enniscorthy before turning and swimming upstream to again sulk a rod length to my right. I could feel the tail working in the current manifesting as a throb throb in my heavily curved 9′ 6″ weight six rod. Applying pressure on what was a serious fish, that as yet other than the tail I had not seen, even though attached by six pound gut I was confident that there could be a positive out come. Then in a second, four minutes after our interaction commenced, it was over. A slight nod, a millisecond of slack line, and the fly, a size 10 butcher fell out.

Small compensation for a lost fish.

Gutted, no. Disappointed, yes. Due to catch and release rules the salmon was going to be returned, however to have graced the bank, calculated its approximate weight, and taken a photo for posterity would have been great. The half pound brownies tempted during a spectacular rise of sedges being no compensation for the loss of that great fish. A special moment none the less, one for the long evenings over a wee drop….

Fly Fishing in Wexford, Slaney Sea Trout.

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

In Ireland we call them white trout, in Wales they are termed sewin, colloquial names for a migratory species much loved and revered by game fishers world wide, the sea trout. In the week that a new local record for the species was set with a 13.lb 5.oz fish on Lough Currane, Co. Kerry, I made my first of many evening forays to the River Slaney. Sea trout run the river from mid June to mid August but with reports of sea trout in the system below Enniscorthy an early visit was hard to resist.

A three quarter pound River Slaney, Co. Wexford, fresh run sea trout tempted by a butcher.

The Slaney is showing its bones but there is certainly enough water to allow sea trout make their way up. For sixteen consecutive years I have fished my chosen stretch and seen the catches diminish to the point where two years back I didn’t cast a line once. With the nets off returns hopefully are on the way back, time will tell. This evening is perfect if a little bright, I rig up a floating line with a butcher (size 10) on the point and a kill devil spider (size 12) on the dropper. My rod is a favourite 9′ 6” Daiwa Whisker Fly (the original two piece) taking a six weight line. Walking downstream to a wide gravel bar which pushes the current to the right hand bank creating a deep steady gut I position myself and wait for the sun to set.

Butcher and Kill Devil Spider.

Large olives and sedges fill the air and four swans keep me company, small trout slash at flies and I am itching to cast. However I wait, it’s dusk now and my surroundings visually lose their natural sharpness while my senses become more acute. A silver bar clears the water not fifty metres from me, they are here. I commence fishing extending my line to cover the water. A few small brownies and parr take the kill devil as I work the seam. “On the dangle” I start to strip and bang the rod arches over and a bright, fresh sea trout spends the next thirty seconds more out of the water than in. Running to and fro, upstream and down, after a couple of minutes and still full of life I grasp the fish in my hand. Three quarters of a pound and smelling of the sea, sweet…..