Tuesday, 27 October 2015
We headed down to Carrigavantry Lake as a practice session for a competition that i was going to fish on the following Saturday just to see what flies and lines would work on the day of the comp. The weather was very changeable with bright sunshine followed by heavy cloud cover and then calm almost flat conditions followed by breezy squalls. The trout took a while to locate but when we found them it was some of the best fishing i had had in some time, taking fish on lures on a Di3 sinking fly line and also on Dry's. Tony had tied up some blob's and fab's on colours that i knew would work so when we found the trout it was just arm wrenching stuff, getting line pulled out of your hand while stripping was common place and when i saw some trout taking on the surface i was only too happy to put a dry fly over them. The trout were mainly in great condition and very hard fighting but they were only populated in a few areas of the lake but as evening approached the wind died away and a few more trout began showing on the surface and i had a very good session on the dry's in practically flat calm condition's. Tony stayed on lures and accounted for a good selection of trout but neither of us met any of the nice brown's that frequent the lake, the best lines were either a Di3 sinking line or a clear intermediate ( slime line ) where the water was a bit weedy but amazingly the most important tip was speed and these trout wanted it fast and i mean fast. As for the dry's the usual floating line and a black klinkhamer was pulling a lot of trout and even a few trout came to a small Daddy that i had tied up on a Tiemco barbless hook which held the trout despite all the weed and trashing around. The information held me in good stead as i won the comp, very few anglers bothered to use dry's and most fished sinking lines and lures which in my opinion the trout had seen enough of in the day's leading up to the comp but the bright sunshine and flat calm conditions made it even harder than even i had anticipated. It's a nice lake and i will definitely be back in November for those beautiful brown's.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Having driven through some of the worst fog i have seen in some time i was very surprised to be greeted by bright sunshine and a flat calm lake, but this is Ireland and that can change in a heart beat and it did. As soon as the wind came it dropped the temperature to about four degrees celsius and trust me you could feel it even the landing nets started to stiffen up especially when trying to release some of the trout. I started on the dry fly as this lake has a good population of free rising trout but they can be very finicky and it can take some time to get them to take the dry fly with confidence. Having tried some small Klinks and only getting a few shy takes but a lot of refusals i moved over to a size 16 F- fly midge and the trout were very happy to hit the small fly with gusto. This presented a problem because some of the takes were very explosive and i came out of a few good trout as the hook was quite small and they were able to shake it loose with ease. The lake itself was very busy with most of the casting areas taken by anglers so i couldn't set up my cameras as normal but still got some nice footage with one or two good trout thrown in. The best trout were under the 9lb mark as they had dropped some body weight due to the cold weather and it being off season but they all gave a great account of themselves and therefore i made sure that they were well rested before i released them back into the lake. The brown trout were fairly static on the bottom so i used a Di3 sinking fly line with a black / green booby which i had just tied up the night before, using a very slow figure of eight retrieve i was able to catch a couple of good browns but thinking back i should have used a sink 7 line which would have presented the fly longer in the zone and with the booby just sitting off the bottom i probably would have met more trout, but that's for another day. The fishing itself was slow with some of the other anglers only meeting the odd fish but this is December and any fish is a bonus in the challenging weather conditions.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Arriving at the lake we could see that it was flat calm with a fog hanging over the hills, the temperature was cold so i was happy that i had the sense to put on some termal pants because sitting on an icy timber beam in the cold isn't my idea of a fun day out. Setting up two fly rods i put a Di3 sinking line with a two fly cast of a Hot orange Blob and an Ace of Spades on one and a floating line with nymphs on the second. I had a cast of dry flies ready just in case the trout started taking on the surface so that i could easily change over because speed is everything at this time of year as the rise can be fast and furious and if you miss it you're not going to catch fish. From the start i met some good rainbows on the sinking line and we boated over a dozen fish averaging 3lb plus in mint condition, they were very hard fighting and gave a great account of themselves. Since i return most of my fish i have started using a fish friendly rubber mesh net and you could see the benefits straight away, (1) the deep pan net stayed open and never collapsed making it easier access to the fish, (2) the trout could swim around without harming its fins or gills on the mesh, (3) the dropper flies never caught up in the mesh and any competitive angler knows that this can be a nightmare trying to weave flies out of a mesh net especially with a lively trout in it. The sinking line took most of the fish for the day but as soon as it warmed up there was a fast rise on the surface and i changed over to dry fly and caught a few nice browns on klinkhammers but on hind sight i should have used a C.D.C flying midge as the trout were just taking flies in the film.
Later in the evening the lake went flat calm and we could see that there was a good rise starting heading up the shoreline and then moving out into the lake, they were mostly brown trout sipping fly on the surface. I moved the boat slowly out into the lake and changed over to nymphs on a floating line and quickly picked up some cracking brownies up to 2lbs. Having caught bigger brown trout from this lake ( 7lb plus ) i was surprised at the number of browns rising and on catching some small brown trout around 1/4 pound i reckon the browns are definitely breeding there, as the small trout are too perfect in fin and tail shape to have come from a breeding pen. All in all a great day out and i will definitely be back when things warm up as i really love dry fly fishing and i can imagine the fun to be had when there are good hatches of fly on this lake.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
Using three different fly fishing methods i caught some nice rainbows at Lough Doire Bhile near Littleton. The first method was using a Di3 sinking fly line with a Black Booby on point and a Hot orange blob on the dropper, the cast was only six feet long to maximize fishing depth and the most productive retrieve was a slow figure of eight and when i felt weight on the line or a small bump i struck into the fish. The trout were very wary and i got a lot of short takes but also lost a few trout to the weeds because i was using barbless hooks and the trout were able to unhook themselves by wrapping up in the thick weed. The second method was the Bung method, using a floating line and a ten foot cast consisting of a foam strike indicator with two flies, on dropper was a Blood red blob and on point i used a heavy gold head pheasant tail nymph. After casting out i would give the line a long pull to straighten it out and then allow the nymph to sink, a long slow pull or even a slow figure of eight retrieve every so often will move the flies up the water column and let them fish in different locations back towards the bank, as soon as the strike indicator sinks or changes direction you lift into the fish. This method produced some good heavy rainbows and better hook ups with few lost fish. The third method was Dry fly, even though i didn't see any trout rising and the fact that there was a gale blowing i still took a good rainbow on the margins with a small Klinkhammer pattern. The lake is undergoing renovations at the moment and promises to be a really good venue in the future.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Putting away the dry fly rod due to the strong gusting winds i started with a Di3 sinking fly line and a three fly cast of a Humungus lure on point a Blood red blob on mid dropper and a Cormorant on the top dropper, taking a lot of weed on the sinking line i decided to change over to a floating line and quickly started taking trout. The up and down action of the weighted Humungus combined with a very slow figure of eight retrieve took a lot of trout, but i had to change the retrieve on numerous occasions due to the trout just nipping at the lures and letting go with lightening speed. The strong wind kept bowing the floating line and pulling the lures down the lake faster than i wanted to retrieve and this meant that the trout could feel the line well before i could feel the fish thus making me lose a number of good trout. To combat this i would mend a loop of line up into the wind on the last cast just like an upstream mend on a river and this allowed me to fish the lures slowly without the wind causing a bow on the line. The majority of the brown trout took the blood red blod and the rainbows had no problem taking the humungus lure, while fishing the lower lake i took some trout in and around the island but in looking back maybe changing back over to the Di3 sinking line would have proved better due to the deeper water in the big lake.
Going back up to the top lake i decided to give the dry fly a go as the wind had just dropped off and caught a few nice trout on a black Klinkhammer size 14, but as is normal just as things were getting interesting on the dries the wind kicked back up gusting to 60km per hour and that put paid to my dry fly fishing. I was very tempted to fish a large floating Chernobyl Ant in the wave and pull it back against the wave making a very life like movement as it has worked for me on numerous stocked lakes and can be very exciting to see trout coming up and attacking such a large fly. All in all a good days fishing when weather conditions were tough.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
The wind was a strong northerly gusting upto 60 km per hour and the temperature was very cold only barely touching 5 degrees all day and when it dropped down lower you could feel it on the fly line as it started to stiffen up when casting due to the cold. Starting at the top of the lake there was a small bit of shelter from the wind and the trout were cruising around picking up anything that had been blown in off the grass margins. I caught and released a few nice rainbow and brown trout close in on the dry fly and after spotting many trout aborting the final take with my polaroid glasses i changed over to a smaller klinkhammer pattern on the dropper and allowed the larger size dryfly to fish on the point giving the trout a choice in fly size just in case that was the issue with the refusals. I found that when the flies were out in the heavy wave the big fly was taken aggressively but on covering in close along the margins all the takes were on the smaller pattern so having that set up suited both areas and i kept getting hook ups all day long, the only problem was on hooking a large trout close in it dived down into a weed bed and straightened my small size 16 klinkhammer with ease. Moving into the lower part of the lake the wind was sending a good wave into the corner and i saw a few big rainbows actively taking off the surface so i cast a long line and allowed the flies to be carried naturally on the wave into the corner. The trout came up the wave and hit the dry flies very aggressively so i had to allow a slack line and once i felt the pressure of line moving away i lifted into the trout and they were off up the lake like cruise missiles. The trick was after casting mend into the wind and as the fly moved down the wave send some line after it thus increasing the natural drag free drift and this is how i got some great hook ups. As most anglers know rainbows do not like a good wave and normally that stirs up the browns but these rainbows had'nt read the book and were quite happy to attack the dry flies all day long. The trout were great fighters and never gave up and also some of the big trout were in great shape and condition for this time of year and beautifully coloured. Will definitely be going back for the bigger ones.