Saturday, 17 January 2015

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2015.. Opening Day 2015 Laune River.


Opening Day January 17th on the Laune River in Kerry.
After driving over the county bounds from Cork to Killarney in quite bad road conditions we finally arrived at the Laune river to be greeted by very high water levels and extremely cold conditions. Having a look at the bridge over the Laune river  it was evident that Beat 1 was our only hope as the water was too high to really fish any where else. There were about twelve anglers brave enough to turn up and give it a go with some kelts and fine trout being caught and released but there was no sign of a fresh salmon until after nine o clock when there were many phone calls sent and received that the First salmon of the 2015 season, a fish of about 10lbs was caught on the Long Range which is an area of water between the Lower and Upper Lakes. Talking to one of the Fisheries Officers he confirmed that a report of a fresh salmon had been caught so it looks like the season has finally started with a bang in Kerry. Having fished all of Beat 1 to no avail i decided to head downstream to the Bridge and Beat 2 for a change of scenery and maybe a change of luck. Darren and myself fished hard for a few more hours and were rewarded with some fine trout and a very healthy kelt which were all released.

Here are some pictures of Beats 1 & 2 showing the water levels on the opening day.












Meeting some of the long standing anglers that brave the elements and fish the Laune every opening day like myself i was informed that sadly five of our older anglers had passed away since the last opening day , this made me reflect on how lucky we as anglers are to be able to get out and  enjoy nature even in the harshest of weather conditions for the love of our passion..... FISHING.











Friday, 2 January 2015

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2015 " Season 2015 First Day "

                         OPENING DAY JANUARY 1st.  2015 THE DROWES SALMON FISHERY.                        
                         
We decided to travel the long journey from Cork to Bundoran to fish the opening day of the 2015 Salmon season on the Drowes Salmon fishery even though we knew that the weather was going to be a howler with strong gales, heavy rain and to make matters worse a very high river because we are not fine weather fishermen ( but a nice day would have helped ). Luckily there were about one hundred other ( nutters) / fishermen there so we didn't feel out of place. On arriving we collected our permits from Shane and got the inside track on where the first salmon might be holding up and off we went rods in hand to catch the first fish. The wind was a nightmare gusting from all sides of the river thus making fly casting a bit tricky but watching many of the anglers there i was delighted to see that there was a very good standard of fishing and bank etiquette even on a very busy day. Starting near the lodge we fished down river covering both banks with both fly and spinner but were unable to contact any fish, i started fly fishing using a Guideline sink 1 / 2 fly line attached to a Rio 3.9ips sinking versi tip and a Pauls favourite fly covering all the river i was able to get well down into the deep pools even with the heavy fast water but no takers. Moving down river we fished hard through all the pools with Dean hooking and losing a small kelt which raised our spirits for awhile, deciding to move back up river we called into the lodge for our lunch and a much deserved break from the foul weather and fishing. Shane had promised hot soup and sandwiches and true to his word we were well fed and after a bit of drying out we headed back out fishing. Optimistic to the last, we and a hundred other anglers expected to catch the first salmon on the first day but it wasn't to be, that special springer eluded us all but i reckon that it will be caught as soon as the water level drops off.



 We will definitely be coming back to fish this lovely river soon, but on a nice dry day with lower water conditions and a better chance of a silver tourist.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Seasons Greetings 2014.

Wishing all my readers and followers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, hopefully we will have very tight lines, screaming reels and some great fishy stories in the up coming 2015 salmon season.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Introduction to my Fishing Channel.




        

Just to let the readers of this blog know that i have more fishing videos available on youtube including lake,river and saltwater species. There are also three more fishing blogs that can be viewed from the side bar on this page. I will be putting up my most successful flies and techniques for this year in the coming week with some salmon spawning photo's and videos in December.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Sea Trout on the Fly at Night.

   

       
The lack of rain fall over the summer months meant that the rivers were very low and this had a knock on effect on the salmon and sea trout fishing, normally sea trout would run up a river on a spit but this year things were very quiet. The main run of sea trout happened around June and July with a quiet period in August and then  we got a small run of Estuary trout in mid September till the end of the season. The size of fish was down on last year as the average fish was about one pound compared to almost two pounds the previous season. Even the larger trout didn't show up till we had some water on the last day of the season but again they were few and far between. Having to get my new rod from Mark at Tackle Discounts.UK as there were no suppliers here that had an eight foot eight weight fly rod for sale it was definitely a great bargain and really served its purpose well because having very low lying trees here and underwater snags the rod enabled me to cast under the tree canopy and it also had the power to stop good fish from running out of the pools. The weight forward fly line was purchased for only twelve euros from Dan at Halfway Tackle and surprisingly for a cheap line it was still in great condition even though it was dragged through stones,bushes, gravel and thorns while night fly fishing. With the low water i was using a 12lb copolymer leader as the flurocarbon was sinking too fast and kept snagging up the flies on the bottom but with the copolymer it allowed me to retrieve the flies slowly without that issue. These days the copolymer and flurocarbon lines have the same diameters but the fluro is heavier and sinks the flies faster, great in fast or deep water but not so good if your fishing shallow or slow water with a slow figure of eight retrieve. Matching the different leader materials to standard or weighted flies allowed me to cover all aspects of night fly fishing without having to resort to using sinking lines in the deep pools later in the night when the fishing went quiet. There were still a few times later into the nights when sinking lines accounted for trout in the deeper pools but not enough for me to change from my tactics of combining floating lines and weighted flies with coploymer and fluro leaders. Even by simply tying in some lead wire or gold beads onto the hooks before tying up my sea trout patterns and combining this with a fluro tippet  helped me achieve the depth later on in the night when the fish went down deeper into the pools. The most important thing after you have got your tackle, line and flies sorted out has to be the casting, i have seen people fly fishing at night and the fly line goes out further than the flies due to bad casting and poor turn  over, they might as well be fishing in the field. I prefer to use a short double haul cast and this powers out the fly line and always puts the flies down perfectly leaving the point fly furthest away from me, knowing that your flies are laid out perfectly and are fishing straight away improves your catch rate and also cuts down on tangles which are a pain in the dark. Another important thing while fly fishing at night is your accuracy and soft turnover , splashing fly line on the water is not good for your night fishing and also lining trout by casting over them definitely will lower your catch rate. Always start your fishing close in before you decide to cover all the river as in darkness trout can be any where and working the river in an arc from short casts to longer casts will cover more trout and improve your catch rate, also don't be afraid to cast upstream with your flies you would be surprised the amount of fish that i have caught casting upstream on wet fly.

 Here is a photo of the 8 foot 8 weight  fly rod and the cheap floating fly line, combined price under 40  euros not bad for the amount of fun that i had with it. In the coming months i will definitely be putting together a book on my techniques for successful fly fishing for sea trout at night including tackle, flies and lines.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The End of another Salmon Season.


Having been lucky i got a chance to fish the last day of the extended salmon season on the Blackwater river, the weather in the morning was very cold and foggy with the heavy fog covering the river, it took till about 12 o clock for it to burn off and then we got this beautiful sunshine. The water level was low and i was surprised as i had expected it to be running a lot higher due to some of the reports that i had read recently but as always you have to physically see it for yourself. Well the fat lady was singing as i fished down the beat but being optimistic i was expecting to meet a fish even in this extremely bright sunshine and i did but with a shake of its head the barbless single hook came out and i was left enjoying the view so i took a photo to share with you. You cannot be disappointed when you are standing in an area of such extreme beauty on one of the nicest days of the season, as most anglers will say catching isn't everything.... but it helps. All in all it was a quiet salmon season for me, not because of the lack of salmon but the lack of water. The rain stopped in May and didn't come back till the end of September just as the season was coming to a close ( typical ), the river Lee was the lowest and dirtiest that i have ever see it and i was surprised that water wasn't released by the dam to clean it out and bring some fish up even though we had floods in other rivers at the same time. The majority of salmon were held up below the Kingsley weir and there were quite a few fish out in the harbour waiting for the water to run but it never came, the upside is that there should be more fish spawning this year as the amount of salmon caught was low.


My best day this season was in May when i caught three salmon ,( 12lb, 16lb and a big fish of over 23lb all in high water and on the spinner,  i would have preferred on the fly but that's the way it goes (the video can be viewed on my youtube channel    http://youtu.be/dPlRipCZ8Kk?list=UUGAIWufjLx0343nUNnQoarg  .). Well all i can do now is put away my salmon gear till next season and hope that it will be an improvement on this year
.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Salmon on the Fly 2014.

      
 
            
 
Due to the fact that there had been very low water conditions at the Inniscarra Dam fishery over the past two months i haven't been fishing there at all but i decided to give it a couple of hours late into the evening. The weed growth and water quality were fairly bad and one had to constantly keep cleaning the fly as there was a lot of slime weed on the rocks etc., i fished both banks but started on the Woodside at beat 4 where i caught and released two salmon in the first half hour on a size 15 double salar Allys shrimp fly. I was using my 6wt switch fly rod with a floating line and a blue Rio sinking tip which has a  5inch per second sink rate. The plan was to fish all the beats fast and see if there were any fresh salmon about, by using the fast sink tip i was able to get down to the fish causing them to either take the fly or move out of the way. The water clarity was bad and only visible to a depth of about two feet so the fly had to be down deep for the fish to see it and fishing this way you can move through the beats quite fast and if there are fresh salmon about you can have fast hook ups but sadly i didn't see any fresh salmon but a lot of very coloured fish holding in the deeper pools or just in front of the fish pass. Surprisingly there were quite a few anglers fishing there but all had the same story no fresh fish seen and only the odd coloured fish being caught. I had a look at the Kingsley weir and saw only a few fresh salmon but there were many coloured fish holding  back from the weir, what we really need is a good flood to clean out the river and allow those fish to move upstream and hopefully bring some fresh fish up to the Dam fishery.