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Fly-Fishing in Ireland and Jordan…

July 28th, 2016 Comments off

If something is a year late it’s on time again, right?.. well, maybe not, but this kind of is! This is last years Ireland report and a little on fly-fishing in Jordan. It all happened a year ago so its current again! How things have changed. In the past, I lived in Ireland and came to NZ to Holiday / fish (of course it was just fishing – every day!). Now I work in NZ and holiday in Ireland, where I won’t fish every day, but I will certainly fish a lot. Last year I was at home for about 30 days over July and August. I had the best fishing for Atlantic Salmon on Lough Inagh that I ever had. In 3 days on the lake we had 6 grilse up to 7lbs and a few browns and seatrout for good measure. From what I hear this season is going very well. Similar salmon numbers to last year but more seatrout and way more quality browns (up to 9lbs). This is great news for me because Inagh is one of my favourite places in the world to fish. You never know what you might catch during a day on Inagh; a grilse, a spring salmon, an Arctic char, a ferox, a brownie or a seatrout are all on the cards.. and now perch too but efforts are being made to remove this recent invader. At the end of the day on the lake a pint in the lodge always goes down well, especially if Colin is there to tell you why you didn’t catch a few more. You should listen to him, he’s often right (not always though!). Give Colin a call if you fancy getting out on Inagh or any of the river beats. 003539534706 or visit the website http://www.loughinaghlodgehotel.ie

Kylemore Lough is another favourite haunt of mine. It’s different to inagh in my experience in that its less lively in general but when it turns on it really turns on. I remember fishing it a number of years ago with my good friend Fuzz. It was dead quiet all day and then in the space of 20 minutes we landed a grilse, lost a salmon and rose a few more and saw many grilse rolling. Then all went quiet again. You need to make hay when the sun shines on Kylemore Lough. Dad and I fished it a couple of times last season. On our first day on it dad hooked into a big fish at the end of a drift, both of us assumed salmon, then it jumped. “Its a seatrout” I said.. Even in the good old days of seatrout fishing in the west of Ireland a fish of over 4lbs was considered a really outstanding catch. This fish was 5lbs at least. It was a real pleasure to see such a fish. We landed a few more over the 2 days, with browns up to a pound and other seatrout up to 3lbs. I hope this is a sign of thing to come. I’ll be out there again in a few weeks to find out.(http://www.sexyloops.com/blog/2011/07/17/kylemore-lough-in-a-howling-gale/)For bookings contact Nancy on 003539541143 or http://www.kylemorehouse.net

I also spent some time fishing the Renvile lakes for salmon. Namely loughs Muc and Fee. Both stunning lakes where the angler has a chance at a really big salmon, although the run is predominantly 3-5lb grilse. Over the few days out there dad landed a couple while I lost a some. One of the days on Muc & Fee was for a local fishing competition. Dad and I did no good but the weigh in was pretty funny. One competitor left his first salmon behind him on the bank while he continued fishing. Later on he got another and when he went to leave it beside the first one he noticed it had been half eaten by a cat. He had to weigh in half a salmon. He still won!! Only in Ireland I hear you say? Quite possibly!

After Ireland, Iza and I went to Jordan for 2 really incredible weeks. What a country to visit! Jordan has 24ks of coastline on the Red Sea. We spent 5 nights in Aqaba to make the most of it. Fishing from the shore is not allowed so every day was spent diving and snorkelling. However, I managed to get out on the water for a few hours on our last day there. We hired a glass bottomed boat to take us out. With the majority of the boat covered over this was far from a fly-fishing boat but it was the best I could find! It’s worth mentioning that nobody uses fishing rods in the Red Sea in Jordan, It’s all about the hand line. Apparently I just missed a bumper sailfish season. Everyone catching 5 per day they said. It should be firing right now if this season is like the last. Our 2 boatmen took us to some water they knew well. They were dragging hand-lines while I attempted to stand up on the bow and cast as they trolled along. This was extremely hard to do in the big rolling wave!! Imagine River Dance on top of a bucking bronco, well that was me.. Iza caught a few on the hand-line as did the boatmen but I struggled with the fly rod, I struggled just to stand. Of course I could have trolled the flies but thats not fly-fishing. In the end I asked to be taken to the sheltered water close to shore where I had seen fish break the surface from the dive boat a few days prior. Here, for about the last 1.5hours, I had a chance. I had 3 chances to be precise. I cast in the vicinity of two mahi-mahi and had a follow right to the boat but no eat. Then a follow from a skipjack tuna, then my best chance, all I had to do was cast 70 feet to a breaking shoal of skipjack. The line wrapped around the anchor and the fly fell short. That was my last chance. I was pretty gutted not to catch a fish in Jordan. There are no fly guides operating out of Aqaba so if you find yourself there you’ll have to do what I did. Hopefully you’ll do better. The place has potential! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to india for 12 days then on to Ireland for a month. I’ll carry a fly-rod in India but I don’t think there is anything to catch between Delhi and Mumbai at this time of year (but there must be!!). If you know something please let me know! I have a one week window at the end of the trip where I could possibly squeeze in a fly-fishing destination other than Ireland. India is all about hanging out with and travelling with my brother..

Well thats it for now.. I might get a blog out over the next 6 weeks but there are no guarantees! Right, time to pack!

Tight Lines!   Ronan..    ronan@sexyloops.com

You Should Winter Fish!

July 11th, 2016 No comments

I was chatting with a friend recently about the spawning season in NZ. After giving it a little thought we realised that taking both browns and rainbows into account the spawning season is at least 6 months long. I have certainly witnessed brown trout making redds in April and I have seen rainbows still in spawning mode when their season opens in November. This is good for us winter anglers! All fish don’t spawn at the same time so throughout the winter months we can target fish which are not in spawning mode. I have heard the question posed about the ethics of winter fishing. The answer is, as long as you’re an ethical angler it’s no problem. Personally, I avoid fish which are showing the signs of imminent spawning. To clarify; fish tightly paired up, fish on redds or fish making redds.

Winter is an exciting time to indulge in your sport. Fish congregate around river mouths providing some great opportunities for the winter angler. Sinking lines and streamers are usually the best bet here. Some rivers are open year round, on these rivers you can intercept fish on their spawning run. It’s possible to have summer quality sight fishing with nymphs in the dead of winter. Most lakes are open year round and because all fish don’t spawn together there are always fish to be caught. Benmore is a prime example of this, Dunstan too; both blind and sight fishing. Winter will test you and push you as a fisherman. To be very successful, you need to be able to cast a lot of weight from time to time. Fish are often sitting in deep runs and the only way to get down to them is with weighted flies, sometimes as much weight as you can manage! I have recently added Loon soft weight to my fly-vest on Chris Dore’s advise. This stuff is great! Even if you don’t have bombs in your fly box you can add some soft weight to virtually any fly and make it go down. It has often been the difference between catching and not catching for me this winter. Casting fast sinking fly-lines is another skill that winter fishing will teach you. Sometimes the only way to effectively fish a large river like the Clutha or a deep river mouth is with a di5 or even a di7. A stripping basket is important. I like to use 7 or 8 weight fly-rods for a lot of my winter fishing which keeps my finger on the pulse for when I need to fish with heavier gear abroad. Generally speaking, there is little need for sinking likes during the warmer 6 months of the year so winter provides a great training ground. Winter fishing in NZ, as long as you push yourself a bit, will make you a well rounded, better angler.

It’s been a great few weeks fishing with friends! I’ve had plenty days on the water; river and lake from boat and bank. The photo’s and their captions tell the stories. I hope you enjoy them..

I have plenty days available for guiding this July, please feel free to enquire about winter rates or if you have any questions about bookings for next season.

Tight Lines!

Ronan..    ronan@sexyloops.com