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Family, Friends and Fly Fishing… The West of Ireland!

July 9th, 2017 No comments

GURTEEN POINT..

I think the last time I wrote my blog about my visit to Ireland I was a year late and therefor on time. Well, I’ve done it again! Right on time! It was fun looking over these photos from last year. The main memory that came back was just how difficult the fishing was, but it’s more about catching up with friends and family anyway (not to sound defeatist!). There were some exceptions though. The first day on the water was with Nigel. I’ve spent many happy days fishing around the points, bays and islands off Roundstone so I was delighted to be back out there. So many memories from this part of the ocean from parties on the islands (Shlackfest), to almost not making it home from stormy seas, to great fishing, to huge pods of dolphins, diving and snorkelling, searching for surf, the list goes on and on.. Anyway, Nigel and I hunted around over some usual haunts and some not so usual. We started hitting fish in about 20 foot of water in a sheltered bay at the back of Gurteen Point. Nigel was casting with spin gear and I was using the di7. Both worked.. Most fish were around the 2lb mark but we had a good number of fish around the 5. These fish fight hard and taste good! The icing on the cake for the day was a visit from 3 separate pods of Bottlenose Dolphins. These were captivating to watch and we cruised around with them for about an hour before heading back to Roundstone for a few pints. It’s very hard to top a day like that!

BILBERRY FOR PIKE

Dad and I had a few days on the water together but to be honest, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to report from our days afloat. The most enjoyable day out we had, Conor also came along. Pike were the target species. As bad luck would have it there were trout rising everywhere and we had no trout gear. The pike were very hard to move that day. Usually its the other way around! We fished multiple spots, moving all the time in search of fish. We moved and lost an occasional fish but it was slow. After a long dry spell, Conor, who has not fished much, hooked into a pike and immediately started reeling in with the drag locked up. I tried to loosen it but couldn’t get there fast enough.. the strain on the gear seemed to be beyond its limits. The rapala hit the top eye and then Conor hauled it over the gunnels, nylon pinging like a guitar string. I don’t know how something didn’t give! That was the only fish we landed so Conor for the win! I may well go back in a few weeks for another round, hopefully with the same team!

CORRIB WITH BADGER AND JOHN

As luck would have it, Badger was in Ireland while I was home! We agreed to meet up for a fish. Badger met John and I in Oughterard and we hit for the water. We worked hard all day for John’s one fish. I got nothing, Badger got a perch. There’s no point talking about the fishing because I have so little to say, but the craic was good! John knows Badger from his time in NZ, as do I so the 3 of us fishing in Ireland together was fantastic experience. Great craic and banter all day even if the fishing was pretty shite. Corrib was hard work last August!

CALLOW LAKES

Shane and I went to fish Callow lakes in Mayo on an exploratory mission. They’re beautiful lakes nestled in verdant woodland with plenty shallows and weed beds. Perfect trout habitat. We got a tip that it was a very underrated fishery. We gave it hell! We fished both lakes hard all day. Shane stayed on the floater while I fished a number of depths from floater to di7 in an attempt to learn as much as I could about the lake in one day. I think we landed 8 but they were small, much smaller than in the report which mentioned good numbers of fish from .75lb to 2lbs which is a nice average size on an Irish lake. I doubt the best fish made .75lbs, but who knows, we may just have picked the wrong day. It’s not fair to judge a lake from one visit. I’m fishing for long enough not to worry about poor fishing or a blank day. Persistence pays off! It’s always just a matter of time until your next great day!

LOUGH INAGH

Shortly after the “great day” came on Lough Inagh. I love to fish this lake. It’s one of my favourite lakes on earth (I may have mentioned that before!). The wind was howling and the rain was pouring down but I had the whole place to myself. I only fished the top where the best chance of a salmon was. I picked up a few decent browns and seatrout early on before hooking into solid grilse behind the island in the afternoon. I just managed a quick snap with the 10 second timer before she went back. The fishing slowed down after that so I went in at about 5 and had a pint at the lodge beside the fire, very happy with my lot. Colin joined me for one while. Thomas behind the bar had a  few wise cracks as he usually does. It’s always great to write your name into the salmon book! Great reports from Inagh so far this season so I hope it continues into August.. Check out this clip about the lake starring Colin Folan and Joe Creane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6HIx_zBVqM

TO WRAP UP..

So the fishing was tough, that’s for sure but there were still plenty great moments and that’s what fishing is. Yes, we enjoy the whole thing the but the highs are what we remember… or is it? Maybe it is the whole thing we remember and enjoy? I need to think about this. When I think back about a days fishing I remember it as a whole and not so much the moments.. hmmm.. Is it about the moments or the whole day??? Can I say both? I think I can! No, I got it.. During the day it’s all about the moments, afterwards, thinking back, its about the whole thing! Rambling there, sorry about that.. Where was I.. Yes, plenty great moments! Great moments with fish, friends, family and general craic that I only get at home!

Tight lines all! Big trip coming up.. Malaysia, Ireland, USA, Azores, Portugal. I’ll have 4 fly rods.

Ronan..

For guiding enquiries in NZ next season see my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me ronan@sexyloops.com

Connemara.

August 16th, 2011 No comments

The weekend before last John arranged a Corrib PFFA Ireland (Pike Fly Fishers Association) meeting. It was attended by Stuart, Steve, Kristian, John and myself. Day one was in Maam and once again the area did not fire. 4 rods (I only got to bed at 10am on day one so missed the day… Lucky me!) and not a single fish. Day 2 was a different story! We started in Ardnasillagh Bay. Kristian and I had a great start quickly boating 4 pike in the 6-9lb region and we lost a couple. The second half of the day saw us going down the lake to some big fish hot spots. Kristian and myself got distracted by loads of very large trout rising. I simply cannot fish for pike when trout are on the top. Kristian had a superb brown of 4.5lb and another of 1.5lb on my size 14 dry claret sedge which I tie for NZ. I moved a few but boated nothing. John, Steve and Stuart stuck to pike. John had 2 great fish, One 14lbs and another 20lbs 15oz. I have no pics of these fish but hopefully I’ll have them soon. I’ll put them in the next blog. It was great to have Stuart and Steve down to fish our local water. I learned a lot from them about tying pike flies and picked up a few tips on tying pike traces. Thanks fellas! I hope ye learned a bit from us too.

One thing that sometimes pisses me off about Irish fly fishing is how effort and persistence is so hesitant to pay off. When it does pay off it makes it all the sweeter however. After a successful day guiding Norman Kyle (head ghillee on a stretch of the River Tyne in England) I went to fish the river myself. I repeated some water Norman had fished to no avail and then decided to walk across the mountain (bog) to another river beat known as Pine Island. This area has not produced much in recent years but I had a good feeling. When I got there the walkway out to the small island was flooded as I knew it would be, so I wet waded out to it. I stud there soaked to the balls and thought to myself ” I deserve a fish for this” but experience has told me many times that “deserve” does not hold water over here. This time it did! I landed a powerful 6lb grilse on a Sunray Shadow and rose 2 more. As wet as I was, I happily walked back to the van.

Shane Flaherty (Fuzz) and Myself fished Kylemore Lough yesterday. Conditions were Ideal apart from the lake being too high. We fished hard and had 3 seatrout to 1.5lbs, a nice brown and rose a salmon. 10 grilse were landed on the river the previous day.

Today I took my cousin Paddy Creane, 11, out on Inagh for his first day fly fishing. He fished hard and well in very difficult conditions. The rain dumped on us continually and the wind blew. I asked Paddy, “are you cold”, “A little” he said,” but I’m not going in.. I’m wet too!, I love this, but its not as easy as I expected. It’s a challenge”. He got a brown and a sea trout and put his name in the Inagh trout register for the first time of many. Watch this space!

We have had a load of rain in the last few days and the Ballynahinch/Inagh system should fish very well in the coming week. The same is true for the entire Kylemore fishery. If your thinking about coming over now is the time! Contact details in my previous blogs.

Tight lines!

Ronan..

 

 

In and on the Water…

March 30th, 2011 No comments

Not many fish to report from the weekend but it was not all bad. I managed one nice trout in flat calm conditions on Corrib with Dad on thursday. I fished with just 2 buzzers on a 5lb flourocarbon leader. If there was any breeze at all  would have been fishing 3 or 4. I’ll tie a few for a blog in the near future.

Friday I was on sea without a flyrod with my good friend Fuzz.. We got a feed the old fashioned way with our hands and spears!

Saturday Fuzz and I fished the Corrib for both pike and trout but we had no success. I did explore a large chunk of the lake i never fished before and did not see a single fish. Conditions were tough once again. I’m really looking forward to a day on this lake when everything is just right.

By the way there are still no pike near Maam! Bad mistake putting my boat there for the early part of the season.. I’ll know better next year!

Enjoy the week! Ronan..