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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

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

Sandeels to Salmon!

August 6th, 2011 No comments

On warm, sunny days when trout or salmon are unlikely to take a fly, pollack will always oblige. I went out to Deer Island, about 45 minutes from Roundstone in my boat last Monday to target them. I brought my 11 year old cousin, Patrick, out with me. I set up a boat rod for him with 6 feathers and a 6oz weight and it wasn’t long til the rod hit the gunnels! I didn’t help him. He got stuck in and hauled what turned out to be 3 good pollack from from the depths. It made my day watching Patrick battling to get the fish into the boat. I filleted the fish for him, He made a fiver on one and fed the family with the rest. A proud moment no doubt!

I had a few pollack on the fly and a sandeel. No sign of any mackerel yet which is strange.

The highlight of the week for me was on Lough Inagh at 11.30am yesterday morning. I was fishing a sinking line in shallow water. As i raised the rod tip to recast, bringing the bob fly towards the surface, a salmon nailed the fly, jumped, then took off ripping line off the floor of the boat before making the reel sing for about 70 meters. What a fantastic moment! I kept in control of the fish as much with the engine as the rod and reel. The salmon weighed 8 or 9lbs and took a silver and red daddy. I was using 6lb flourocarbon.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be busy on the water..

Ronan..