Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The last fish of the season..

I got this 6 lb 14 oz beauty on the final day of the season on lough sheelin.

It took a silver invicta on the point.

I moved one other fish for the day but it just followed the flies without taking. Later I increased the fly size to try to induce a take, and this fish followed the flies again. This time I stopped the retrieve and waited for a few seconds, then lifted the rod. Thankfully he had the fly in his mouth at the time. :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Following on from my previous post...

I didn't win the next Saturdays competition sadly :(
I did win the following competition though :) It was fished on the upper Liffey river.
I have had quite a bit of sucess this year, catching well even though most anglers are struggling with the conditions. The loughs have not fished well at all this year, and with all the rain we have had the rivers are often unfishable. I have only failed to catch once this year however and I must be averaging about 6 fish per day on the loughs, and probably about the same on the rivers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

two good days on the river...

I fished two competitions last weekend, both on rivers. I won the club competition on Saturday with the best three fish (a 3 fish bag limit, I caught about 8 takeable fish in total).

On Sunday it was the provincial championships, where I came second on my beat behind the overall winner. He and the beat winners of the other 4 beats will represent the province later in the year. I ended up as first reserve, my points total being the highest runner-up out of all the beats. (In fact my points were higher than some of the other beat winners, but to allow each beat to provide more than one qualifier is unfair on those drawn on the poorer beats that cannot hope to compete against a better beat draw. )
I was happy with the result, the winner deserved his victory, and fished very hard for the day. I did not work nearly as hard, but just fished to catch and enjoy the day. I stopped and watched the eventual winner for about 15 minutes in the morning session, and knew he was going to do very well, his work rate was high and he had the right methods and flies for the day.
I had decided to fish a team of spider patterns and a gold-head nymph, rather than dry fly (the winner was fishing dry, and then covering the water again with goldhead nymphs!!) and perservered with the method. I caught a couple of good fish too, up to 35cm. I only caught one below the 20cm minimum size, so my techniques worked in that sense. My fishing was a lot more relaxed than would have been needed, but I wanted to enjoy the day, and with the company of my steward (umpire), who was extremely pleasant, I arrived back at the "weigh-in" (points tally- it was catch and release) feeling relaxed and happy with my day.
I was actually surprised to be top runner-up, because even though I knew I was 2nd on my beat I had thought others would have had more success on the other beats. I am looking forward to this Saturdays second leg of the club competition for the 'trout cup', I feel in the mood to repeat last weeks result and ensure I win it!

I really should fish the rivers more often...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bohernabreena reservoirs.

I had an enjoyable afternoons fishing Yesterday. I fished the two lakes up at Bohernabreena, where the river Dodder rises in the Dublin Mountains. I caught a few nice little brown trout in the upper lake, and then walked down to the lower lake and fished for the larger fish there, catching a few of them also.
I had plenty of fish without fishing hard, and found them to be hard fighting in the cold water.
It was a change from my recent hard fishing days. I have also realised, my expectations from a days fishing are very different from the average. I have been fishing on a couple of occaisions recently with someone who would consider themselves a fairly good angler, with a better than average catch rate. His catches have been consistently under 20% of mine.

I have been fishing against anglers of a similar standard to myself for so long it is easy to forget that what I would consider an average catch is for many a red-letter day. When I go with Noel, while he doesn't fish very competitively any more, the ability to catch fish is still there. Noel doesn't mind not catching these days....(I do!!), but he can always pull out a fish or two, even when the fishing is hard and would not be an 'average' angler. Most angling is done outside of the competitive arena, I can forget that on occaision. Even my mayfly time 'week away' is in the company of an ex-international competitor from England, and contains an element of friendly rivalry...
However, if you want an enjoyable few hours fly fishing in beautiful surroundings, just outside of Dublin City, the lakes at Bohernabreena are available to members of the Dodder angling club, annual memberships are available in all the tackle shops for 10 euro!... Small dark flies work best in the reservoirs, if you are thinking of going.

Monday, April 14, 2008

two competitions, two fish, two different results.

I have fished two competitions last weekend. It was hard work, and we had hail storms and cold northerly winds to contend with. I got two fish both days. On Saturday it was a four man team competition and we did not do well, only weighing in* (measuring, it is catch and release) 5 fish between the four of us, not nearly enough for success. I also lost a very good fish when it ran underneath the boat. I had to put too much pressure on it, and combined with a very small hook,a size 16 spider pattern I just pulled out of it. These things happen, and it's always the big ones you remember.... that cliche.....the one that got away.... lots of smaller ones do too, you just forget them.

On Sunday it was a club competition and I was pipped to the victory by another two fish bag with a lovely big trout in it, which put my two good fish into second place by an ounce or two. I was surprised that my two fish did so well though, as I expected a couple of four fish bags to be weighed in, but at the weigh-in there were only 11 fish above 33 cm recorded for the day with mainly fish below the size limit having been caught by most of the anglers. Conditions were hard on Sunday also. It was almost 5 hours in before I got my first fish, finally I got four in total but two were too small to count, so I had a busy final hour and a half as I missed another good sized fish. It shows how varying methods and flies pays dividends, along with changing location I eventually found where the fish were and how to entice them. Not missing the chances you get then results in success, well hopefully anyway. It also shows how perseverance pays dividends and that it is always worth struggling on when conditions are hard.

My next competition is in June, so I can relax and enjoy my fishing until then. Hopefully the weather will improve.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Duckfly time

I have had a couple of days out in the last week. With the mild spell of the last couple of days the buzzer or duckfly have started hatching. The fish are actively feeding on them and I have had some good catches. We stayed out until dark last night on lough Lene, there were some good trout feeding well in the wind lanes. They were difficult to catch though, ignoring dry flies and emergers. I did manage to find a way to get them eventually, three small spider patterns (16's) fished sub surface on a slow to static retrieve. I only managed to land about 50% of the fish though, the small size hooks were pulling out of the larger fish, some also managed to throw the hook by summersaulting out of the water when hooked, tarpon style. It was fun, but not exactly productive!

I had a half day 'stockie-bashing' on Blessington reservoir too. It is fun for a short while, especially after a long winter. I did manage one good wild fish there too, about 3lbs weight. That was on a buzzer pattern too, after I'd grown tierd of catching stockies on lures.

Next week I'll have to start painting again though, and ease up on the fishing, but there again I need to practice for a competition on the 12th.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The season is well under way....

I may take a trip down the country next week, but I have a couple of Fishing competitions in the next fortnight, so I will be busy with them. Of course I've had a couple of days out this week too..... sucessful ones on the lake. I am due to fish a river competition tomorrow, but with heavy rain yesterday, last night and more today, things are not looking good. The river will be high and coloured at best, in a full filthy flood at worst. This means the fishing will be extremely hard or a waste of time....mind you it will sort the men from the boys, only the boys will bother turning up! :lol:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fishing for brown trout again...

Iwas out fishing yesterday morning. It was the first time since my last post as the weather has been less than suitable. We had clear skys for a change yesterday, although with strong winds. The conditions were only just fishable with the fly rod. I did manage a few trout though. I hooked one fish about 1.5lbs, solidly in the root of the pectoral fin...I thought I had a big one on! The fish took a run of about 30 yards when I hooked it, then was able to kite across the waves when I tried to gain some line back.......ahh well, it fought like a six pounder. I left about 12.30, there were ominous dark clouds approaching. About 10 minutes after I got into the van to come home the heavens opened with heavy rain and sleet, driven by the strong winds. It pays to watch the weather, and a half days fishing was preferrable to half a days fishing and a drenching in icy conditions. For information on my Painting click here

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another successful day on the lough.

I fished the opening day on lough Lene in Westmeath yesterday. Conditions were hard with the weather cold and with strong blustery winds. I did manage to get one good fish, just short of 2lb, and missed another couple, the main reason being that it was difficult to control the flies in the surface in the strong blustery wind. The Claret Dabbler worked again, although I'd tried half the flies in my fly box prior to getting a fish.

I don't expect to be out again for a while, we are due to have a cold snap with snow and strong winds. It won't be good fishing weather.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time marches on....

I am away fishing on Saturday, March 1st. It is the start of the season for the majority of trout fisheries. I will let you know how I got on.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from Lough Corrib

I enjoyed my trip to the west. Lough Corrib fished quite well, I managed one trout and a Salmon Kelt, but I also hooked 5 other trout that failed to stay on. In all I rose about 12 fish, but most were either coming short or following the flies in. It seemed to be a problem with others I spoke to. Noel got a nice fish at the other end of the boat and missed one other. All the fish came to either a Golden olive bumble or a claret dabbler and they were up on the shallows. It was cold in a light south east to east wind, and there were no signs of fly life. I tried a drift over buzzer water first, but quickly realised that there was little or no chance of any buzzers hatching and decided to take a drift over a long shallow point, the winds angle allowed me to drift across it at an angle, giving me plenty of time to cover both drop-off edges and the shallow itself in one drift. Within minutes of setting up for the drift, Noel got his fish on a Claret dabbler and I rose four other fish including the Salmon kelt over the point.
We did the drift a further two times, I rose fish on each drift and caught my trout on the second drift across, by the third things had quietened down considerably, due possibly to the wind dropping almost to calm.
I did another drift then moving to 'Mollies rock' further out into the lake but a good drift over shallow water. I rose and hooked a good fish just off the rock, but again after a short run the hook pulled. We then decided to pull up on the shore for another cup of tea, we had stopped for one between the 1st drift and fishing the point, while boiling the kettle we realised time was against us and after tea we headed back towards home, intending to do one more drift closer to home, alas by the time we got there the wind was gone, so we decided to call it a day early. When we reached shore we found many had the same idea...but all in all, we both had fish and had seen quite a few. A good result for opening day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fishing and St. Valentine

I have everything organised for tommorrow, flowers,card, dinner reservation.......it is Valentines Day.....
I am treating Christine as she deserves to be treated, she looks after me well..........

.........and I am dissapearing at 5 am the following morning, off to the West and fishing on Lough Corrib. She's not a bad wife at all.... Sometimes one has to make sacrifices, it would be a bit much to head down the day before!. I can only go for the one day also as I have to be in Dublin for an important meeting on Saturday.
Apart from that I still have to organise my fishing gear, most of the trout gear is still put away for the winter, and our trip to Amsterdam has meant that time has caught up on me. I will be busy tommorrow afternoon getting the Van loaded and ready for my trip. I need to get all my gear ready and checked in daylight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

3 days to go....counting down to the new season

Three days away from the first trip of the trout season. We will be off to Lough Corrib for the 15th. I am hoping the mild spell continues, if it does we may get some fly life on the lough. The trip to Corrib on the 15th is always speculative though. It is more about getting out than getting fish. I still have to organise myself for the trip. I have been busy painting and travelling, details on my art-blog here .
I will fill you in on the trip on Sunday or Monday as I will not get a chance earlier. The next week or two are busy with Angling Club AGMs, it's that time of year with all getting ready for the main start of the season for eastern waters on March the first, followed by some on the 17th. It can be confusing, Here in Dublin the reservoir at the head of the Dodder river opens on the 1st of March, the river itself opens on the 17th. This may have something to do with the lakes at the top being fly only. I must get busy tying some flies now though.

Monday, February 04, 2008

We have had poor weather for the last week, wet windy and cold. The forecast is for much of the same for this week too. I had to drive over to the midlands yesterday for a meeting and conditions on the road were poor, gusting gale force winds, sleet, rain & snow, air temperature at midday of 1 degree celcius. I was not looking forward to the trip home, but luckily I was able to leave early and I managed to get most of the way home before dark, and more importantly any frost or ice forming. Although I have not done a great deal of work since my last post, I have delivered two paintings, but I still need to get stuck in to another project that is fairly urgent at the moment. I need to get into town for a few art supplies too. I am going to need the break when I get to Amsterdam, but I am going to spend a full day in the Van Gogh museum..... mind you when I see his work up close and in the flesh it is excellent, clean clear wet on wet oil paint with no muddiness, a light brush touch casually placing paint down.......but it is quite depressing when you compare your own work to it. I'm sure I'll get to see some other art as well though, unless I need a couple of days in the VG.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am still working away at the commission pieces. I did find time to do a couple of small works also though, but I have two more works to do. I will try to finish them in the next week though.I am trying to get everything organised before I go away, but I have finished the main work that was needed for the end of the month. I will be busy next month with my trips because I have my fishing trip over in Galway for the opening of the trout season on the 15th, and my trip to the Van Gogh exhibition also. I know, it's a hard life... ....but someones go to do it.

I had an afternoons flyfishing for Pike yesterday, but had no luck. I am trying to get myself organised for our trip to Corrib too, I have my new fly lines loaded onto the reels. I have new spools of flourocarbon and monofilament too, I have hooks bought for tying flies, the only item I need to get now is new chest waders, as my old ones are taking in water, but they will do for the boat as wet gear, it is just a little damp fishing in rivers when wading, I think it is pin-prick holes or leaking seams. I am looking forward to starting the trout fishing again.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, and tight Lines for 2008.
I haven't been posting since New Years Day, I have been a little busy painting. I am also in negotiations for a commission to design a number of concepts for promotion and packaging. It might be profitable. I have to start work on another commissioned work over the weekend too as the client wants it by the end of the month. I will have my work cut out for the next couple of weeks, but it is a good complaint. I still don't have anything to replace sold works on my website as what I had has all gone, and I have no other older works available than are already on it. I must try to create a few quicker works just to fill the site up again. Obviously I'm not going fishing for a while either.