I spent two days this week on the Nore and some of its tributaries with some good friends chasing brown trout and discussing many aspects of trout fishing. The weather was slightly overcast and breezy which made for good enough fishing conditions but the low levels of water did prove to be challenging at times.
Trout fishing around Kilkenny can often be passed over for fishing on the River Suir which is not to far away, or salmon fishing on the local rivers throughout this area. I generally find the brown trout fishing in this region fairly good and mostly forgotten leaving it untouched in places and its mostly for a very reasonable price. The one thing I enjoy mostly about fishing these waters is you rarely bump into another angler and you can enjoy the elegant surroundings at peace.
With the Nore making its way through miles of lush banks and is fairly accessible from the towns of Durrow down to Inistioge there is an abundance of fishing to be had on its runs, riffles and super glides for your dries. The range of fish vary here also with a solid stock of fish from 10 to 12 inches, there is also many good quality trout running into several pound in weight to be had. There are clubs on the rivers however and permits can be obtained at good prices for the day or for a full season.
There are also many great tributaries to the Nore which include the Kings River in Kells, Dinan in Castlecomer and the Erkina in Durrow among others; these rivers also hold great stocks of fish and are good options if the main river is fishing slow or in heavy water. The majority of this fishing is only a 20 minute drive or less from the town so changing location or river on any day won't take too long from your fishing.
We spent Wednesday on the Nore just outside Kilkenny on the Bennettsbridge side of town where the river begins to widen out and the water type is good for dries with some productive nymphing runs breaking up the long glides. With the fish lying low during the day the most productive method was the dry dropper, fishing a simple system of a tapered leader down to 0.12 tippet; the dry fly was tied on a smaller dropper than normal and below this was two nymphs, one around two and a half foot away on another dropper and the point fly was in the region of five foot from the dry.
Fished up stream the two nymphs working at different levels didn't have to travel long before they were picked up by a fish. Also using a dry that the fish see as a meal we picked up some rising trout in the margins on the dry fly, it was simply a size 12 Hears ear klinkhammer with an orange post and grizzle hackle, I find this dry very successful for this set up as it is very visible even in broken water and will suspend two 2.5 mm beaded nymphs, plus it is quite attractive to the fish. I also like to coat the fly in water shed before I fish it so it stays up longer.
On Thursday we tested out some of the tributaries around the area and found the fishing tough enough as the water levels were extremely low but we still managed some good fish beading the small light fast water. Using very light tippet and going down to a single stripped quill nymph with a 2mm bead was a productive approach for this water condition . Changing to a sedge pattern on a short cast and quickly casting into the streams we picked up a couple of nice fish, but we didn't allow the fly to sit too long on the water before you recast it again into the stream giving the fish only a brief moment to make their mind up on the take. You can cover a lot of pockets and streams quite quickly this way picking up the fish that are looking up.
After a few hours break we headed out for the evening rise on the Nore just on the edge of town. This section of water has some stunning weirs and turbulent water leveling out into really good glides where a lot of fish tend to hold this time of year. The temperatures dropped a bit in the evening and even though we managed some really good fishing the explosion of rising fish didn't really happen that we had hoped for; by eleven it had passed and time to retire from the river.
With a huge variety of fishing to be had around the town of Kilkenny its well worth a visit for a day or two; you might be surprised with the results and would be impressed with the scenery along with the cost. If you would like any information on permits, location or whats working where, you can contact me on my email and i'll be glad to point you in the right direction. I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have any comments or questions please feel free to post them below. Thanks for reading and thank you to my friend Danny Lahart for the pictures.