Friday, March 16, 2012

Fishing in Wicklow

Fishing the Avonmore River in Co Wicklow

I was lucky enough to grow up in the foot of the Co Wicklow hills in a village called Rathdrum. At the bottom of the hill ran the river Avonmore through oak forests, towering pines in the vale of Avondale and the stunning Meeting of the Waters. The river rises above Roundwood in Lough Dan and travels over a granite bed for 35 miles till it enters the sea in Arklow.  Just 50 mins from Dublin this remote angling location will give all anglers challenges and rewards.
I spent my childhood and a lot of my adult life fishing the runs and pools that are the character's of this fast flowing river. Due to its high acidity the water is very hard and fish take that bit longer to grow. However there is a large stock of wild brown trout averaging 8 to 10 inches and there is quite a few larger fish to be hunted also.  While I was developing as a fly angler the traditional wet fly fishing with spiders produced some class fishing, moving on in years nymphing behind the large boulders became the preferred methods to entice the trout to take.
The river joins the Avonbeg river at the senic meeting of the waters to form the Avoca river, the Avonbeg is well wort fishing but it is a little over grown and can be tricky to fish for the novice angler.

The Avonmore river is without a doubt one of the most stunning venues through out Ireland for any angler, it is wild and rugid, full of fast water and pools. However wading can be tricky and a wading staff is advised. The best location to begin would be in Rathdrum at the Mill bridge and you can fish up or down river for around 10 miles each way. Day tickets are available from the local club and can be bought in the local shop in the village. You also can pop into see Pat Cullen for some angling advice and a huge selection of flies that will catch fish. Competitions are regulary held on the river and are good social event to meet local anglers, the club promotes catch and release and any Salmon or Sea Trout caught must be returned to the water unharmed.

The black and sliver spider, the greenwells spider and Partridge & Orange tied on size 16s will produce fish for the wet fly angler during the early part of the season, the river gets god hatches of olives and during the summer a superb hatch of sliver sedge's. Hares ear nymphs and pheasant tails weighted with bright tags would be the most productive method to use, I have found that the peeping caddis to be one of the better patterns.

This river is a must for all anglers to experience and enjoy, it has a abundance of wildlife and stunning scenery. Persistence will pay with good quality trout but once you see the river you will understand there is so many places to hide for the fish so leave no area of the pool un-fished and you will find the fish. Enjoy.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Making your own Leaders for Light Nymphing and Dry Fly

Making up your own leaders and deciding on their structure can create a debate that involves a mass of recommendations and advice from many sources. I generally find that simple is better and this is some of the leaders I use in waters all over and find them very effective and easy to make up. 
Just like fly-tying stick to what and the material you have confidence in and you will never go to far wrong. 

Starting from the fly line here is the leader I use for Dry Flies
This can be made of the mono, bicolour strike as an indicator or the material of your preference.  
Use blood knots to join the pieces together
After this you can add in your tippet material of your choice e.g.: frog hair or stroft.

Once you make up the leader without the tippet you must boil the leader for exactly 3mins, bring a sauce pan to the boil and turn down the heat to allow to simmer and place in the leader and time it.

the over all length of the leader should be 16.39 the the tippet will bring it to 18 foot.

This is the leader I use for light Nymphing
This can be made of the mono or bicolour strike indicator also this can be drop or spring indicator, I like to make my own spiral out of Stren this works really well.
I often use a second indicator in the third or fourth section for when I am fishing shallow water and only half the leader is in the water, this can be made of straight bicolour strike indicator or Stren, but must be the correct diameter.

Again you must boil this leader to give it a stretch and this will help stop you snapping off the tippet when you are using very small nymphs. This leader will allow a much tighter roll over and slap down the nymphs into the water letting the nymph to penetrate the surface film quicker.

These products will enhance your visibility of takes and are very easy to add to your cast.

The springs can act as flotation devices also especially the larger spirals which are very good for suspending  small mircro nymphs over weed or dirty river beds.

The springs are ideal for spotting those gentle takes from nervous trout

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hends 2/3 Weight Fly Rod With Extension

Hends Rod XP 9003/ 1023 with Extender
2/3 Weight 9ft-10ft 2
With light nymphing and micro nymphing becoming more and more advanced and popular amongst anglers the development of the necessary weight and capable fly rods is also advancing.  Hends Products have designed a fly rod to suit the contemporary angler, this rod is made of five sections and one section is to extend the rod from a 9ft to a 10ft 2 in fly rod. For those who love light weight nymphing or delicate dry fly fishing this rod has everything from length, balance to the beautiful finish.  

This style of rod has been used on the competition scene by the Czech anglers for a while now, it allows the angler to switch from an ideal fast dry fly rod of 9ft to a softer 10ft 2in nymphing rod that will move and support small micro nymphs without threading or disassembling your initial set up, using one reel with two spools allows you to fish various environments without carrying a second rod.

The rods weighs only 87 grams with the extension piece and Hends offer a two year warranty on any defects in the building of the rod and its 39euro to replace any section you break. The rod is available in 2/3 weights and 4 weight for a very competitive price of 274 euro. Along with the rod you get a durable and presentable rod tube that is capable of taking three rods along with a sleeve to protect your Hends rod.

As a serious competition angler I really cannot fault this rod in any way it allows me to change tactics and methods of fishing so quickly and the presentation of my dry flies and nymphs is very effective.  This rod will be the main fishing instrument I will use in the up and coming World Fly Fishing Finals in Slovenia.

Check out www.irishflytying.com for more information on ordering your new rod or if you would like to know more drop me a line.