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.  

1 comment:

  1. Just spent two days on the Avonmore and it is all true. You must “work” to catch these beautiful wild browns, but what a lovely river for doing it. If new to the area, a local guide is a wise choice.