Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Days on the Nore, Kilkenny

This year the Nore proved to be a challenging venue due to the heavy rain fall and its large catchment area. Even though I did get some good fishing on the nymphs earlier on in the season, April and May was very good fishing producing some cracking brown trout and a nice Salmon on the streamers and my five weight fly rod. The Nore is a vast river and there is many places to fish for trout, the salmon anglers do tend to hold preference on some beats but the majority of the river is open to all anglers and permits are easily obtained for a range of prices; one of my favorite marks would be Durrow in Co Laois and day tickets are available in the local news agents for 20 euro per day or a yearly one for 40 euro.
The river was a bit high on Friday and the water temperatures have dropped slightly, knowing that the streamers would be the best method to extract some fish but in my hast to get to the river I left my five weight streamer line at home. So I tackled up the three weight nymphing rod, I began in a nice flow of water and it took a few changes to find the right nymph and more importantly the right weight of nymph. Once I got the weight right I hit a few sporting fish and foul hook a good fish that took some playing before i could get him to the net. I fished on and picked up some fish in the calmer margins of the run, on a large peeping caddis and a pheasant tail with a bright green thorax. The fish seemed to be lying in out of the heavy currents and this proved to be the case for the rest of the day.
I moved up through the river and fished several nice runs picking up a few fish here and there, nothing to exciting but a productive enough day was had, the majority of the fish all came to the fore mention flies and a light Hares ears jig hook nymph that is a great fly in dark waters and is a real go to fly when the fishing is tough.
This particular stretch on the river is generally fished by Salmon anglers and the evidence of a lot of fishing could be seen on the banks of the river perhaps this has taking its toll on the trout stocks. However this water is usually stuffed with big trout and is a pleasure to fish,  when the river is fishing well it is right up there with the likes of the Suir and its other sister rivers, also the beats are only a short drive from the house and town center. The local club is very active and keep the banks well trimmed and fishing without permits will result in fines. 
The flies were both on Hends jig hooks and had a 3.2mm sliver tungsten beads, which i found more productive than gold beads this season. A few turns of lead in the under-body, and for the pheasant tail I used  Hends spectra dubbing on the thorax and burnt orange wire for the rib. The hares ear is just made of two different colors of the dubbing brushed out through a sliver rib and partridge tail. I recommend that any angler passing by the Marble City next year should stop off and sample some of its fine fishing. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fishing in the Glens of Antrim

I just spent the last week in the wonderful Glens of Antrim and manged to squeeze in a bit of sea fishing. I had hoped to fish for some sea trout around Cushendun and Cushendall bays, but due to very stormy seas the trout move out beyond my cast. Normally this time of the year the trout are quite close to the shore and can offer the angler some cracking fishing on lures and flies. So I tackled up to see if i can catch some bass, this region is not commonly known for its bass fishing but I gave five long high tides in blustery conditions and it proved to be fruitful. 
This part of the country is truly stunning and a place I recommend for all people to visit some time. For the fisher person it is a heaven for the sea and fresh water anglers, with hill loughs spotted around and spate streams making there way through the hills to the sea. I began fishing from the Cushendun beach at 5am on Tuesday morning and struggled to catch anything for quite some time, eventually I managed to come to terms with the strong gusty winds and picked up one small bass coming close to the end of the session. 
I visited the local tackle shops during the day and gathered some information and fresh bait for the evening to come, there is a good and fairly well stocked tackle shop in Ballycastle and one in Cushendall but their prices seem to be a little more than the fore mention shop. After a good rest and some work I headed back out again to a near by location close to the morning beach, the tide was just right and i baited up some rag worms and tipped the baits with some mackerel. Again the stormy seas proved to be challenging but the bass were obliging once again I picked up several nice bass weighing in around 3-4 lbs each. 
For the next two tides the results were around the same and productive enough, though on Thursday morning the wind left and the seas calmed down and with this the bass became harder to find. With a change of location and tackle I managed to pick up some nice pollack from rocks that jetted out from the rigid coast line. 
Over all   the fishing was productive enough through out the five sessions considering the conditions and I didn't manage to get any sea trout but maybe next time. This location is a must for all sea anglers the beauty and life of the coast line is breathtaking and the fishing is eventful to say the least. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Kells Blackwater River

Over the last year I have crossed this river a number of times just outside Kells town in Co Meath, and always looking out my car window seeing the numerous fingers of water that flowed along and I wondered how productive the catch would be for a day on the fly. Any angler that approaches a unfamiliar river for the first time has a gut feeling and just by looking at the lush vegetation and rich bed I had a good feeling that I would be in for a sporting afternoon.
The river has a active club, The Kells Anglers Association and day tickets are available at a cost of 20 euro for the day and 10 euro for the evening session. Once I got my day permit from the local Tackle shop and gathered some information from the locals I parked my car just five minutes outside the town and tackled up in hast. It only took the first few seconds of the nymph in the water before a lovely plump trout snapped it up and this form continued for the majority of the fist couple runs that I fished. I then traveled up a nice stretch of the river, fishing pockets here and there and admiring the fabulous water quality and wildlife living here. 
Nymphing up stream with my 3 weight Hends rod suited perfect and I was using a leader of 6x and around 7foot long to my indicator, wading was also very easy underfoot and in a lot of the first section of the river was unnecessary; due to the river dividing into several small fingers and just kneeling behind the rushes and reaching out was sufficient. 
Throughout the afternoon I changed many flies and found that the usual suspects worked well such as the pheasants tails with tags and different colour dubbing behind the gold beads, mostly the smaller nymphs produced the most fish, around size 14-18. A Stripped Quill micro nymph and a Olive Shrimp pattern proved to be the most attractive to the fish throughout the afternoon. I also managed to pick up a few fish on the dry fly when the sun appeared and temperatures rose slightly, the fish came to a small Hares Ear Sedge.

Time to head home, the evening is closing in and the Autumn chill is setting in for the night, the fish counter read 41 fish over competition size so I went home quite happy. This is a wonderful little river with lots of fish and an abundance of life, the general stock of fish is around 9-11 inches with some quite larger and sporting fish also to be had.  I look forward to next year to visit it again perhaps not so late in the season.