Saturday, December 28, 2013


I spent today on a nice sized lake Situated in Ardera, Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny and covering over 2.5 acres, stocked with good Rainbow and Brown trout. Ardaire Springs was the venue for myself and two of my angling buddies to have our Xmas meet up. We were blessed with the weather and in the sunshine it was even warm enough for midges and daises to make an appearance, and so too did the trout. Dave Donvan, Hubert Smith and myself began fishing around 11 and it was not long before we began meeting fish, for me it was on a orange diawl bach and Dave meet his pulling some slim streamers. It was 20 euro for the day on the Lake and it has a nice tackle shop there if you forget something.  

After an hour or so we began to move clockwise around the lake and again we began to meet more good quality fish. I had switched over to buzzers and caught a nice fish on a gold buzzer with a bead head. Hubert fished a bung with some blood worms and a sunburst blob, this proved to be very successful for him as he picked up some nice fish. As you can see him here landing one of those fish. The fish in the lake are really good quality fish well matured and well able to fight. There is both Browns and Rainbows in the lake. There was plenty of fish showing around lunch time and after a short spell and fairly unproductive session on the dries I switched over to the bung also due to Hubert's catch rate on this set up. It was not long before it proved to be the right decision and I picked up a couple of fish on a Blood worm. Dave was still on the lures and also meeting some good fish on a slim white and olive streamer with a yellow bead head, the tail on this streamer is two and a half times the length of the body and moves quite well in the water.
We did find in the afternoon that the fish were taking very softly under the bung and hook ups was on a lesser percentage that misses, you would either not feel anything on the strike of the fish would come off quickly. There is some small fry in the lake as one popped out of a trouts mouth when I landed him and we fished some small fry patterens in the afternoon and again the fish were just plucking at the tails and not committing to the take. The bung and slow retrieving blood worms proved to be the most productive method for the day along with the slim streamer day. Most other anglers here on the day appeared to be on more or less the same methods slow retrieving floating lines with buzzer, nymphs or blood worms on the leaders. This a really nice and well kept fishery and ill visit it again in the future, it has really good conditioned fish and they can fight too; the banks are very clean with seating and I didn't come across much weed under the surface which is a petty hate of mine. The depths vary from 10 to 17 foot and has some nice small islands and bays. Well worth a visit and a nice bag of chips on the way home to finish off a good day catching up with some friends.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next on this blog just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jig Hook Nymphs for 2014 Season

This is the time of the year when I ponder over some fly tying and start getting ready for the coming season. Due to having no Grayling in Ireland means that we can spend our winter either chasing stockies or tying some flies for the coming March. It is always at this time of the year that I develop some patterens that have worked for me last season, over the next two or three months ill be tying away and ill post up what I am doing for the coming season. This year I will be tying a lot more of size 18 jig hook nymphs with large beads probably 3mm or 3.2 to 3.5mm beads, with slim flashy bodies CDC hackles and tails. The use of CDC as the tails and hackles gives  the flies great life when in the water. The CDC you use is important and the mix of colours as ill point out to you through the different posts.

Here is a few that i have done for the coming season:

Hook: Size 18 Hends jig BJ120 
Bead: 3.2mm slotted tungsten sliver bead with a flat lead under-body
Thread: Black twist tying thread
Tail: Cock De Leon
Tag: Glo-brite no 8
Body: Olive twist thread under Pearl Tinsel
Hackle: Black CDC
Collar: Hends spectra dubbing no 46.

Hook: Size 18 Hends jig BJ120 
Bead: 3mm slotted tungsten sliver bead with a flat lead underbody
Thread: Olive twist tying thread
Tail: Olive CDC
Body: Pearl tinsel  
Hackle: Olive CDC
Collar: Hends UV ice dubbing no 97.

You can also check out some more nymphs similar to these at http://peterdriver.blogspot.ie/2013/10/jig-hook-nymphs-with-cdc.html. Always make sure that your CDC hackles are much longer than the hook length and your bodies are slim as can be with the lead under under-body. Over the next while ill be posting more patterens that will be worth trying next season so keep an eye on this blog or join it by signing in. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the post if you have any comments or questions please pop them into the box below. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I recently joined two fellow angling friends to make up the team called March Browns and headed across the waters to fish the Grayling festival in Wales on the river Dee. I had been meaning to fish this competition for many years now and just never seemed to get around to it, so I was really looking forward to it when we managed to get a late entry place thanks to a team from Norway not being able to make the event. It was nice to be getting in some river fishing in December which is a first for me on rivers anyway.We set sail on Thursday mid afternoon on choppy seas and with a doggy forecast ahead we had our fingers crossed that we would get in some fishing over the weekend. Much to our delight the Dee valley had escaped the worst of the rain and the river was in perfect condition.
We settled into the Hand Hotel on the in Thursday night and on Friday morning meet with Mr Ken Bathers the main organizer for the competition who introduced us to Max our guide for the practice day. Once the introduction was over we set of rambling through the Welsh countryside to the section of river we were to fish for the day.
We fished the beat below section C under the viaduct till 4pm and had quite a good day after a slow start catching plenty of nice Grayling and a few good trout. Most fish came to larger nymphs such as hares ears and pheasant tails with small tags and copper beads, also picking up some fish on small Rats fished under a dry fly and some gold beaded wet flies in the slacker water.
27 teams from all over the UK and some from Europe made up a very talented field of fishermen the draw took place that night during the captains meeting and we fared ok not what we had hope for but ok, and so we prepared for the first day of the competition to come on Saturday morning, with a few good pints.

C9 was our first beat with Robbie doing Steward for the Polish Nymphs while my self and Dave struggled a bit and the winter Grayling fishing had proven to be a bit more tougher that we had thought but we picked up three good Grayling and the scored ok for the morning. Picking up our fish on peeping caddis and copper Hares ear nymphs in the deep runs with wading not to easy either, most anglers went for a swim through out the competition.
The afternoon we had a slightly better section with 4 fish coming for it and giving us 4 place points leaving us in 17 place for the first day which was not ideally were we would of liked being but was ok, with our poor catches. Compared to some of the other teams who were scoring good Grayling and quite a few of them too. There methods varied from ours and was proving to be more effective. Robbie had this nice Grayling for 46cm and this quality of fish were to be seen through out the competition. Again our fish came to large Hares ears in the deep water and quite a few brown trout were returned on this session also. 
For the third session I was off stewarding the Polish Nymph team on sector B and it was a pleasure to watch the bronze medal winners take out 11 Grayling on down stream nymphing , bunging and shuffling, methods we were obviously not using. There nymph patterns were not to unlike ours but the down stream approach was very effective in the slow ends of the pools where the Grayling were more plentiful. Also the Polish guys managed a fine small salmon, not the first or last to be caught in this competition and some nice trout through out there session.
Dave and Robbie fishing in the beat above the Polish managed four nice fish to hold our spot of 17th place for the tournament.  Out of 27 teams this finish will have to do for this year and we hope to improve on it in 2014, with some more experience of fishing for winter Grayling which I look forward to.
The tournament overall was a complete success and to all those involved in its organisation well done on a great job you even managed to keep the rain away and the river was in perfect condition. To the top three teams well done on some cracking catches and good angling; first place was England Dunkelds with 53 fish , second was Czech Fly Fishing with 56 fish and third was Polish Nymphs with 23 fish; the longest fish was 49 cm and a total of 612 Grayling caught. The sportsmanship and friendly atmosphere that is created in this beautiful part of Wales is well worth travelling to and we look forward to hunting Grayling once again In  November 2014 on the river Dee.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next on this blog just sign in and follow me. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Some good Sedge's and how to fish them.

Sedge's are one of the most important species of fly for fly fishermen who chase wild brown trout. There is nothing like seeing a sedge fluttering across or floating on the surface of a river or lake, especially when we see that great wake or hear the big 'sloop' as it is swallowed down by a greedy trout. There are actually over 200 species of sedge flies identified in Ireland and the UK but generally only 20 are of major interest or concern for the fly fishermen.

There are many great sedge fly dressings out there, particularly the Goddard's Caddis and Elk Hair Caddis patterns that have provided deadly

sport on both rivers and lakes for decades. Another great fly imitating the caddis is the stimulator, various patterns of these imitations have evolved to be very productive on our Irish western lakes during the summer windy days. The natural behavior of a sedge is to skate across the surface of the water leaving a wake and making noise which in turn attracts hungry fish. This makes our tied imitations of these flies not only good lake flies in windy days when trout are looking up but also good to suspend buzzers or nymphs below on rivers, lakes and not only act as an indicator for the angler but tweaked across the surface will attract trout up to the sedge or take the nymphs below. 
When on the river and your set up is drifting down stream try stopping the sedge which forces the suspended nymph to rise and then drop again when the sedge is released on to continue its dead drift down stream this can be very effective for grayling as-well as trout.

Also on lakes and reservoirs, a team of flies with some buzzers or nymphs along with a good sized sedge suspending them, is best positioned in the feeding zone, which can commonly be only 18" to 2 feet down during that time of the year when sedge's are about. Simple slow retrieves of the sedge fly, about 12 to 18 inches at a time with a pause between retrieves, causes the sedge to ripple across the lake, simultaneously lifting the buzzer which then drops

back down into the feeding zone. This technique looks both like a natural sedge moving across the water and the buzzer lifts and drops like the natural buzzer emerging in the water. Fishing with Stimulator's in this manner is a deadly summer technique, especially early in the evening as the sedge's are more prevalent on the lake. Also this method on stocked lakes with blood worms as the tail fly can be irresistible to rainbow trout.

Do not be afraid of using two sedge's on a dry fly set up. This can be highly productive on rivers fishing fast water and keeping your dries as close to you as you can with very little line or tippet on the water, doing this you can maximize your catch very quickly. Even pull the sedge's across the current at the same time pulling them under the ripples and they in turn will pop back up as you lift your rod tip up this disturbance and movement in the runs will most definitely attract the trouts attention; thus increasing your rise rates.
I have found that fishing sedge hogs, which are generally associated with lough style, can be very very productive on rivers fishing this method. 

In the European Championships in Poland some years ago fishing a large Olive sedge hog proved to be very productive when a rise began in one session and left me in a positive fifth place for that session. Also I regularly fish these sedge's in the small tributaries of the River Nore, pulling them across the current in the evenings have given me some cracking fishing.  Deer hair is a very common factor in most sedge patterns and is vital to the success of the dressing and the flies presentation to the trout.

When I am on or heading to the river for a session knowing that sedge's are on the menu, I will always tie patterns that can be trimmed, if I don't already know the correct size of the natural sedge. I have found that having the correct length and size of the tied fly is crucial to be exactly the same as the natural one. 

I do think we should be more adventurous with sedge fishing and look to our techniques of fishing them especially in rivers and on fast water, keep your flies close to you and using stealth to hide your position from the trout, skate your flies across the runs, almost like our methodology of nymphing. Being experimental with your tying and getting your sedge's to sit in the water in different ways is also an important factor in trying to get the trout to take your fly over the natural sedge that is beside it on the water. I have found over the last number of seasons that I get better results with much simpler tied flies than complex patterns that seem to catch more anglers than fish, so concentrate on your sizes and profiles and you won't go too far off matching the natural. These are my two most reliable sedge dressings:

Hook: Dohiku Barbless Dry fly hook  size 14
Thread: Olive Twist tying thread
Rib: Clear 1.5lb mono
Dubbing: Tag is Spectra no 96 and body is no 46 spectra dubbing
Body Hackle: Grizzle Cock
Wing: natural deer hair firstly then CDC lightly over the deer hair.

Hook: Hends Barbless Dry fly hook 404 size 14
Thread: Black Twist tying thread
Tag: Glo- brite no 12 
Dubbing: Hares ear mixed with a small bit of UV ice dubbing then brushed out really well.
Wing: natural deer hair firstly then 2 CDC  feathers tied over the deer hair.

The first fly is one I use commonly on the fast water it sits up quite well and is a hard dry to sink, I would fish two of these on the white water of a run and drag them across to get a fishes attention. The second sedge dressing is more for the calmer water and I tend to tie the wing a bit longer and pluck off some of the length from the CDC to match the length of the natural on the water, this sedge sits well into the water and by brushing out the body give it a very attractive and fishy look. You can play around with the tag on the second fly and try out some different colours.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next on this blog just sign in and follow me. Thanks for reading and if you are looking for any of the materials used just follow the links to irishflytying.com where you will find all you need. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some Tips on Working with Dubbing

I have been asked many times by other anglers and I find myself asking the same question every time I sit at the vice, what can I do to better my tying and continue to develop my flies; it can be a frustrating question at times and the answer is different for every pattern. But there is one area that I have been focusing on, adding to and developing my dubbing by mixing it to achieve desired looks and movement from it.
Often the dubbing can be a bit overlooked by ribs, body hackles and the like, especially in lough style tying, where by working the dubbing through the dressing and by using mixed dubbings can help create very attractive and full bodied flies that work well with and in the water. I spend a good bit of time mixing dubbings to create different and sometimes effective changes to patterns, then by brushing them out at different stages or applying them in different ways to the hook I tend to gain more confidence in the fly which also I feel is a very important component of fishing the fly effectively.
Spending a week with some Polish fly dressers several years ago I saw them making all their own dubbings and how effectively their methods enhanced their flies, I began to do the same and have continued to do so till today for some of my dubbing.  I am always on the look out to buy packets of different and unusual dubbings from different places and when I am tying a fly I'll mix the different materials to get my desired look from that fly. Also buying and dying wool's can be a good source to experiment with, mixing dubbing and getting different looks to your flies; chop them up, blend them and  mixing them through with other materials you can create wonderful colours and textures.
There is a few things that will help you achieve unique colours and textures in dubbing and dressings, two of the most important tools you will need you won't find in any fly-tying shop and they are:
A Tooth Brush

This tooth brush has brushed out thousands of flies for me and remains one of the most important tools on my desk. You must trim down the fibers as seen this allows you to have short hard bristles to the front to dig out the dubbing and longer ones at the back to drag the dubbin fibers in the right direction giving you what I call the fishy look to the fly. Brushing the body at several stages while making the fly gives you that nice folded back look on your hackles and draws out the fibers of dubbing out through the hackle or rib. Some tiers also use a stick with some velcro stuck to it for this brush but I do find the trimmed back brush digs deeper into the body. But you do want to make sure your dubbing is tied in well and maybe even spun onto the hook so when you are brushing it out you don't expose the under body.

A Coffee Blender
This device is the best way to mix dubbing, if I am mixing up Hares ear dubbing I trim the hare and put it into the blender I use different parts of the mask to achieve the tone I am looking for, then I might add in some other synthetic dubbing like Hends UV Ice or spectra Dubbing and blend it all up, if it does not turn out right then I just add more of either dubbing till I get it right. 
As you can see from this picture i have three different tones and textures of hare dubbing from the same mask depending on how I have mixed it and where I have trimmed it from the different parts of the hares mask and added in some synthetic materials to enhance some of the dubbing. 
The blender is also very important for mixing up your wool's you must cut it up into lengths, short sections will give you a fine dubbing and long sections will achieve a more course texture, once blended up you can add in other products to give the required effect. 

Point to note the blender won't cut the dubbing but if you blend it for too long it can heat up so its worth doing the blending in short bursts. Its really worth trying different stuff in the blender like Glo-brite and see what you get, one of my favorite dubbings is red egg yarn cut up and add in UV Ice dubbing, I use this in a lot of flies for hot spots, bodies, tags and anywhere else I feel it will be effective and trout love it.
Here you can see how brushing out and using the different Hares ears dubbing in this nymph has created a real fishy and scraggy look that looks really natural when in the water and more importantly attractive to fish.
I am always on the look out for different materials that I can cut up and blend into or with other furs and hairs to create unique looking dubbings for my flies, this can include carpets and rugs. But I can't over state the importance of the tooth brush and brushing your dubbings out to give your fly's extra life.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see what post I am doing next  just sign in and follow this blog. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


If I was heading to the west of Ireland fishing on the great lakes like Lough Corrib, Conn or Mask I would not be going with out some of these flies tied up as I always have had good fishing on them any time of the year from the first weekend of the season to the last few days in October. The Fiery Brown fly is renowned in general to be a versatile fly through out the lough angling World. It can represent fresh water shrimp in the early part of the season, duck fly in the spring also and sedge's in the summer.
Fishing out of Ballindiff Bay a few years ago for the opening day of the season myself and my boat man Joe Trill had a cracking day landing several good trout on on the following fly. Fishing it on the point with clear fast intermediate lines the trout couldn't resist it and out on the Corrib in February meeting a few fish helped us to take our minds of the freezing wind.

Dubbing: Fiery Brown Hares dubbing mixed with some orange spectra flash 
Beard Hackle: Brown Hen Hackle
Cheeks: Jungle cock split in half and tied in on each side. 

The next dabbler dressing was on a team of flies that I fished on the Corrib in late September three years ago when I fished the national finals out of Oughterard Bay, in a high blustery wind this fly was my top dropper and attracted a lot of the trout I took that day.

Tail: Cock Pheasant 
Dubbing: Fiery Brown Hares dubbing Mixed with some orange spectra flash 
Body Hackle: Brown Hen Hackle
Under Wing: Badger Hackle Dyed orange and several strands of Hends Krystal Flash 

During a summer session on lough Mask a few years ago with my dad who was just getting over a heart operation we had fantastic fishing in a summer breeze ginking up some fiery brown bumbles and sat them out on the lake for the cruising trout to feed on, I thought that the excitement of the rising trout was going to put my dad back into the hospital.
Dubbing: Fiery Brown Hares dubbing Mixed with some orange spectra flash 
Body Hackle: Brown Hen Hackle with Badger dyed orange 
Cheeks: Sunburst Turkey Biots.
Shoulder Hackle: Partridge dyed Brown.

I do tend to add a lot of orange into my fiery brown dressings I find that it gives it a nice brightness and attraction point to the fly in dark or turned up waters when the wind is blowing up the waves. These fly's are worth tying and I give them a swim on most days when I am out on the lakes; like all my fly's they will have there good days and days when the fish just wont look at much but I do find that these patterns will produce takes when the fish tend not to look at much else. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below l, also if you would like to see what post I am doing next  just sign in and follow this blog. click on any of the materials and the links will lead you to where you can find them. Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Few Weighted Wet Fly's Worth Having in Your Fly Box

Three traditional wet fly patterns that have been catching fish for decades and continue to do so today are  the Wickhams Fancy, the Black and Silver and the Greenwells Golry. Swinging these fly's on a intermediate line down and across some fast water was the only method I knew as fly-fishing growing up.  I have studied many other disciplines in fishing sense then but the flys that formed the foundations of mine and  many young anglers are still as productive. I do however tie many forms and colours of the original dressings and I will post some more of these variations shortly, but here is some of my point wet fly's that I use during the early part of the season or when there is high water. I vary my retrieves once the fly has swung around from its starting position and on occasions I will submerge the tip of my rod to allow the fly to swim deeper in the current, very similar to today's method of streamer fishing. These fly's should be fished on the point and smaller versions on the droppers without the bead head as a team of two or three. 

The Black & silver

Hook: Size 12 Hends BL200
Thread: Black twist thread 
Bead: Black Tungsten size 3mm
Tag: Glo-Brite no 5
Body: Dual Mylar tinsel 
Hackle: Soft black Hen Hackle 

This fly is a must when a shower of rain falls, trout feed heavily on it at that point.

The Greenwells 

Hook: Size 12 Hends BL200
Thread: Olive twist thread 
Bead: GoldTungsten size 3mm
Tail: Coq De Leon fibers 
Tag: Glo-Brite no 12
Body: Primrose thread 
Rib: Gold wire 
Hackle: Soft Greenwells Hen Hackle.

The Wickhams Fancy  

Hook: Size 12 Hends BL200
Thread: Olive twist thread 
Bead: GoldTungsten size 3mm
Tail: Ginger hackle fibers 
Body: Dual Mylar tinsel
Rib: Gold wire 
Hackle: Ginger Cock Hackle.
Wing: Starling or mallard wing
This fly is excellent when the water is slightly coloured before or after a flood. 

These fly's are well worth having this coming spring for those hungry trout, enter your email to follow this blog and see what I will be doing next as it is the time of the year to strip out my fly boxes and start retying and developing most of my patterns. Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy tying these fly's.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Colum Driver memorial banks competition Rathdrum Trout Anglers

On Saturday the 26th I joined several members of my family and friends for the second memorial Colum Driver competition in my home village of Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. The event was held on our lake just out side the village that is well stocked with rainbows some of which have been well seasoned and take a bit of craft to catch. This lake was developed by my Dad over the last number of years and the local club host several youth training days here through out the year teaching the kids fishing methodologies and water craft with safety aspects of fly fishing. It is a small but nice sized lake that has matured well and is open to anyone that is passing by, just drop us a line here or on Facebook and we can arrange it for you. Also if you have or know any youths in this area they can come along to the many training days that the club host through out the year on fly-fishing and fly-tying.

Cloum was instrumental in my angling education growing up and taught me many aspects of fly fishing that I constantly remind my self of when I am approaching a river, even though a lot has changed sense then in the way of nymphing and our equipment the fundamentals of his methods are still the same. Colum was one of the most patient anglers I have ever came across, he always keep his method and approach to his fishing as simple as possible and he always got the rewards; he did not angle for the fish he hunted them.
Colum was a traditionalist at heart when it came to fly fishing and all you would find in his bag would be a box of wet flies probably mostly around size 12 to 14s Black and Slivers, Butchers, Greenwells Glories, Wickams Fancy and maybe a few dries that wouldn't be far off mayfly sizes.  Along with these flies he would hit the river with a seven weight rod a pair of thigh waders, a spool of 6-8 pound Maxima and that was it. He would stroll along the river bank and find a spot where he thought there would be a good trout lying under some cover and flick his fly under the hanging branches and more than likely a good trout would be there waiting to feed on his large wet fly when it swung around to the near bank, tweaking the fly as it swam through the current. Colum never fished any of the methods we commonly use today but his reading of the water and understanding of the fishes behavior was exceptional and it is these traits that I regularly refer to when I am out hunting trout on a river today. 
The day started at ten when we gathered and made the draw, the competition was ran as a rapid fire competition you had to move pegs ever 20 minuets and after three fish on any peg you had to stop fishing on that peg. This competition is good fun and a way to meet old friends and remember our angling companion Colum. The fishing was not easy by any means a combination of muddy water from a heavy days rain the day before and very wary trout that had received a good education this summer from the youths of the club on what to open there mouths for made the fishing interesting. The successful methods on the day was on sinking lines Di 3 and 5 using white booby's and blobs. Mark Driver won the day with four good fish caught on a black blob with a florescent yellow tail on a size 8 hook, using a very slow retrieve. Sean McLaughlin was second also with four fish and I finished in third place again with four fish.
I live away from here now and its not often that I get up to where I grew up and learned my trade as a fly-fisher man in the forests that surround the Avonmore River. Even though it is not a regular occurrence it is always special  to return to this amazing part of the World and meet up with some old friends, throw a line and remember those who started us off fly fishing as kids. I look forward to next Autumn and the gathering of fly fisher men in Wicklow to remember our friend Colum Driver. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fishing with the Corixa Bug

The Corixa fly or bug which ever you prefer to call it is also known as the Water Boatman, it is an aquatic bug that paddles along the water surface with oar-like hind legs. This bug lives in fresh water and there is over 500 species known World wide. The water boatmen have a grayish, elongated, oval body, 3 to 12 mm long and  have a conical beak and a broad head with large eyes. The adults have short, flattened front legs; long, slender middle legs; and oar-like hind legs fringed with fine hairs that help them in swimming.
Like all aquatic bugs, water boatmen lack gills; they breathe air when at the surface of the water. They frequently carry an air bubble on their body surface or under their wings, and draw oxygen from this bubble while they are underwater.Water boatmen live most commonly in ponds and along the edges of lakes and eat algae and minute aquatic organisms. 
They can be sometimes confused with back swimmers, which are generally larger bugs that swim upside down.
The Scientific classification of the Water boatmen make up the true bug family Corixidae, suborder Heteroptera, order Hemiptera. During the summer I decided to take a break from my river fishing and headed to a local small lake that holds a nice stock of brown trout, the day was lovely and sunny and I had planned to do some buzzer and dry fly fishing from the bank. Arriving at the venue I took a stroll down the right hand shore and observed several good trout breaking the surface, excited at the thoughts of hooking into one of those beautiful fish I covered them with several different dries but to no avail. The light breeze dispersed and the lake was flat clam it was only then that I say what the trout were feeding on, it was the Water Boatman bug. The fishing was exciting using the limited patterns I had in my box to match the hatch but and i managed to fool a few fish that day. I returned the next day with some more variations of the Corixa that I tied the evening before and had a cracking second day on them taking fish after fish, one being the beautiful hen fish in the picture above. 
I was fishing the two files below on a floating line and retrieving very slow almost fishing the bugs stagnant the bottom bug has a little bit of weight it to drag it through the water. I used the two different weights in the flies to find out at what stage the trout were feeding on the water boatman as it made its way to the surface for oxygen by letting them down on different counts and using different retrieves to present the bug exactly the way the fish wanted it. 
Here are the two bugs that I fished and had great results on them:

Rib: Green Mono
Under body: White foam
Body: White CDC dubbed on
Back:White foam colored in with permanent markers.

Thread: White Grail thread 
Under body: Flat lead
Body: White Antron wool
Body and back is coated in UV resin
Legs: Rubber centipede legs 
Hackle: Squirrel plucked from skin and dubbed on then brushed out well.

Sitting at the bank of a lake and the sun is beaming down with good quality trout on the move and you have the flies to catch them is pretty close to heaven for me. When the trout hit that fly the give it some thump and when you lift into them its an explosion of adrenaline as the fish plays tug and war with your line and fly. Its days like this that we endure the tough days for and the days we look forward to. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below l, also if you would like to see what post I am doing next  just sign in and follow this blog. click on any of the materials and the links will lead you to where you can find them. Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fishing Stripped Peacock Quill Nymphs in Low Water

During the 2013 season I spent a lot of the time fishing low rivers, like most of the other river anglers in Ireland. Fishing was not that easy there was a lot of weed along with the water quality being at a low for some time, but the fish were still there and had to feed. Apart from the dry fly I had a  few good nymphs that were producing fish through out these tough conditions, but being able to present these nymphs properly to the trout was key to the success of the nymphs themselves.
I had began fishing by anticipating striking last year and this method had improved my catch rate by at least 15 to 20%, I will be putting up a post on this methodology of nymph fishing shortly, working up the margins of a run this method and these nymphs proved to be the most successful method I had for this season. Fishing a leader set up I make myself including a tapered section of 3.23 meters, this can be made of your own formula as I do or a tapered leader like a camou leader, just make sure there is a good spring in the tapered section you can add this to your leader by boiling the leader for three minuets; then join in a 28 cm sight indicator of straight dual mono with a small perfection loop at one end to attach your tippet material to. I use tippet ranging from  0.12 to 0.09 which a single nymph or some times a second nymph on a dropper is added. The single nymph approach I found to be better when fishing the lighter nymph and slacker water; I found this gave me better contact with the nymph and I was picking up less weed on my single nymph. Also when you don't have that extra knot in your set up, there is less chance of a break off at the dropper point when using the lighter tippet this and along with the extra spring in the tapered section which will help take the shock of a strike you should be able to fish fine tippets and not crack off the whole time when meeting fish.
Stealth is very important when fishing these conditions for both you and in presenting the flies to the fish; a good pair of knee pads will make this easier, more comfortable and protect your waders form the wear and tear of the uneven surface of the river bed when you are kneeling down to keep out of the trouts view thus allowing you to get closer to the lying fish. Understanding where the fish are lying is also an important factor and you should put some time into trying to get a grasp of this by watching and studying trouts lies and behaviors in low water, this will also give you your positioning and how to approach the section of water correctly so you don't spook the fish and you can work your way up through the run effectively.
Here are a few of the simple nymphs that i have found to to be effective when fishing in low water this season: 

Bead: Size 2.5mm Tungsten 
Under body: Fine flat lead 
Body: Natural Peacock stripped and coated in UV resin 
Wing strips: Yellow Goose Biots 
Hackle: Natural squirrel plucked from the body skin and brushed out well. 
Bead: Size 2.5mm Tungsten 
Under body: Fine flat lead 
Tail: Cock De Leon
Body: Natural Peacock stripped and coated in UV resin 

Bead: Size 2.5mm Tungsten 
Under body: Fine flat lead 
Tail: Cock De Leon
Body: Natural Peacock Dyed Olive stripped and coated in UV resin 

There is something about fishing a low river on a summers day and light nymphing that I really enjoy especially when you have a system and flies that are working for you. Its not the easiest of time to be out nymphing but I find it can be the most rewarding and it is in these environments that you will learn the most about your presentation, nymphs, and the trouts behavior. I hope you will give these nymphs a swim next summer when the rivers are low and reap the same rewards and satisfaction I had this summer.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have enjoyed it, if you click on any of the materials used in the dressings the link will lead you to find where you can buy it on our online shop. Also you can sign in your email and follow this blog to see what coming next, thanks again.