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.
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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.
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