Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bank Fishing in Lough Doire Bhile, Glengoole

Toady myself and a pair of angling buddies decided to give this venue a go bank fishing for rainbows and we were not disappointed. Lough Doire Bhile is situated two miles north of Glengoole, just off the Littleton-Glengoole bog road beside the Bord na Móna Lanespark bog. The lake is approximately six acres on a 70 acre wildlife sanctuary, which also contains two wetland areas.
Nestled under the picturesque Slieveardagh Hills, a mile from the village of new Birmingham better known as Glengoole this lake has an abundance of sizable brown and rainbow trout ranging from two pound upwards . The water quality of this remote unspoiled spring fed lake is exceptional, it is crystal clear but dose have some weed issues around the margins in certain areas . With depths of up to 12ft, an island feature and a naturalized shoreline, it gives the angler a very natural fishery to try his ability on. 

We began our day just in front of the car-park and made our way around the lake moving clockwise, there was a stiff breeze in our faces for the first few pegs but this had blown some  rainbows to the shore line to feed and it was not long before we started meeting fish and plenty of them, catching several good quality fish in a few casts pulling lures. 
Some locations around the lake had pontoons and these are quite well built with lots of space but do be careful as in wet weather they can become slippy under foot (Dave). Gradually moving up along the left hand shore we had the best of fishing meeting good chasing rainbows on several different colours and types of lures and streamers, black and orange being the two most prominent colours, the fish were attacking the flies once you gave them the first pull near the surface .
At the top of the lake we did find that the weed growth made it a bit more difficult in catching and landing fish as they would get buried in it as we played them. Dave did managed a couple of nice browns in this part of the lake on smaller black leech type lures retrieved very slow on a slow sinker.

Coming down the other shore line was not as productive as the left except for one mark that produced fish after fish, perhaps there was a hole or clearing in the weeds here but it was stuffed with fish. We found that finding these locations on the lake was a must if you are to have a good rate of takes.  The cost of a day here is 15 euro which is pretty reasonable and today we got value for our money. Permits are available from the local club and contact details can be found in the local village near the lake. 

We had a lot of fish today between the three of us and a multitude of stuff worked for us from bunging to slow fishing blobs on the bottom, the most prolific colours were black, orange and green. If you are fishing medium size lures on slow sinkers you wont go to far wrong here. There is a nice walkway around the lake, with plenty of casting room and it is also wheel chair accessible, with some nice seats and benches to relax on and have the tea. 
This lake is well worth the visit and the fish are of good quality, however with two competitions here over the next few weeks fishing might get a bit tougher that we had today but still well worth the trip over. 

I hope you enjoy 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 just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Hook: Hends BL510 size 14
Thread: Primrose tying thread 8/0
Tail: Coq De Leon fibers 
Rib: Gold medium wire 
Body: Primrose thread 
Thorax: Olive hare dubbing 
Wings: Antron Body-Wool
Thorax Cover: Natural pheasant tail fibers 

This nymph or olive emerger is a productive fly during the spring when fly's are beginning to hatch again after the winter and fish are on the move. i have good results on this fly fished on a floating line and single fly on a long light leader fished close to the banks looking for patrolling fish. A little simple fly and easy to tie; worth having in your box this spring when fish are getting a little fussy.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chasing Bows in the January Sun

With a day off today I decided after a late night last night at a fishing meeting there was only one way to blow out the cobwebs and that was to head out to a lake. Adaire Springs is not to far from me so that seemed like a good option; as I arrived at half ten the sun also came out which assured me Ia had made the right choice to go fishing. It was a glorious day to be pottering around the lake and I began by pulling some lures on a DI3,  I was meeting some fish on a Olive streamer but I was getting very little hook ups so I switched to a floating line with some buzzer patterns and blood worms. Instantly I began to hook fish and enjoyed several good quality fish through out the morning session.

For the early afternoon a cool breeze picked up a little and it seemed to put the fish off the lake went very quite and fish were tough to come by, only picking up another fish on a orange blob down deep and a pull or two. 

The evening fishing gathered some momentum for a while but the falling darkness soon ended that and I managed a nice brace of fish before the end of the day.

The sun shined all day and there was some sparse midges fluttering around in the sheltered areas of the lake but the majority of the fish were down in the water. It was a good day out and hopefully I get some more next week. I haven't decided where to go on my days off but maybe a trip to Curragh spring will be on the menu. 

I hope you enjoy 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 just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Fly of the day went to this guy 

Hook: Kamasan B100 size 12
Thread: Black twist tying thread 
Tag: Holographic red tinsel
Rib: Sliver Wire 
Head: Glo-brite no 5
Legs: Red flexi floss
Coated in Loon UV resin 

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Hook: Size 20 Temico hook
Thread: Hends Synton tying thread black and olive 
Tail: Hends natural and olive micro fibetts 
Body: Hends body quills 
Wing: Antron body wool tied across the fly.

These little fish killers are super flies when the midges are about on the river during the hot evenings of June and July. I have had great success on these for wild trout recently when they are smutting on the caenis hatches. This can be a frustrating time on anglers when the feeding fish become very fussy but trying small simple dressings like these and very fine tippet you can fool the fish to a couple of rises. I usually fish these on light tippet around 0.080 or 0.090 and if you lure a good fish then you will be in for some good sport indeed.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Think for a moment that every weekend you and others from your local community form a group and head out to fill, clean and work on the roads in your local area. Now you also have to buy the shovels, wheelbarrow, brushes etc. Then the roads authority come along and charge you for using the roads that you maintain and if you dont pay they will fine you for not paying. Doesn't sound right does it?

This year Inland fisheries Ireland (IFI) are planning to introduce a new rod licence or angler contribution on all fishing in Ireland for salmon, game, coarse and sea fishing. Regardless of what fishing you are into you will be charged.  

For as far back as I can remember and beyond that Local clubs and groups have been cleaning, maintaining, protecting, enriching, funding and educating on the rivers, seas and lakes of this country. The volunteers in these numerous clubs and groups put their time and money into their waters for the love of the recreation and the tradition of being an angler in Ireland.

 When I began fishing I was taken all around the County at the expense of my local club who facilitated training for the youths of our community and as far as I am aware in the Rathdrum Trout Anglers and many more clubs this is the case still.  If I ever have kids they will be taught the same way and be educated by the local clubs on how to treat a fishery right because its their local amenity and not just learn how to cast a rod; there is a lot more to fishing than that; it about being a caretaker of something that has happened for generations. We have to support the traditional values of the community in our approach to overcoming this attempted hijack by state bodies on another natural resource that the anglers have protected till today.

For those who say anglers don't pay for fishing in Ireland, I do pay for my fishing and here is a rough breakdown of my contribution based on an average for the last five years of being an active angler in this country:
  • I join on average 6 river clubs and one lake club costing 325 euro per year
  • I buy on average 10 day ticket permits for various rivers throughout Ireland costing 130-150 euro
  • I enter on average 7-10 club competitions per year costing on average 85-100 euro min
  • On average over the last five years I have given 26 days per year working voluntary for clubs on fisheries and educating youths.
  • I spend countless days on rivers around the country keeping an open eye on the fisheries for misconduct by fellow anglers, local authorities, land owners and any other dangers to the natural inhabitants of the rivers and lakes.
  • I support countless fundraising for clubs and fisheries development through out the year.
This is just a bit of my contribution, one person from hundreds of thousands of anglers in this country and for other anglers they commit much more than me. The one thing all the above has in common is the money and hours of volunteering go directly into the fishery and on the water for no gain of any person or fund only the person that walks down the banks and enjoys the natural beauty of our waters, so why do they IFI feel it necessary to take control of this?

According to the bill and outlined by the Munster Council of T.A.F.I in a recent E.G.M the intentions of IFI are to introduce:

(1) A Compulsory Universal angler contribution/licence
(2) A National angler register
(3) A National identity card
(4) Introduce a penalty points system on anglers.
(5) Claim of ownership, takeover or offer for tender by IFI or any state body fisheries identified in any new title research which are already under the management of local clubs and anglers

It appears to me that the Bill is being introduced for monetary gain and very little of the monies sought from the anglers would actually put styles over fences, rake salmon beds, pull out fallen trees, walk the river at 2am in the winter protecting fish or be seen anywhere in the local community. The details of the proposed bill also supports the claims of the IFI attempting to gain control over anglers through identity registration and penalties. 

T.A.F.I have come out in several provincial statements condemning the introduction of this bill, here is some of their statements:  

"The Connaught Angling council(TAFI) at their AGM in Headford on Thursday night unanimously passed a motion to REJECT the attempt by IFI and the state to introduce A Compulsory angling contribution/licence, A National angler register and an angler identity card or for any of these issues to be legislated for in the new fisheries act.
Munster Trout Angling Council view these measures and others being proposed for inclusion in the new fisheries act as a serious threat by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the state to take control of angling and anglers in this country for monetary gain".

However A.C.I affiliated federations, which T.A.F.I are no longer part of, seem to be supporting this bill, I do wonder who exactly has given these federations consent to speak on behalf of the anglers and clubs of Ireland and I would like to hear their arguments on this debate which seems to be unheard and poorly defended at the moment. The contents of their arguments can not benefit anything or anyone bar the I.F.I and certainly not the fisheries, clubs and most importantly the fish living in the waters of Ireland.

I am opposed to this bill and I will be raising my concerns with local authorities and officials as frequently as possible. We must be aware that if this bill is introduced what will be next we will have to have permits to walk the hills of Ireland  and photograph the environment we live in. This is just my thoughts and views on this topic and I hope you inform yourself of this debate and decide on what you want for our fisheries and speak out before its too late. Here is the link to a face book page that is worth keeping an eye on 
If you have any comments on this post please leave them in the box below or join this blog by entering your email to the right of the page. Thank you for reading. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


The Bibio fly is related to the duck fly family and has been a very successful fly for me through out that time of the year when these small black insects hatch on our lakes in the spring. Like most other popular flies the Bibio has undergone many developments and variations over time; some good and some not so productive. For me growing up on the lakes of Co Wicklow these dressings were a must in my box and I would often fish three different patterns on the one cast. Over the last number of years living in the mid lands and fishing the likes of Lough Owel in the spring I have often have treble hook ups fishing these flies during the duck fly hatches.  I would fish the on anything from a sinking line to a floating line and on any part of the leader also.

The Orange Bibio.
Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 
Tail: Glo-Brite no 8
Rib: Hends burnt orange wire 
Dubbing: 3 parts 2 parts black blend dubbing and center part orange spectra dubbing
Body Hackle: soft black cock
Shoulder Hackle: partridge dyed orange 

The Bibio Hopper Variant 

Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 
Tail: UV Ice dubbing teased out
Rib: sliver wire 
Dubbing: 3 parts 2 parts black blend dubbing and center part red spectra dubbing
Body Hackle: soft black cock
Legs: black daddy legs
Shoulder Hackle: partridge natural 
Jungle Bunny Bibio

Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 
Tail: UV Ice dubbing teased out
Rib: sliver wire 
Dubbing: 3 parts 2 parts black blend dubbing and center part red spectra dubbing
Body Hackle: soft black cock
Cheeks: jungle cock cheeks 
Shoulder Hackle: partridge natural 

The original dressing is a simple fly and is so effective in its own right but I love playing around with it and adding in some extra bits to give it that little bit more. Over the years I have seen, tied and fished so many different patterns but these three stand out the most for me. Have a go at them and enjoy there productivity on the lakes...if you have and questions please drop me a line here or any dressings you would like to see, you can also sign in and follow this blog to see what flies I will be doing next... thank you.

How To Tie Tape Wing Sedges

A good few years ago I saw a guy tying up a wing on a sedge made from scotch tape and was quite impressed with its shape, durability and that you could colour it in to suit any sedge and get the markings exactly as the natural one. Up on till then I was using different materials to make my sedge wing with some form of glue to try and create the shape of the wing I was looking for. 
Finding these wings was a revelation for me, I could cut the shape of my wings to suit exactly what was on the water and match the colour also and I could do all this on the river bank. I also find that these sedge's float exceptional well due to the air pocket that is trapped between the wing, under-wing and body.
To begin you need the following materials;  a spool of scotch tape this can be found in most hardware's  some Jan Siman Oliver Edwards caddis legs, CDC, and some permanent markers

To begin start of on the hook as normal and tie in the end of caddis legs brush and wind back up the hook brushing back the fibers when you get to the eye of the hook. I used Olive twist tying thread for this fly and a Hends 404 size 10 hook.

Pick the colour of the CDC and tie in two or three feathers flat on top of the body. This will help support the wing and create that air pocket under the wing to help it float in any water.

Then take you tape and on the sticky side place some CDC fibers till it is no longer sticky. This creates almost like veins on the wings once you fold it over as you can see from the picture on the right. Fold the section of tape in half and measure the length of the wing you desire to match the size of the natural fly and cut to the shape of a sedge wing. This also can be adjusted on the river bank and cut it to the length to match the natural fly.

Open out the folded wing and place on top of the CDC that you tied in.
Once the wing is secure you can add a hackle or a pair of horns to finish off the fly.

Once the build of the fly is complete then all you have to do is colour in the tape wing to match the natural fly on the water or leave natural in some cases like if you are tying moths with white caddis legs under the wing. 
The best thing I find about these wings is they don't break up to easy and don't cost to much. You can colour them in and cut them to get the exact shape and tone to match the naturals on the river or lake.

I hope you enjoy tying with these wings and have some good success on the flies next season. If you would like to follow this blog and see what I am doing next you can sign in your details to the right. Thank you for reading the post and if you have any question just pop them into the comment box and ill do my best to answer them for you, thanks again. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hook: Kamasan B110 size 12
Thread: Hends Twist tying thread olive 
Tags: Red holographic tinsel 
Body: Olive light and dark flexi-floss
Thorax: Black Twist tying thread 
Cheek: can be either Hends holographic cheek or turkey biots sunburst 
Coat the fly in UV resin 

A good natural buzzer for wild fish, these has good results last summer in a Lake just outside Kilkenny in June and will be getting a lot more swims this summer. 
I hope enjoy this blog 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.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Hook: Size 12 Hends wet fly hook
Thread: Black Hends twist tying thread
Tail: Black pheasant tail
Tag:Pearl tinsel
Body: Hends micro chenille no 30
Thorax: Hends micro chenille no 02
Legs: Soft cock hackle pulled over thorax
Thorax cover: Same as main body pulled over thorax  
Stocking up on some lake patterens recently I came across this fly that I have used for years and all over the world. It has rarely let me down and its one of those flies that every angler either dose or should have in there box. The dressing can also be varied in colour to make this nymph a prominent fish catcher.  I have not fished it too much in the last few seasons but this year ill have a new stock in my box and give them a swim for sure.
The Montana nymph originally was designed to match large stonefly nymphs in North American waters but can represent many other natural insects of the trouts diet depending the water type and location. This universal fly can be mistaken for a stone-fly nymph, leeches  snails, small fry, beetles, tadpoles among others; they have the potential to catch rainbow and brown trout in most environments and any other species of fish in the same systems.

Hook: Size 8 B170 Kamasan
Thread: Black Hends twist tying thread
Tail: Black hen hackle fibers
Body: Hends Black medium chenille
Thorax: Hends sunburst chenille
Legs: Soft cock hackle hackled through thorax
Thorax cover: Black pheasant tail fibers pulled over thorax and folded back to form legs or swimmers on the nymph

These are some of the first nymphs I would of bought from my local tackle shop as a kid growing up and used them to catch rainbows in a fishery not to far from my home town. When I got older I used them regularly in the lakes of Co Wicklow, fishing them on sinking lines and using a very slow retrieve they proved to be very effective throughout the years.
For a number of years a group of angling buddies and myself used to head to Oben in Scotland and enjoy a weeks fishing in the hills on some stunning little mountain loughs. I have very found memories of the trips and a popular pattern that worked for us up there was also Montana nymphs fished on slow intermediates and fished along the shores where patrolling trout would be looking for insects which venture from the heather on to the water.

Fishing in the World finals in Sweden in 2001 was a real learning curve for me in many ways. We were fishing up near Lapland and our guide for the pre-match days had brought us to some of the beautiful rivers and lakes I have ever seen. On one river session it was heavy water and very tough wading even for the local guide,  so he used a di 7 and cast across the river with a Montana nymph on the point the line dragged the fly to the bottom of the river and down to the calmer water where Grayling and trout waited for food to pass them by, with the Montana picking up several fish for him.

Hook: Size 8 B170 Kamasan
Bead: 3mm tungsten gold bead
Thread: Black Hends twist tying thread 
Tail: Black marabou
Body: Black marabou wound up half way on the hook 
Rib: Sliver wire 
Thorax: Glo-brite no 11
Thorax cover: Black marabou fibers pulled over thorax and folded back over the streamer

I am sure that there are many occasions, stories and variations of how and where a lot of anglers have fished these timeless nymphs. The original tied by Lew Oatman has spawned a lot of other patterens and variations that have lured trout out of countless waters world wide. Over the last number of weeks I have restocked up on these nymphs and look forward to giving them a swim this coming year. 
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.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Two seasons ago I came across this Caddis Pupa nymph and had really good results with it sense then, it is a very simple dressing and what I like about it the most is that you can colour it in to suit your hatches or times of the year when Caddis are maturing.  It is a good solid bug that will reach the bed of the river quite quickly and good for picking out those big summer trout that lie in the deeper cooler waters of the river. I find it makes a good point fly but smaller patterens can be productive on droppers also. Here is the easy step by step of how to tie this nymph:

Taking a size Size 10 or 12 Kamasan B100 grubber hook add on a size 3.5mm copper, gold or black tungsten bead. Follow this with several turns of flat lead.

Tie on your thread over the lead, I used Hends Twist tying thread olive. Then take a length of Antron Body-Wool and tie it in to the rear of the fly, making sure that when you bring your thread back the the bead that the body is smooth and shaped correctly.

Taking the wool in your hand twist it till it becomes a tight rope like material then with you twisting as you wind it up the body the wool remains firm to give you the segmented look of the body. Tie off well before cutting away the waste near the bead.

Using permanent markers of your choice give the body some colour I have several good colours mostly natural colours like olives, yellow and browns. But the natural look can be catching also, experiment here with your colours. Then once you are happy with your body colour cover it with Loon UV fly finish to give your body the shine and natural look while also making it very strong. A blast of a UV light and the body is complete.

Next add a light hackle of either CDC or Natural partridge behind the bead. You also can use different colours for your hackle here too.

To finish the fly off add some natural squirrel dubbing or some hares ear and brush out to leave your nymph looking nice and fishy.

This is a fly that is really simple to tie and no doubt that you will have great fishing on them this summer as I have had over the last number of seasons so give them a try and if you need any of the materials used you will find them in our shop, www.irishflytying.com or just follow the links to the right of the page. 

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.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I was recently asked about bung fishing and the basics of using this method for catching fish on still waters, as I don't pretend to know all the tricks of this method here is some simple tips and set ups that will get you started bunging for trout. It was last winter that I was introduced to using a bung for rainbow fishing on lakes, when a good friend of mine was helping me get ready for a T.A.F.I inter-provincial competition and this method was proving to be a successful system for him in the right conditions. Due to the fact that I do little winter stocky fishing I am not sure how long this method has been used for by anglers to catch those lazy rainbows that want their food stagnant in the water. 

When I was in Wales recently just before Christmas I also saw the same set up being used for wild fish on a river and was quite impressed at the results, so much so that it will be another gun in my arsenal this coming season for wild trout in the Irish rivers.
For the lakes as I said before it for when the trout want stagnant food and are not in the humor to chase lures or moving fry.  The set up is quite simple the most complex part is getting the depths right so the buzzers or blobs are in the right feeding zone or depth for the fish. Using what ever tippet material you prefer for the still water you would have your point fly so it is just above the floor of the lake or sitting on for the fish to pick it up from from there you could have a dropper 3 or 4 foot back up the leader with a second fly and continue to a third fly if required and if you are competition fishing that the rules allow more than three flies on the leader. The bung which according to most competition rules must be tied on a hook and capable of catching a fish, should be tied on to a dropper at the correct depth so the point fly is where you want it to be. You can also tie in two spare droppers 30cm either side of the bung so you adjust the depth of your flies by moving the bung up and down the leader on the spare droppers.  

Fishing this method you cast out to your desired area and allow your weighted flies to sink till they are straight down from the bung and just keep in touch by figure of eight retrieve and once the bung drops you strike and lift into your fish if it is on. Some of the best flies to use are weighted buzzers and weighted blobs for this method but I have also heard of anglers using cats whiskers and the like also. 
The set up for river fishing this method has the same fundamentals as the lake set up, you are suspending your nymphs just above the river bed and allowing them to trot down the stream into feeding fish. Fishing these on rivers dose allow you to fish that slower water that if you nymph it as we normally do the slow current will quite quickly have your nymphs snagging on the bottom, getting stuck or picking up crap lying in the slow water, not allowing you to fish your nymphs effectively; so often enough most anglers will pass this water unless covering it with wet or dry fly. 
When you fish this method on the slow water you are wading downstream and casting the rig across the river or slightly up stream allowing the nymphs to move down river for quite some distance which allows them to cover much more water than without the suspension of the bung, if the bung drops or stops you strike into your fish. It also allows you to cast your nymphs further away from you across the stream when wading closer is not an option as you have the bung as a sight indicator you will detect any takes through its movements or behavior on the water. 

I did observe when anglers were using this on the rivers in Wales for grayling they were also shuffling up the bed with their feet as they moved down stream, this got the fish moving and feeding off the wake the angler was causing as he waded with the current and allowing his nymphs to move into the feeding zone down stream. Getting your depths right on the river is vital I feel as you want your nymphs to cover as much of the bed as you can allow it too before it gets caught up, if its too long then perhaps you find the bung dropping frequently with no returns of fish so adjusting the depths could be important to this being productive for you.

Here is a tying for a bung that can be used on still waters that is highly visible and will hold up most weighted buzzers and blobs:

Tied on a Dohiku Blob hook size 8 I used some Hends Booby eyes for the foam and superglued it in as-well as tied it down with Hends Red Grail thread. Once that was dry and secure I used red egg yarn to form the body keeping the yarn to the top side of the fly and packed in as much as i could before tying off the fly. 
Once you have done this then add a coat of Water shed and allow to dry properly before fishing the bung. You should tie these in two or three colours as i have found that visibility with some colours can be harder in different light during the day and switching colours can help this. Also have several dry bungs in your box as they do tend get wet and heavy after a while of being on the water so fresh ones will be useful to have in the box. The bungs  I have seen being used on rivers are much larger and some are just large squares of foam tied on to the hook this is for fishing with heavier nymphs such as 3mm or 3.5mm beads. 
This is a method that I will be looking at and trying out more on the rivers and lakes here this spring in certain spots, I know it is not the most traditional form of nymphing but if you are into competition angling and on your beat is a bit of difficult water then this might just get you a fish or two to save the blank. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or questions on this method I would be interested in  reading them so 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.