Saturday, July 26, 2014

What are the Trout feeding on?

With the temperatures soaring into the thirties and the water levels low, fishing the evenings can be a break from the heat of the day for the angler but also the variety of fly life on the river offers the feeding trout a large and varied menu from Sedges, Olives, Knats and Caenis. Now on most trips out the sedge patterns will take a few fish close to dark but you couldn't be guaranteed a large catch of fish. However there is another treat on the menu for the fish and one that gets over looked quite a bit on our rivers. Flying Ants can be seen all over the country at the moment and the trout love them. I began fishing these flies several years ago in Norway and they have had a permanent place in my dry fly-box for this time of the year. I tie them in several colours mostly black, red and my favorite pink. Here is a simple dressing to match the hatch and its well wort having them in several colours. 

Begin by placing a size 14 fine wire hook in the vice and using black twist thread for the black ant, red for the red one and so on for different colours.

Take a strip of black foam around 3mm in with and point the tail end of the body. Trap down the foam a third of the way down the hook.

Here add in several strands of Krystal flash for the wings and bring forward the thread up to the second third of the hook.

Trap down the second segment of foam and tie in a small cock black hackle to act as the legs.

Wind on two turns of the black hackle and secure with a few turns of thread. Pull the last piece of foam to the front of the hook and finish off the fly.

This is a really simple and quick tie, its a little fly that will catch those fussy fish during these hot days, while it floats great, the fly sits lovely in the surface film just where the fish want them. Don't forget to try the pink ones closer to the fall of the dark.  

I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also you can sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading and enjoy the fishing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Balloon Caddis

We are seeing an all time low in our river water levels and with this comes some changes in the trouts behaviors which can make them an easier target for their predators.  Now grouping together in the deeper sections of the river the shoals of fish can be easily targeted and spotted. Some anglers would have the approach of be extra careful when fishing for these pods of fish and though I would agree with that most of the time. However lately I have been having more success in being a bit more aggressive with my presentation of my dry fly and my wading.

I would not be afraid to wade through the river and push the majority of fish into the head of the pool or run, by doing this you will also heighten there aggression and in turn they will be more likely to attack something put into the same space; for example your fly.

I use a aggressive dry fly leader, that I make up myself and with a large dry fly I just keep smashing it into the run, leaving it on the water only for a foot or so and recasting constantly; giving the fish a short window to make up their mind to attack or not. Its fast fishing and I like to keep the fly as close to me as possible so when I get the hook up I can lift the fish out of the water as quickly to my net with out putting to many of the other trout off that are in the pod.

Here is a good pattern that has worked for me using this approach.

Begin by placing a B100 hook into the vise and using olive thread tie in two strands of krystal flash as a tail. 

Tie in some flat pearl tinsel as the rib and dub on some natural hares ear, three quarters up the body. Rib the dubbing and brush out the dubbing well once tied off. 

Take a pinch of fine deer hair and tie in a wing, leaving enough space at the front of the hook for the head. 

Take some foam and tie it in at the front of the hook, I like to use pink but you can use your preferred  colour.

Add in your thorax dubbing. Here I use a mixture of dubbing including natural hare, white UV, purple UV and some gold, all mixed well. Once you have dubbed the thorax pull over the foam and tie off at he back of the thorax.

Brush out the thorax well to get the mix of colours coming out and this will give the fish a good target point on the fly. I do like the bushy look to this fly and it can help it stay afloat in turbulent water. 

I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also you can sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading and enjoy the fishing.

Friday, July 4, 2014


I spent two days this week on the Nore and some of its tributaries with some good friends chasing brown trout and discussing many aspects of trout fishing. The weather was slightly overcast and breezy which made for good enough fishing conditions but the low levels of water did prove to be challenging at times.

Trout fishing around Kilkenny can often be passed over for fishing on the River Suir which is not to far away, or salmon fishing on the local rivers throughout this area. I generally find the brown trout fishing in this region fairly good and mostly forgotten leaving it untouched in places and its mostly for a very reasonable price. The one thing I enjoy mostly about fishing these waters is you rarely bump into another angler and you can enjoy the elegant surroundings at peace.

With the Nore making its way through miles of lush banks and is fairly accessible from the towns of Durrow down to Inistioge there is an abundance of fishing to be had on its runs, riffles and super glides for your dries. The range of fish vary here also with a solid stock of fish from 10 to 12 inches, there is also many good quality trout running into several pound in weight  to be had. There are clubs on the rivers however and permits can be obtained at good prices for the day or for a full season.

There are also many great tributaries to the Nore which include the Kings River in Kells, Dinan in Castlecomer and the Erkina in Durrow among others; these rivers also hold great stocks of fish and are good options if the main river is fishing slow or in heavy water. The majority of this fishing is only a 20 minute drive or less from the town so changing location or river on any day won't take too long from your fishing.

We spent Wednesday on the Nore just outside Kilkenny on the Bennettsbridge side of town where the river begins to widen out and the water type is good for dries with some productive nymphing runs breaking up the long glides. With the fish lying low during the day the most productive method was the dry dropper, fishing a simple system of a tapered leader down to 0.12 tippet; the dry fly was tied on a smaller dropper than normal and below this was two nymphs, one around two and a half foot away on another dropper and the point fly was in the region of five foot from the dry.

Fished up stream the two nymphs working at different levels  didn't have to travel long before they were picked up by a fish. Also using a dry that the fish see as a meal we picked up some rising trout in the margins on the dry fly, it was simply a size 12 Hears ear klinkhammer with an orange post and grizzle hackle,  I find this dry very successful for this set up as it is very visible even in broken water and will suspend two 2.5 mm beaded nymphs, plus it is quite attractive to the fish. I also like to coat the fly in water shed before I fish it so it stays up longer.
On Thursday we tested out some of the tributaries around the area and found the fishing tough enough as the water levels were extremely low but we still managed some good fish beading the small light fast water. Using very light tippet and going down to a single stripped quill nymph  with a 2mm bead was a productive approach for this water condition . Changing to a sedge pattern on a short cast and quickly casting into the streams we picked up a couple of nice fish, but we didn't allow the fly to sit too long on the water before you recast it again into the stream giving the fish only a brief moment to make their mind up on the take. You can cover a lot of pockets and streams quite quickly this way picking up the fish that are looking up.
After a few hours break we headed out for the evening rise on the Nore just on the edge of town. This section of water has some stunning weirs and turbulent water leveling out into really good glides where a lot of fish tend to hold this time of year. The temperatures dropped a bit in the evening and even though we managed some really good fishing the explosion of rising fish didn't really happen that we had hoped for; by eleven it had passed and time to retire from the river.

With a huge variety of fishing to be had around the town of Kilkenny its well worth a visit for a day or two; you might be surprised with the results and would be impressed with the scenery along with the cost. If you would like any information on permits, location or whats working where, you can contact me on my email and i'll be glad to point you in the right direction. I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have any comments or questions please feel free to post them below. Thanks for reading and thank you to my friend Danny Lahart for the pictures.