Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Flies: Irish Lake and River Flies

Who could argue that during the months of May and June the arrival of the large treats on the water gives every angler a rush of excitement and anticipation. The May Fly hatches on Irish waters is World wide famous for producing some of the best wild trout fishing that can be had across the globe. 

There are thousands of dressings that imitate these flies and every angler is constantly searching and designing fly's that lure the trout from the naturals to their imitations. Nymphs, Wets and dries can all give a fly fisher the chance at catching that dream trout during this time of the year, over the next few weeks ill be showing you some of my favorite fly's that I have found to be productive over the years on the lakes and rivers of Ireland. 

Here is two good dries that have proven their place in my may fly box, they can both catch fish on lakes and rivers tied in different sizes.
The Picric Wolf 
Hook: Size 8-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Olive twist thread 
Tail: Picric Rabbit Belly fibers 
Rib: Hends Dark Olive Floss 
Body: Olive Body quill by Hends  
Wings:  Picric Rabbit Belly fibers
Shoulder Hackle: Picric cock hackles

Spent Mayfly 
Hook: Size 10- 8B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 

Tail: Black cock pheasant tail.
Body: White floss, Latex or silk. 
Rib: Grey Hends Body floss.
Hackle: Grizzle Cock.  
Wings: 2 CDC large feather trimmed to form wings. 

The hackle under the wings is clipped so the fly sits down on the water. 
These two fly's had caught me so many fish on lakes and on rivers over the years and are worth a place in your box especially the Wolf.

Sometimes it can be harder to tie large fly's and get the proportions correct, but take your time and focus on one section of the fly at a time and you will tie cracking Mays that will catch fish. Keep an eye on this blog for some good wets and more dries over the coming weeks. 
I hope you enjoy tying these patterns and enjoy fishing them even more then I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find my contact details on the right side of the blog. Thank you for reading and tight lines.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nymphing During The May Fly, River Nymphs & River Fishing

After been unwell for six weeks or so I finally got back on to the water to quench my thirst for some fishing, the River Suir was my chosen venue and the anticipation of large trout feeding on May Flies was enough to make me feel like a child waking up on Christmas morning. Just out side Cashel in Co Tipperary runs a nice stretch of this famous fishery and for a reasonable price of 15 euro you can buy a day permit from the local club which is mandatory on this river through out.

The day was pleasant enough weather wise but that chilly breeze was blowing down stream and made fishing conditions tough enough. The hatch of May Fly didn't develop enough to bring the trout to the surface but only on an occasion would I see a fly fluttering down river and be devoured by a hungry fish.
Trying to fish the dry May Fly blind and dry dropper produced some fish but they were sparse enough, moving over to the nymphs the takes were still slow coming until I moved up in size of nymphs and altered my approach fishing them. 

Using my 18 foot leader set up as usual that I make myself on a 10 foot 3 weight Hanak competition rod, I used 5x tippet and put up to large caddis nymphs and began to pick up more trout and good quality ones at that.

Casting the nymphs upstream in the runs and glides I would drag them back faster than the current and jerking them as I did, I have fished this method before and it can be quite effective with larger and longer nymphs even in low water. Using bead head streamer patterns in this same approach is also very effective for stubborn trout as the streamers or nymphs are dragged back past the fish they will entice the fish to demonstrate their aggression and attack. 

The nymphs I have most useful in this approach are not complicated, the hook is a long shank 12 or 10, streamer hooks is normally what I use; I normally use lead on my nymphs but not on this one as I only want the weight in the head of the fly. Using a tungsten bead of your preferred colour tie in a  few strands of yellow Glo brite as the tail and hackle some dyed yellow partridge as legs at the rear of the fly. The body is natural Hares ear ribbed with pearl and brushed out well with a trimmed down tooth brush. On some occasions I would put some peacock dubbing behind the bead depending on the colour of the bead that I used, for the black one I chose only to use hares ear. 
I have used these nymphs and this approach for some time now and it has produced some great fish and lumps of fish at that. It is worth experimenting with this method and don,t be afraid to fish it in low water or even during the summer months when fish beginning to pool up in the deeper holes to escape the warm water and sunshine in the shallows.
I hope you enjoy tying these patterns and enjoy fishing them even more then I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find my contact details on
the right side of the blog. Thank you for reading and tight lines.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Iron Blues, River Fishing in Kilkenny

I moved to Kilkenny some seven years ago and one of the big attractions to moving here from the Garden County was for the exceptional river fishing and the sheer variety of rivers only a short drive from where I chose to live. If you haven't spent some time exploring this region and its waters then it a must on your to do list, it boasts lots of small streams and the larger River Nore with miles upon miles of glides and fast water stuffed with quality wild brown trout.

When I visited here as a young angler fishing All Ireland's in Durrow and the like I can remember seeing carpets of Iron Blues on the River Nore and the trout breaking their necks to take them at will. Sense then and now living here it is one of the times of the season that I look forward to most, during a blustery April or May day you can be guaranteed some great action when these blue treats come on the water. 
Over the years I have tried and tested many good patterns to imitate this hatch and while some of them have been successful these two dressings stand out the best for me. 

I have found that using Heron Herl is the superior material for dressing the body of my Iron Blues, it is a soft material and has a wonderful natural colour that darkens when wet and just the right tone for the trouts trained eye.

I use this fly in the calmer waters and for the fussy trout, it has a Coq de Leon tail, only three fibers though on a size 18 or 20 hook. I then use 8x clear mono to rib the fly and give the body strength; use only two fibers of the herl for the body. The wing is two small CDC feathers and a small thorax of Musk Rat natural dubbing is used to prop up the CDC and finish off the head. 
I find this fly will bring fish on the blind and I normally fish it on 7 or 8x tippet with a long progressive tapered leader that I make my self. 

This parachute version of the hatch is normally fished in the broken water or on a windy day when the flats have a wave on them. I normally tie it on a size 14 or 16 hook, while the tail is the same as above the tag is tied with holographic red tinsel. I like the holo red over flosses because it dose not darken when wet and stays bright with that little fleck that can catch a trouts eye.
the body is also the same as above dressed with Heron Herl and clear mono. I use an off white para post and some grizzle cock for the hackle, while the thorax is again musk rat natural dubbing.  The combination of Heron and Musk Rat is worth experimenting with on your dries and even nymphs I find it lethal for wild trout. 

As I have mentioned before if you have some spare time or a desire to explore some new fishing grounds then Kilkenny and its multitude of rivers is well worth the journey, and cost effective as days tickets are widely available for all the different clubs that control the water. If you happen to be here for the hatch of Iron Blues then make sure you have these two dressing with you and you wont go far wrong.  

I hope you enjoy tying these patterns and enjoy fishing them even more then I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find my contact details on the right side of the blog. Thank you for reading and tight lines.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Time for the Black stuff, River Fishing in Ireland

During late April and the month of May we see the the emergence of the May Bush and its wonderful aroma along with this yellow flower the Hawthorn bush is also in full bloom and with this notable change from the cool spring to the beginning of summer we can spot the small Black Gnats and the Hawthorn flies on our rivers. 

This has to be the most productive time on the rivers there is Olives, Iron Blues, and all sorts of hatches happening. Also as the trouts day time feeding is reaching its peak so too can you catches with some productive dries. The soft breezes are blowing plenty of insects onto the water for the hungry trout to feed upon, along with a good level of water that is warming up day time fishing can be seriously good sport.

Here is two of my most successful black dries that will catch through out the month of May and into the summer.

The Black Gnat

A simple little fly but very effective. Its tied on a size 18 hook with black thread, the body is a black CDC feather tied in by the tip at the but of the fly, you then spin the feather and wind up the body at the same time. The body is ribbed with 8x Mono to give it strength and create a slight segmented look to the body. Add in two natural CDC feathers for the wing and finish off the fly with two turns of soft black cock. 

The Hawthorn Fly 
 This little beauty has a bit more tying in it but is so worth it. Again on a size 18, create the body with some black foam and with your thread tie some double knots to get the segmented look and attach it to the hook, leaving a long section that will be pulled up the body to the head as you build the fly. 

Use some black CDC dubbing for the first part of the body and pull the foam up three quarters of the hook shank. Then add the daddy legs black, two either side and one feather of natural CDC on either side of the body. Take a small soft Black cock hackle and give it three or four turns just shy of the eye.  Finally pull the foam over the wings, legs, hackle and tie off.  
This fly is worth tying in several sizes 18's and 16's for the rivers but I also have had super fishing on this fly in a size 14 on the lakes when the hatches of duck fly are about and the Hawthorn itself.

I hope you enjoy tying these very good patterns and enjoy fishing them even more as I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find my contact details on the right side of the blog. Thank you for reading and tight lines.