Thursday, 20 April 2017

Salmon on the Fly 2017.


When I arrived the water was at full load and just as I was putting up the spinning rod I could see that the water was losing speed and starting to slow down. I quickly changed and put up my switch fly rod and rather than using my normal 3.9 ins per second sink tip I put up the 2.6 instead because when the water drops off it normally takes the best part of an hour to pick up speed again and if you have the heavier tip on all that's going to happen is that you will spend a lot of time stuck on the bottom. Moving down the beat I was just using a slow figure of eight retrieve to keep the fly moving and straight away I hit the first fish, it was a nice fish of about eleven pound's and had definitely been in the system for awhile as it was slightly dark. The fish ran down river on the first run but quickly changed its mind and then came up against me and straight in around the big rock that's now in mid river. It wedged itself firmly in behind the rock and got stuck, I had to move down river and get a straight line on it and then I was able to get a small bit of control but only for a few seconds because as soon as the fish felt some slack it went back in around the rock again. This continued for about 10 minutes until I was able to wade out and tail the fish in mid stream, holding my rod around my neck and the fish in my left hand I tried to wade back to the bank but the fly line was still around the rock so I decided to release the fish mid stream to stop it from breaking the rod , line or even possibly me as it was really trashing about. There are now too many rocks in beat 1 and to add to that there are three croy's in a line less that 20 meters between the three. There are two big rocks in mid water where the salmon got stuck and in low water they are sticking out of the water like an island, there is going to be some fun when anglers try playing out fish there as it's now like a mine field.

The water started to pick up pace so I changed back to the heavier sink tip and just as I was about to start fishing I saw a couple of salmon head and tail further down beat 1. I quickly covered the lie and as I was moving into the zone the rod was practically pulled out of my hand so violent was the take. The salmon first headed down stream but again like the first fish it turned and headed straight for the big rock in mid water, this time I moved down stream and got a good angle on the fish and brought it back down river. I played the fish on my side and even then with the new croy's and rocks it was just a nightmare trying to land the fish. Finally I was able to move the fish in circles and then land it on the bank, it was a beautiful sea liced fresh salmon of about 13 lbs and this one was going home. To be honest I had set myself up for a long evening of hard spinning and as soon as the water dropped off I was really delighted to be fly fishing even if I hadn't caught any salmon just the fact that your fly fishing makes it more worthwhile.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Salmon Fishing Ireland " Blackwater Lodge Beats. "

I was lucky to have a day's fishing on the beautiful Carrig beat of the Blackwater lodge salmon fishery, I had rang Ian the evening before and arranged to hit Carrig early and if things were quiet there head down stream to try the Ballinaroone Beat in the evening. The wind was blowing very strong right across my right shoulder which made it tricky for casting but with a small bit of adjustment I was able to send the fly right across the river and cover the water well. Moving downstream I fished the fly first and then came back down the beat again with the spinning rod just in case there might be a fresh fish about. On reaching the last good run on the beat the line stopped mid current and held there for a few seconds before going slack, it was definitely a good fish as I wasn't fishing that deep and with the current moving very fast it had to be a moving fish. I had noticed that the water had picked up it's pace from earlier in the morning and the clarity had dropped from well over two feet to just over a foot so there was definitely a rise in water height. On checking the gauge later I found that it went up from .75 m in the morning to .89 around lunch time so there might have been a few fish moving through with the rising water even though I hadn't seen any signs except for that one pull on the fly. Even though the salmon were quiet the trout were out in force and I caught and landed some cracking trout to over two pounds in weight on the Ballinaroone beat. As the water was still rising I fished most of the Ballinaroone beat with the spinning rod as the clarity wasn't good enough for wading safely with the fly. Most of the trout were caught on a size four black/yellow flying c with a gold blade which showed up very well in the cloudy water. Here are some pictures of the Carrig and Ballinaroone beats on the Blackwater Lodge Salmon fishery.

These pictures are from the Carrig Beat looking upstream to the start of the fishery.
                                            Moving down river excellent fly water.

                                         Below is where I hit and lost the fish in fast water.

                                           Looking down towards the end of the Carrig beat

Here are pictures of the Ballinaroone beat on the Blackwater Lodge Salmon Fishery.
                                          The Start of the beat looking down river

                                           The end of the Ballinarone Beat.

One of the best takes of the day was this stone it really fought well above it's weight in the strong flow and at times even took line off the reel.

Here are some of the beautiful trout that I caught and released during my fishing session

If you would like to fish the Blackwater Lodge Salmon Fishery Beats just contact Ian on 087 2352120 or 00353 58 60235 .

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2017 " The Blackwater River ".i

I had a few hours to spare on Tuesday so I decided to have a go on the Blackwater river, I gave the Ballyduff Bridge Salmon fishery a call and after a short conversation with Jason I headed down to have a look. Jason had informed me that the water was running a bit high and coloured but not having fished this beat before I wanted to see what it was like and gain some information for a future session. It is always good to do your homework on a beat or river that you may be fishing in the future during the quiet times so that you have all the relevant  information about lies, pools and wading areas so that when the fishing is good you can optimise that time fishing rather than trial and error. The water was just over 1.91 m on the gauge and clarity was less than a foot with a temperature reading of just under 7 degrees Celsius. I fished beats 1 & 2 at the Ballyduff Bridge salmon fishery and on closer inspection of the water clarity it just seemed to be getting worse with visibility dropping off to about 8 inches, even with good headlamps on my Flying C the ever elusive Springer was never going to see it in that water. Walking the bank I was able to get a good feel for the beats and it is definitely a beautiful stretch of water for casting a fly especially on beat 1 in front of the big fishing Hut. Here are some photo's of the Ballyduff Bridge salmon fishery beats 1 & 2 moving down river towards Ballyduff bridge.

                                               Looking upstream to the start of Beat 1

                                                looking downstream towards the hut

                                            End of beat 1 near the small fishing hut.

                                         Water clarity dropped off to less than a foot.

Meeting up with Jason later in the evening he informed me that they now have a new beat upstream near Mallow called Ballygarret and this in conjunction with their other beats at : Ballyduff Bridge beats 1  & 2 , Blackstone, Magners and Ballincurrig give them over 4.5 miles of prime salmon fishing on the Blackwater river. For those anglers that need tackle or flies etc., he had just opened a small tackle shop just opposite the Ballyduff Bridge Beat. For booking or enquiries you can contact  Jason on (0877205690) or Connie (0876918230).

          Beat 2 from the small fishing hut looking upstream towards Ballyduff Bridge beat 1

                                    Looking downstream towards the bridge at Ballyduff

                              From the bridge looking upstream, the left bank is beat 2

                           Looking downstream from the bridge the right hand bank is beat 2.
As you can see by the photo's there is quite a bit of water so getting a practise day while the fishing is slow will give you all the information that you will need when the salmon show up and judging by the information I got from Jason they had a really good season last year. I will be putting up the other Ballyduff Bridge Salmon Fishery beats in the next few weeks so keep an eye on the blog for those.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2017 " The Lee River ".

A picture tells a thousand words and in this case probably more, as you can see the water is running over all three sills and when this happens there is very little visibility. I had one look and decided to head downstream and see if it was any better there, passing by the Ballincollig weir I took a photo to show the amount of water moving over it and also the damage to the weir itself. Having reached the lower river the water though still being high had really good visibility so i decided to give it a few casts. The gods must have been smiling on me as the weather stopped raining just as I started fishing and all in all it was a pleasant experience quite different from past years, I met a few anglers that had braved the earlier rain and winds but no one had caught or heard a report of a fresh fish being caught.

Inniscarra Dam.

Looking up towards the Dam

                                                Looking downstream from the Dam

                                            Towards beat 3 and bad water clarity.

                                           Heavy run off from the roads after the rain.

                                                            Ballincollig weir

Having fished for a few hours down river I decided to call it quits and head home, the plan was to hit the Blackwater for a few hours tomorrow but on hearing the torrential rain outside I honestly think I will give that a pass. Hopefully this heavy rain will pass over the next few days and give me a chance to head down to the Blackwater for a cast, it is the first year that I haven't fished the opening day on the Blackwater. For those braving the elements over the next few days have a look at my clothing tips section on this blog and add those few layers to keep the body warm during your fishing session. Here is a vital message to all anglers both young and old... TAKE GREAT CARE WHEN WALKING NEAR OR ON THE RIVER this time of year they can be very dangerous with under cut banks and very slippery mud so take care.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Salmon Season 2017 " The Laune River ".

 Looking upwards from Beat 1 to the Lake, the water was at medium height and running clear ideal for the fly but as I was only doing a very fast session I only brought the spinning rod and a few Flying C spinners just in case the ever elusive Springer was about. As I said last year I wasn't going to fish Beat 1 this year so after taking a few photo's of the water levels at the different Beats  I ventured down river to do some fishing.

                                                           Beat 1 looking downstream

                                                               Good water clarity.
                                             Looking upstream from the Bridge to Beat 1

                                                       Looking downstream to Beat 2
                                                       Upstream from Beaufort Bridge

                                               Downstream from Beaufort Bridge Beat 3

                                            Johnsons Beat Laune anglers Salmon Fishery

                                                  Looking upstream from Johnsons Beat

Moving downstream I decided to start my short fishing session on the lower river and was surprised to find that it had changed so dramatically over the last few years with many of the good pools filled up with gravel and now just long shallow glides taking their place. I started fishing with a size 4 Black / Silver flying C but had to downsize to a size 3 due to the water being so shallow, moving up along the river I found a nice quiet bit of water at the end of a narrow deep run and quickly changed back to a size 4 spinner to get depth in the narrow channel and within a few casts I hit a nice fish but it came off after a few rolls. It was a nice Kelt probably around 6 lbs and very well mended and clean, fishing the pool I hit and caught a few nice spent sea trout and brownies which i quickly released. I had to stop fishing this area because the fish were packed tight and any time the spinner came down a trout hit it and there was no chance of a salmon with so many hungry trout around. I have fished the Laune for many years and was surprised to see a pod of spent salmon numbering 7 or 8 strong heading down river very fast along the shallow water being lead by a big male fish, the big fish had a few white marks but was in great condition and at the speed they were travelling would have been down in the tidal area in less than an hour. As i was only out for a couple of hours the darkness soon arrived and I had to stop fishing but with very mild weather it was a nice introduction to my 2017 salmon season, normally I'm fighting storms or snow etc. I was also testing my old waders for leaks but luckily for now my feet are dry, nothing worse than cold wet feet. The moment we get some heavy rain to bring the river up by a few feet then we can expect to see some fresh fish moving in  (fingers crossed). Here are a few photo's of some of the sea trout I caught and released.

                                                               The Lower Laune river