Saturday, 28 April 2012
As i have said before the best time to catch springers at the Dam Fishery is when the water is at half load, that's about three feet above normal levels compared to full load which is about six feet. That water allows the salmon to make the journey over the Weir at the staight road and the Ballincollig weir without to much effort. Half load just allows the water to cover the groynes and this gives the salmon a break from the heavy flow in which to rest up for a short period and that gives the angler a chance to catch a fish. Getting down deep in the water column is the next step to increasing ones chances as salmon seldon rise up in cold fast water, so either a sinking line or sink tips is a must. Then there is the salmon fly, i prefer a bright fly for start of season due to there being cold coloured water and a bright fly can be seen and i find that this can initiate a response from most salmon. I have cascades tied in bright yellow and some tied in bright green just for heavy coloured water and they have caught me many good salmon. Using large doubles is a must as they don't damage the salmons mouth as much as a treble hook , the double will stay in one place but the treble will move as the salmon chomps down transferring the treble around the mouth and this can lead to lost fish. A good quality heavy flurocarbon tippet is also important because the last thing you want is to break in a salmon especially as they are so hard to come by in the early months, one can scale back to a lighter tippet for low clear water during the summer months. Remember the long hard days without seeing or touching a salmon in bad cold weather will make you appreciate the easier fish during the summer months.
Saturday, 21 April 2012
The Inniscarra Dam Fishery is on the River Lee and situated seven miles from Cork city. The video shows the four beats during high and low water and with views from both banks, it gives anglers the best information to fish these beats. When the Dam releases full load the water level can increase by as much as 6 to 7ft in a short space of time so caution is advised. In full load the best method of fishing is spinning with Flying "C's " and black / silver or black / gold are the most popular spinners for catching salmon. I prefer half load or less as the most productive water levels for catching salmon as i use the fly and can fish all beats from both banks. Varying my sink tips or fly lines i can get down to where the salmon are lying and when you are moving fish you have a higher percentage for hook - ups than those fishing higher up in the water column. Remember the water is coming from the bottom of the dam where it is colder and less oxygenated and this can put salmon down and make the fishing harder. Best flies are the Ahilles hot orange shrimp and the Cascade which work well and have a very good catch rate. When fishing some of the fast deep pools one can even use Pot belly pigs as they will get right down into the pools and definitely move fish, my favourite colour is yellow especially in coloured water.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
This is the Woodside section of Beat 1 Inniscarra Dam Salmon Fishery. The video was taken a few years ago when the salmon fishing was good and we had a large number of springers returning from late March onwards. The average weight of salmon/springer was around 10lb and there was a 60/40 ratio of hatchery salmon to wild salmon. The last few years have seen the decline in the numbers of spring salmon returning to the Inniscarra Fishery and even the fish that are arriving are coming later. The water levels that i find most successful for catching salmon are full load ( 6-7ft ) or half load which is around three feet as shown in this video. In full load the best method is spinning with Flying " C's " and in half load i prefer the fly with either a floating line and sink tip combo or a full intermediate fly line. Flies can vary in size from 7 down to 11 depending on water clarity and speed, sometimes the salmon will not touch a large fly but will be happy to take the smaller fly even in the same pattern. The Ahilles shrimp fly and Cascade have taken a large number of salmon here over the years so they are the flies that i recommend using first when fishing the Dam fishery. Sink tips vary according to water levels, clarity and speed so change to heavier tips to fish the deep pools and lighter tips for the runs. The most successful tip is the green tip ( 2.6ins per second ) but when fishing cold water the deeper you go the more chance you have of moving and catching fish. One year i caught most of my springers on Pot Belly Pigs due to the very cold water temperatures and with the salmon hugging the bottom it was the only way i could move them to attack the fly.
Saturday, 14 April 2012
This is some video footage showing the pools and runs heading down stream from Johnstons to Heffernans beat of the Laune River, there are also views of the Rock pool, Connors and then Breens beat which i think is the best fly water on the Laune. On the day that i made this video the water was very low and we only saw a few sea trout and one salmon, all the fish were fresh off the tide and we caught a couple of sea trout weighing between 2 and 4lbs. The weather was very unsettled with heavy rain showers, cold winds, hail and the odd bit of sunshine. When wading in the water one could feel the change as the fly lines hardened up due to the cold winds dropping the surface temperature and this wasn't helping the fishing, also the river rose about six inches and coloured up bringing down some weed and debris.We fished hard into late evening using both fly and spinner but with no luck except for those earlier sea trout. With the weather changing and heavy rain forecast it shouldn't be long before we see a good rise in water levels and then the salmon will come. I forecast that we will have another good sea trout season as we did two years ago due the quality / size that are showing up already in the low water conditions.
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Sunday, 8 April 2012
Here are four more beats from the Blackwater River, they are Bridgetown Priory, Ballinaroone, Killavullen and Ballygarrett Beats. The video shows in great detail the extent of each beat and in some cases the water depth i.e., deep pools, sand bars and fast runs along the lenght of the beat. The video was taken in very low water so one can now see the contours and pools that would otherwise be hidden in flood water conditions. I always say that you have to see a river in low water to understand how and where salmon will lie in medium and high water. At the time of making this video the water was only showing 28 at the guage which is summer low and yet there were still four springers taken in those few days.