Friday, 20 July 2012

Salmon Fly Fishing in July

I started fishing beat 4 when the water was dropping and decided to put on an intermediate fly line with a 6' Rio brown ( 3.9ins ) sinking tip and an Ahilles hot orange size 15 double salar salmon fly, when fishing down the beat i got a very soft pull away on the fly line and i was into a fish. The take was very slow but when i hit the fish it exploded into cartwheels all over the river, i had to stop filming for a few seconds to keep a tight line on the fish and stop it shaking off the small fly. I have found that with the weather being cold for this time of year i have to go down to the salmon with sinking lines to get hook-ups and even down sizing the flies to size 15 double salars has proved successful. I could fish the same beat with the same sinking lines but with a larger fly and not get a touch but the moment i put on the small flies i get plucks and hook-ups, so now i have tied up a selection of my favourite flies on size 15 salar double hooks. Last year the small doubles were very successful in getting me back end salmon in the later months of the season when we had low water conditions but they are now proving to be an all season fly getting me hook-ups when the larger flies fail. My tip is to have a few of your favourites tied up on small salar doubles and to give them a try especially when things are quiet you may  be surprised how well they catch fish. The salmon was a 6lb fresh fish which i released and a few moments i caught and released a smaller fish of about 5lbs but it was black and slimy and had been in the system for quite some time.

Salmon Fly Fishing in July

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Beat 5 at Castleconnell

Just a few more photo's of Beat 5 on the Castleconnell stretch of the Shannon river. Again showing heavy bank weed growth .

Castleconnell Beats 5 & 6


I fished Beat 6 of the E.S.B Salmon Fishery on the Shannon river at Castleconnell and i must admit i was a bit surprised to find a very over grown  fishery, the bank was barely visible with the height of weed growth and one could easily fall into the river because there were no visible entrance or exit points. I am just over six feet in height and had difficulty seeing my way towards the river. The river itself was very up and down with shallow points fading into deep holes near the bank and gravel bars in the center of the river making it awkward for fly fishing. I crossed at a shallow part of the river and fished the far bank down to the point and had to use an intermediate tip otherwise i would be snagging up on every cast, the Perry Poke cast was the order of the day due to the overhanging weed growth which caught the fly line at every opportunity. I got one short pull but the salmon never took the loop and that was all i met for the day. There was a lot of Ranunculus weed in the river and especially at the end of the beat where the river widens near the Life buoy  ( second last photo ) , it covered almost half the river across. This made any type of fishing impossible as one was pulling out weed on almost every cast be it fly fishing or spinning. The bottom photo shows the weed growth near the bank hampering any type of casting be it spinning or fly casting, and it made it impossible to tell where the bank ended and the river began. I had one look upstream and took some photo's before i bid the river an early farewell, i never leave a river till darkness but i was on my way home just after midday and that must be a first for me. I have seen the Great Castleconnell beat and i must admit i really don't want to see it again.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Fly in July. Inniscarra Salmon Fishery

Again using my old Switch rod i was able to catch and release three fine salmon, the best fish was a slightly coloured 15 pounder and the other two were fresh fish weighing 12lbs and 6lbs. The fish were taken on a Ahilles shrimp fly size 15 double ( salar hook ) and a floating line teamed up with a 6' Rio brown ( 3.9ins per second ) sinking tip. I was using an 11lb Seaguar flurocarbon tippet to give the fly more action in the clear water. I had lost a few fish due to short takes so i decided to strike into the next fish on feeling a slight weight on the line and it worked, the fish was well hooked on the bottom of the mouth proving that they were holding the fly and spitting it out when feeling any pressure. Normally we see this with grilse playing with the flies or with bigger fish having been  burned  ( hit and missed ) by anglers earlier in the day just pulling and dropping the fly. I find that by dropping tippet diameter and fly size that you will meet and hold more fish and even the odd fast pull on the line when fishing out a pool can get a reaction.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Big Fresh Salmon On The Fly

After catching a big salmon yesterday spinning in high water i was delighted to do the same today but on the fly. The water level had just dropped enough for me to gain access to a lovely beat where i was able to cast my fly over a very productive salmon lie. I was using a floating line with a 6ft Rio brown sinking tip ( 3.9 ins )  and a Park Shrimp size 15 double salar salmon fly. The salmon took with a strong sharp pull taking the loop out of my hand and then taking line straight from the reel, before i knew it we were well into the backing and heading downstream. I knew it was a big fish due the aggressive head shakes and powerful lunges and then it was confirmed when i saw the fish explode into the air just below me and tail walk for a few feet before crashing back into the water again. As i use a 6wt trout switch fly rod i had to give the fish a lot of respect and let it tire itself out before trying to tail it as there were only high banks and rocks on my side of the river with the high water. Eventually i bullied the fish onto a shallow bar and tailed it just before the fly fell out, a cracking 14lb fresh springer. I also hooked and lost five more salmon, they were hitting and dropping the fly possible because they had been burned or due to the heavy thundery weather.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2012 ( July )

Big Fresh 16lb Fish and covered in Sea Lice

I had only arrived to fish an evening session on the Inniscarra Salmon Fishery and was greeted with very high  coloured water, the surges from the dam were pushing huge boils out of the water and i knew that it was going to be a hard session. I put on one of my heaviest flying "C's" in Black / Gold because gold shows up better than silver in stained water and also the heavy spinner would get me down under the strong current. On my third cast i clipped the lie which is a large rock on the river bottom approximately two thirds the width of the river and zeroed in on that line again for my next cast, i had just got the spinner down under the current    when the line stopped suddenly and with two violent head shakes we were off to the races. The fish went down river at a rate of knots and then jumped out of the water rolled on the line and wrapped up for a few seconds, i gave a little slack line which allowed the fish to unwrap itself and we were off again. It screamed off on three long searing runs which gave my Stradic 6000 a run for its money. Bad enough big fresh fish, but huge water directly from a dam in flood as well made the salmon feel bigger. I eventually got the fish into some calm water and beached it, my biggest salmon this season so far, pity it wasn't on a fly. The video can be seen on youtube .