Monday, 23 December 2013
Having looked back at my 2013 salmon season i must admit that it wasn't a bad year overall, i caught some good big salmon at the start of the season and had a good run of double figured fish with my 6wt switch fly rod. I tried out some of the old salmon spinners but they were too frail to take the punishment of heavy flood water and rather than damage them too much i have varnished them and put them away for display only. The annual salmon licence fees for 2014 seem to have stayed the same and i am just wondering do all Kelts,( Spent salmon ) have to be recorded again for the 2014 season because if so we're going to need bigger log books. Next year i will hopefully get up to the Drowes in early January to do some salmon fishing and filming but i have my doubts about fishing the Laune next year, we'll have to wait and see if the catch rate improves. I have started getting my tackle ready and have tied up some nice salmon flies for the coming season. After having some issues during the year with old waders i decided to look around for a new pair and after some research i purchased a pair of Sonik SK4 waders from Ned at Ardaire Springs fishery, i got a good deal on the waders and even a pair of wading boots thrown in, thats a bargain especially as the waders are 4ply with a 5ply reinforced section on the knees and shins. There are two things you don't want to happen to you in waders, one is to be cold and the other is wet and normally when you have a leak you get both but having bought my new waders that problem is taken care of. Remember that when you are comfortable and warm you actually fish better so make sure you look up my clothing section on this blog for those small tips on gloves etc., that will keep you warmer at the start of the season.
Monday, 21 October 2013
If anyone is interested in fly fishing for sea trout at night i just put together some video clips taken in September showing some of the sea trout that i caught when fishing at night. I also caught a few nice grilse earlier in July while fishing for the sea trout at night and will definitely target them at night next season.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
The water was extremely low with very little flow so i had to do a slow figure of eight retrieve to keep the fly moving, the salmon took very gently and on realising that it had been hooked shot past me heading upstream. I had been using an 8lb flurocarbon tippet due to the low water so i had to be very carefull when playing the salmon as it made some very explosive lunges and could have easily broken the line. Playing the fish out for a few minutes i beached it on a gravel bar and quickly unhooked my size 15 Ahilles shrimp fly and then released the salmon back into the river. This will probably be my last salmon session of the 2013 season but you never know i might get a shot at the Blackwater for the season extension where it will be single barbless fly only catch and release until October 12th. The season itself wasn't bad but we could have done with a bit more rain, there are many salmon in the estuary waiting to run and i bet that we will get that rain as soon as the season is closed.
Monday, 19 August 2013
Having fished down beat 4 with a Hot Orange Ahilles shrimp fly i decided to give it another run, this time with a new fly pattern that i had just tied up the previous night. Moving down the beat a salmon just barely broke the surface film with a fast turn and suddenly my line was going down stream at high speed, lifting into the salmon it showed straight away and i could see that it was a coloured fish. Putting plenty of side strain on the fish i brought it in close to me and then i allowed the fish to fight for a few seconds so that it would easier to deal with as the fly wasn't visible in the mouth. Landing the salmon i saw that it had taken the fly deeply but seeing as i was only using a size 15 double it was easy to remove from the salmon with very little harm done to the fish. Holding the fish for a few seconds it was ready and rearing to go so i released it back into the river. The new fly has now been moved to my smaller fly box which is for my blooded flies, these are flies that have successfully taken salmon and depending on their success rate will be tied in all sizes for future sessions. I hear anglers complain about their favourite fly that was lost either in a huge fish or a rock but they couldn't remember the exact colour etc to get a new one tied up, well that is why i keep a good stock of my blooded flies to save that happening to me. If you have a great fly that catches fish either take a photograph of it on your mobile phone or take it to a flytier so that you always have a copy of it just in case you lose it, also keep two boxes and everytime a new fly catches a salmon put it in the blooded box so that it will boost your confidence next time you use it as you know it has worked before. As for my new fly it doesn't get aired on this blog until it has a better success rate because it could have been a fluke and that might be the only salmon that it takes..
Monday, 12 August 2013
During an evening session i caught two salmon on the fly with my 6 wt switch fly rod, the water was very low so i was using a 7ft. 2.6ins per second sinking tip with a 10lb flurocarbon tippet of three feet and a Hot Orange Ahilles shrimp fly on a size 15 double salar hook. In my haste to start fishing i left my camera in the car so the first fish wasn't on the video, the second salmon boiled at the fly twice before hitting it and even then it was barely hooked with only one hook caught just at the tip of its mouth. The salmon exploded into life once it ventured into shallow water and jumped a number of times trying to shake the fly, putting plenty of side strain on the fish i played it out fast and beached it. Resting up the salmon for a few minutes i then released it back into the river none the worst for its encounter with yours truly. Both salmon were coloured and had been in the system for a few weeks, even though the fish was very silver i don't class them as fresh unless its covered in sea lice and has a blue hue running along its flanks. The upper beats of the Lee are coming to the end of the salmon run as it doesn't get much of a back end run in september, but as there are still some wild fish going through there is always the chance that if you have a fly in the water you could meet the odd fresh one passing through.
Sunday, 4 August 2013
After a month of very hot weather and extremely low water i hadn't been fishing at the Dam Salmon fishery until today. The Dam was not releasing water even though there was plenty of rain and floods about. I got a call that they had released some water the night before so that was enough for me to get up there and see if there were any fish about. The water was on full load with the two sills also releasing water and this gave it an extra foot above normal high water. Having that extra foot of water makes it hard to hold the spinner on the salmon lies for any decent lenght of time and also to hold bottom. There were some very heavy showers that made fishing hard as they made the braid stick to the reel causing it to ball up but slowing everything down i was able to overcome that issue. The first fish hit very fast but didn't stay attached to the spinner for very long as it jumped about six feet into the air and released itself, a good fish of about 15lbs but slightly coloured.
The next salmon was a smaller fish of about 5lbs very silver and net marked which i played out very fast and released. In quick succession i hooked and landed two more salmon both were in the system for some time as they were both coloured up. As the water went off i quickly changed over to my Switch fly rod and hooked two more salmon only for them to get off. Unfortunately darkness arrived and i had to call a halt to my fishing, the only issue is if the water had gone off earlier there would have been a great fly fishing session. Can't complain as i hadn't been fishing there for over a month and to hook up on my first day back was great even if was only spinning.
Saturday, 3 August 2013
Since the water levels were so low at the Dam over the month of July i turned my attention to seatrout fishing at night. I have been very successful in catching and releasing a good number of seatrout and would have caught a huge fish even by my standards only to have been broken off by a rock that i couldn't see in darkness. The seatrout gave me a lesson on the art of night time high speed evasive manoeuvres by taking me upstream under the banks and then downstream and once again upstream and it ended by going downstream and exiting the pool through a narrow run with one big rock in the middle that i didn't see in the dark and unfortunately that rock sealed my faith by breaking my 7lb cast. I had been too naive by using a 5wt 9ft fly rod and had landed fish upto 3 and a half pounds without any problem until i met this monster, i had gone into a gunfight with a banana. Now my switch rod is being used for my night time seatrout sessions and a minimum of 12lb breaking strain cast, as the marines say i am going into battle with superior fire power so that never happens again. Back salmon fishing tomorrow so i will have more news on that front soon and by the way i have tied up some great seatrout flies that have been doing the business for me and i will have them up on my blog soon.
Monday, 1 July 2013
Having arrived at the river i found that the water was at the perfect height to fish a fly but the clarity wasn't that great maybe about two feet visibility not great for the salmon to see any fly. I put up a floating line on my 6wt Switchfly rod and a 7ft 3.9ins per second sink tip. I fished the lower beats first and met a few fish but they were only pulling at the fly typical fresh grilse behaviour. I moved up to beat one and found it to be very busy with anglers shrimping and fly fishing, i started moving down the beat and got a few short takes so i decided to speed up the fly by stripping the line and straight away i hooked my first grilse, 4lbs and fresh in off the tide covered in female sealice. Landing the fish quickly i released it back into the river, now i had the secret it had worked for me in the past stripping the line or a slow figure of eight while fishing the pool keeps you in direct contact with your fly and when you feel the slightest touch or weight on the line strike. This technique is ideal for short taking fish especially fresh grilse, even when retrieving line for the next cast pause for a second between each pull as grilse will follow the fly across the pool awaiting any sudden movement and then they will pounce.
Seeing a grilse head and tail a few times i put a fly across him and stripped the line back quickly, nothing on the first cast but i thought i felt a slight bump on the fly so i quickly recasted the fly and on stripping the fly the second time i felt the fish and struck fast, the fish was on. A small grilse of about 3lbs but covered in sealice which i quickly released, fishing on i met a few more fish and had one on for a few seconds only to drop the fly in mid air. As it was coming to darkness i moved back downstream and gave one of the lower beats a quick cast before i went home, no sooner had the fly hit the water when the line went tearing downstream another hook up. The fish gave a few good runs and jumped three or four times before i was able to land it, a fresh salmon of about 6lbs covered in sealice so i took the fish. Will see how many fish i can take with my stripping method versus dead drift next time and i will let you know the outcome, also i tried a short tail versus long tail trial very few hits on the short tail but as soon as i changed over to the long tail i began to get some action and then narrowing that down with a stripping action i took fish. All in all keep changing your methods it can only improve your fishing rather than sitting there waiting for things to happen, go out and make them happen.
Thursday, 27 June 2013
The water had dropped a few inches since my last session so i decided to use a floating line and a 3.9 inches per second sink tip with a 10lb flurocarbon tippet instead of the intermediate line which i had used previously. Fishing down the pool i had two short takes so i went back up the pool to give myself a wider angle which would allow the fly to stay in the area for a few seconds longer Approaching the area that i had got the short takes i hit the fish which rolled a few times and then headed upstream towards me, on seeing me it ran downstream taking line from the reel but i quickly took control of the fish and brought it towards me and kept the fight close in. Landing the salmon i noticed that it had female sealice on it and being less than one hour out of saltwater i took the salmon, a fresh fish of about 7lbs.
The second fish was a coloured salmon of about 16lbs which launched itself downstream taking a lot of line on its first initial run, after that it wallowed in close but gave some very explosive lunges that would have broken most lines but due to the fact that i was using a 6wt switchfly rod , it took the sting out of the surges and dampened the shock to the line. Landing the big fish i noticed that it was marked on the tail but there was no doubt that it would survive till spawning. Resting the fish for a few minutes i released it to swim away strong and just to prove me right it launched itself about four feet into the air sending water everywhere. There are a large number of large coloured salmon in residence which can be spectacular when they start pitching into the air but they move the fresh fish on by holding the lies. I saw a few grilse starting to show but they seemed quite small, some were only a couple of pounds in weight and were playing with the shrimp fly, tugging at the tail and coming short. Over all there seems to be a good number of salmon in the river but as i have said the majority are stale coloured fish.
Sunday, 23 June 2013
I had only fished the Dam fishery twice since May 15th due to the extremely low water and was glad to see that the water was up a foot on my arrival. I was only too eager to try my new Switch fly rod which was made for me by Tony O' Sullivan to my specifications. With a good flow on the river i put up an intermediate fly line with a sink tip ( 5.9ins per second sink rate ) not a great casting combination but a good fishing one and a size 15 Ahilles double shrimp fly. I met quite a few salmon while fishing beat four but all were taking the fly short so i moved up to beat one and hooked and landed the first fish of the session, a nice fresh sea liced salmon of about 7lbs. On releasing this fish i hooked and lost a smaller grilse of about 4lbs, they were so fresh that they were playing with the fly and pulling it by the tail. Even though i use a size 15 Ahilles shrimp fly i tie in a nice long calf tail to give the fly great life and movement in the eddies and boils as it fishes down the lies. I know that sometimes it can be annoying when salmon keep plucking at the long tail but i'm always happy to be meeting salmon when others aren't so the tail stays.
Moving down the beats i caught and released two more salmon of about six pounds each, very fresh and covered in sea lice and then i met a very large coloured salmon in the high teens which threw the fly in a backward spiralling cartwheel. Just as darkness was arriving i met another salmon that passed me by and spat the fly at my feet and on swimming away gave me the fin, there were a few choice words exhaled but all in all it was a great days fishing. The question is whether to shorten the tail and maybe not meet so many fish but hold onto them or leave the tail and meet fish with a chance of losing them , i will have to ponder over that till the next time.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Over the last week or so the dam has been generating high volumes of water making it very hard to fish due to the height and speed of the water. Using a 25gr size four blade black / gold flying c i was able to get down through the fast turbulent water and slow the spinner down over the salmon lies. I got two aggressive takes before the salmon got hold of the spinner and cartwheeled downstream taking line from my reel. Forcing the fish back upstream i quickly brought the fight to me, playing out the salmon close in and fast so that i could get it on the bank and release it. The problem is that the bank is very narrow with a lot of cut tree stumps which are very sharp so one has to take great care that neither the line or the fish become tangled up in these. As you can see in the video when releasing the salmon there are stumps everywhere so great care must be taken at all times and this only adds to the fight making it more stressful. Luckily i tailed the fish first time and with only one hook inside the mouth i quickly removed it and released the salmon. During the day i lost one more fish and saw a nice fresh six pound salmon being taken by another angler. Spinning in very high water is really back breaking work, roll on the low water so that i can put a fly across some fish and take things easy for a change.
Friday, 10 May 2013
Having lost a big salmon the day before i couldn't get it out of my head, i kept going through the fight stage by stage trying to see if it was possible to have landed the fish but all avenues lead to the same conclusion..... not enough bank. I just couldn't turn the fish after it headed down stream in the very heavy water, even using 20lb breaking strain didn't stop the fish but straightened the hooks on my flying c. Having seen this lovely big fresh head and tail a few times at the base of the pool i quickly covered it and it took the spinner with a very aggressive thump and off down stream like yesterdays fish, i quickly turned the salmon and it gave another blistering run upstream which i again stopped. i brought the fight to me and held the fish only a few yards out from me and kept running it in circles thus taking away its confidence. Having made a space for myself in a very awkward area i tailed the salmon and with two hands moved it up the bank. The hooks were in the tongue and the fish was bleeding very heavily so i took the salmon. Even though the salmon was well over 15lbs very fresh and covered in sea lice i still had thoughts about yesterdays fish..... how big was he when i could turn this big fish easily, how big was he. As with all anglers we have nightmares about the ones that got away.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
Having spent the morning fly fishing for salmon at the Dam fishery in really low water i was only too happy to see the water levels rise to full load. The low water was having a negative effect on the salmon due to the lack of movement and the water clarity was very bad and in some places you couldn't see your feet when wading. I had fished with my switch fly rod using a floating line and a green sinking tip but had change to a tapered leader to get some movement into the fly. The fly was a Park shrimp size 15 double salar and i got four plucks at the fly during the morning session. As soon as the water came on it cleared away the algae colour from the water and also oxygenated it as well. I changed over to my spinning rod and using a size four Flying "C" i quickly caught and released my first salmon, a nine pound fresh fish with red markings on the belly as it had just come up over the weirs. The second fish was an eight pound bar of silver with sea lice and this fish was also quickly released, actually it released itself just as i was turning on the camera it broke my grip and swam away. The third fish hit fast and strong with three blistering runs and the reel tension could be heard screaming a long distance away. Bringing the fish in close i noticed it had a bad marking on its side and this was very fresh but luckily for the salmon it hadn't broken skin or drawn blood so i reckon that it will survive to spawn. The fish put up a very spirited fight and this normally happens when a salmon's mouth is closed shut and that's what had happened, the fish had rolled and the line had wrapped around its mouth and trapped it shut thus making the salmon go berserk and that is why it took so long to revive, it had burned itself out. There are a good number of big salmon showing up again this year lets hope that anglers will do the right thing and release the bigger multi sea wintered and multi spawing fish.
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Here are some scenery photo's of Lough Currane in Waterville, Co Kerry .
Salmon fly fishing on Lough Currane is a special experience as unlike river fly fishing where the flow of the water takes the fly to the salmon,when fishing in a boat one has to line up the boat with a known salmon lie and drift slowly over it or if you are lucky have a ghillie hold station over the salmon lie and then one can tease the salmon with the fly.Having arrived at the lake we were greeted with a heavy mist and strong squall which was the total opposite to the weather forecast but as all anglers (optimists) we reckoned that it would pass over and we would get our warm 15 degrees and light south westerly wind ...... never happened, it was cold and the squalls kept pushing the boat over the lies too fast and also pulling the boat backwards thus bowing the line causing it to be pulled away from the fish. I met a good fish on the first drift but having a slight bow in the line allowed too much slack and never got a hook set and the salmon got off, but we saw it show on the surface and it was a very heavy set fish. I was fishing a floating line with a two fly cast of a Wilkinson salmon fly size 10 on the point and a Greenpeter sedge size 10 on the dropper and this was bringing up the fish. I met a few nice sea trout as we drifted into the bay but they wouldn't stay with the fly and we saw the splashy boils which indicated that they were decent fish. I fished the day with my 11 foot switch rod and found that it dealt very well with the strong winds even though the line was a bit light for it and i should have been fishing a weight forward size 8 line and not a six, but all my fly lines are six as i fish a lot of competitions so i had to compromise with my casting. As the day wore on i changed over to a kelly green intermediate fly line and caught a few nice brown trout on the Greenpeter and one lovely trout on the Wilkinson salmon fly. As its a bit early for the larger numbers of sea trout to arrive i did well to catch anything on such a rough day and if luck had been on my side i might have landed the salmon and sea trout and then it would have been a great day ( optimist again ). I will definitely be going back to Waterville soon as i have seen a few new locations that i will have to fish under better weather conditions and seeing a nice salmon being landed by another boat only makes me more determined.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The weather was really nice with some lovely warm sunshine, something that we haven't seen in a few weeks. I put my hand into the water to check the temperature and found it to be tepid maybe about eight degrees celsius and that must be the warmest it has been for a few weeks, looking good, we might get some action as it is close to the magical ten degrees. I fished a size four flying "c" down the run and hadn't moved anything and just as i was about to move further upstream a small salmon just head and tailed above me. I quickly covered the fish and took bottom with a few casts and hadn't touched the fish or even moved it so i extended the casting area around the salmon and kept touching bottom with every cast but no pull or touch. The salmon showed once more and i could see that it was a very shallow head and tail so i reckoned that the fish was staying high in the water column so i changed over to a smaller size three flying "c" and met the fish on my second cast. The salmon came in to fight close to the bank and kept rolling on itself and jarring the line this made me quite nervous and when i looked i could see that there was only one hook in it's mouth and that was ideal for a quick release. Having tailed the salmon i could see that it was very fresh but it hadn't any sea lice on it and it was a hatchery salmon of about six pounds, letting the salmon rest up for a few moments i released it back in to the river. If only all spring fishing days could be so perfect, nice warm sunshine and an obliging salmon.
Sunday, 7 April 2013
These are the new breed of salmon flies made with possum to add more life and movement to the fly. Not only are they beautiful salmon flies but actually on closer inspection they are actually works of art and i think that these flies will take a lot of salmon for me this year. To view the tying materials for these flies go to www.osullivanflies.blogspot.com.
Thursday, 21 March 2013
CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO VIEW THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE.
P.S. The video of my Ultimate Spinner Retrieval Tool in action starring yours truly will be up on my youtube channel soon so subscribe to my channel for more great tips on equipment and tackle.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
With heavy rain forecast for the next few days i decided to take a chance on fishing the Inniscarra Salmon Fishery before the flood waters arrive only to find the Dam was generating at full capacity. Not only was the water high but it was also moving fast and this meant that i would have to use my heavy 25gram size four blade Flying C's to get down to the fish. The temperature dropped very fast in the evening and it became quite cold and this in conjunction with the cold water coming from the bottom of the dam was going to make fishing very hard. I fished down the entire beat taking weed from the bottom as my spinner hugged the bottom contours searching out the salmon lies to see if there was anyone at home. Having come to the last section of Beat 1 i hooked into a small salmon of about 7lbs and quickly played out the fish. The fight was short lived due to the fact that the salmon was fresh in from the sea and didn't have enough energy to give a good account of itself. The heavy fast water having tired out the fish even before i had hooked it. I quickly played out the fish and once rested i released the salmon. With heavy rains due i reckon that there will be some fresh fish coming into most rivers soon but hopefully the floods won't be too bad so that i can cast a fly rather than spinning. Anyone that spins for salmon in high water knows the pains and aches one suffers the following days after fishing in high water.
Sunday, 17 March 2013
To view the video please click on the above link to see my first salmon of 2013, having problems putting video up on the blog at this moment in time. Paul.
Friday, 15 March 2013
|The Dam just releasing Water|
When i started fishing at the Inniscarra Salmon Fishery the water was low so i decided to try out my new Switch Rod which was made to my specifications by Tony O Sullivan, the rod casts well but i think it is a small bit heavy for my 6wt lines so i will have to downsize to the 5/6 wt version rather than the 6/7 wt version that i got. It is a beautiful rod for casting both overhead and underarm and definitely has plenty of power to handle any salmon. As i was fishing all the regular croys in search of the ever elusive salmon i heard the warning siren from the Dam that lets you know that the water level will be rising soon, so i moved up to Beat 1 Woodside and set about putting up my spinning gear as that is the most successful method you can use in high water at the dam. Having fished for about an hour i hooked into a good fish which charged downstream but i was able to turn the fish with my Hardy rod and strong stradic 6000, that is why i use the 6000 because it has the power to stop big fish and not tear up cogs spinning in high water. The salmon gave a few long runs but each time i stopped the fish and brought it in closer to me and then i ran the fish around in circles to tire it out so that i could beach it. The salmon had a small mark on its snout but was very fresh and the scales were falling off but no sea lice. The fish was very broad and deep and was at least 17lbs in weight and i could barely hold it to take a photograph. Holding the fish for a few minutes in the water it was rested up enough to swim away strong and so starts my 2013 season. Can i catch a bigger salmon or is it all downhill from here. The short video of me catching the salmon can be seen on my youtube channel.