Monday, 1 July 2013

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2013, fishing report

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.


  1. Hi Paul,
    Great fish again!!! I will be def going to fish the Dam this Sunday. I hope to meet some fish & you if I am lucky. Do you know if after recent rain falls the Dam is generating more water. I will need your advice on salmon flies but I think I will post it under Salmon flies link. Rgds Arek

  2. Hi Arek, this week they should generate some water so i hope to go there myself and catch some salmon. The flies i catch the salmon on in low water are Ahilles Shrimp, Park Shrimp and Cascade in size 15 doubles but you can use size 12 or 14. The possums cannot be tied smaller than 11 as you need alot of material to bring the fly to life and it wouldn't fit on smaller hooks. Regards Paul. p.s. i have a guy that ties great flies if you want his number.

  3. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your repIy. I have someone who will tie possums in size 10 and 8 on doubles be he did not have doubles in smaller sizes he was surprised that you fly fishing for salmon with these small sizes ;-). This guy is fly tying guru for me as he knows what he does- he wrote a book about fly tying and been fly fishing all around the world. Anyway would you have ish price for these flies that you've mentioned- I assume that I need to talk to Mr O'Sullivan for more details right? p.s. I was fly fishing Friday and Tue but only for 2 hrs a day and met no fish ;-( mybe because all my flies are in sizes 4 and 2.....Last time I've met you you gave me good tips on flying-C's in high water so hope to meet you when you fly fishing for some more tips... AREK

  4. Hi Arek, when nobody is catching salmon in low water and i can get a few on most of my visits i must be doing something right. It took me awhile studying the way the salmon reacted to the larger flies and having used droppers on my single handed fly rod the salmon used to favour the smaller fly most of the time. Changing down to smaller flies started to produce more takers and even bigger fish especially in low clear water and then i had more luck with the few patterns which i gave you. Now many anglers are using these small flies with success, you can ask tony he has been tying alot of them lately. Paul.

  5. Hi Paul,
    You are 100 % correct you def. doing something right!! I've seen it on my own eyes ;-). I will ask Tony for some flies that you've told me to try, my flies are def no good for low water as had no takers so far. I will be going to try my luck for evening session today but it looks that I will practice my casting only ;-). AREK

  6. Hi Paul,
    You saw me yesterday fishing your spot, exactly same where "The Torpedo" was caught. I wonder if you had luck to meet some salmon last night? Thanks to you I will have flies in size 13 from Tony for my next fly fishing so hope to have some fun ;-). AREK

    1. Hi Arek, i caught three salmon and lost three, two were lost on the fly as the water level dropped and went into darkness. I will try again sunday evening maybe the water will stay low enough to fly fish.