Saturday, 22 March 2014

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2014. " Off the Mark ".

                       My First Spring Salmon of the 2014 Salmon Season.

Fishing from beat 1 to beat 4 with my 6wt switch fly rod i covered every lie but failed to see or meet any salmon. The water was very low but clear so it was easy to see every rock in all the pools on the way down to beat 4 and i must admit that they were all vacant, no fish at home. Heading back up to beat 1 i heard the siren so i knew that heavy water was on the way, back to spinning. The dam opened three sills which  generate a height load of about 3ft over normal levels, ideal for both fly or spinner. Having fly fished all morning i changed over to my spinning outfit and put on a size 3 black and silver flying c because water levels weren,t high enough to use a size 4 and using the larger spinner would only mean getting constantly stuck on the bottom.

The salmon hit the spinner and started rolling and spinning in the water so i knew from the start that something was wrong and at one stage thought that i had hooked a very good pike but then the fish erupted into the air and then i knew that we were off to the races. The fish tried to wrap itself around several large rocks but with the non stretch quality of braid i was able to turn the salmon away from the rocks and not allow it to get back down into the deep water. I always play my salmon out on top of the water as it tires them out faster and allows me to return them in good condition but this salmon fought differently and even at one stage i thought that it would fall off, looking back i think that it was just nerves at possibly losing my first fish of the 2014 season. On landing the salmon i noticed that the hooks were stuck in both the upper and lower jaw and in my experience that makes the salmon go wild and fight very eratically. I took the salmon because of the damage to its mouth and luckily it was a hatchery fish weighing about 15lbs with fresh sea lice. Normally i return the first salmon but the damage done to the fish would not have allowed it to survive if i had released it back into the river. Well i'm  off to a good start and hopefully a good 2014 season. Best thing about fishing in cold wet weather is staying dry and having good gear keeps one dry and warm, having issues with other waders last year i am enjoying fishing this season in my new Sonik SK4 waders that i bought from Ned at Ardaire Springs Fishery, they are so comfortable that you'd hardly know that you had them on.


  1. Hi Paul, congrats on catching your first fish of 2014, may it be the first of many. I spent the day on dam myself today and only saw one springer for the whole day but unfortunately he never took the size 3 black and silver flying c, fishing it upstream from every possible angle on beat one woodside. The water was the same as when you caught your fish at about half load with three sills open. I changed over to a megabass vision one ten and caught a sea trout of about a pound and followed that with a brown trout of a half pound but still that springer evaded capture perhaps he might half been lost downstream beforehand who knows because as you well know fresh springers normally wallop lures. I then spent a few hours with my switch rod getting used to fishing river right and getting used to fishing this side of the river. I was using a black Dee Monkey tube fly whick looked deadly in the current. Hopefully i will my first Atlantic salmon on the fly this year as i plan to mainly fly fish for them. Did you or Kieran see any fish on Paddys day when i met you in Blackwater Lodge? Regards Kieran.

  2. Hi Kieran, we didn't see any fish on paddy's day, we fished there again today but water was rising and clarity was down to one foot but i caught and released 5 cracking trout best was 2lb.