Saturday, 29 April 2017
Salmon Fishing Ireland 2017.
Expecting high water I brought the big 13 ft double hander fly rod to deal with the strong flow and deep water but I was surprised to see very low water conditions with little or no flow when I arrived at beat 4. I had even left the lighter sink tips at home so I had to make do with the 2.6 ins per second sink tip which was slowing the fly down even more and taking any life out of the movement of the shrimp fly. Long casting in a shallow angle and using a slow figure of eight retrieve gave a small bit of life to the fly plus putting on the longest tail I had in the size 15 salar double improved the movement even more. Having fished down the beat I got a beautiful draw on the line which came out of my hand as I was slowly retrieving and suddenly I was into a nice fish. The fish went down river on the first run but then changed direction and came up against me very fast, I had to walk back up the gravel bar to keep in touch with the salmon and then it changed tactics and started rolling around the line which can be very nerve racking as you can feel every bump as the line rubs off it's body. I turned the salmon upstream and got it into a good fighting position and played it hard with plenty of side strain, after a few minutes I was able to beach the fish safely. It was a nice fresh sea liced salmon of about 12 lbs just up from the tide and after removing the fly and allowing it to rest up I released it back into the river.
Fishing back down the beat I was getting the odd pluck on the long tailed shrimp fly but I couldn't get the fish to stick and after a few attempts the fish stopped engaging with the fly so I decided to try a new approach and go downstream and cover it with the spinning rod. I wanted to see if I changed direction and speed by bringing a spinner down river at speed against the fish would it take first time because it was definitely up for the fly but the lack of movement wasn't working. On the third cast I felt a bump and then a second bump and then the water exploded as can be seen on the video and the second fish was on. The fight was fast and furious and it even tried to wrap itself up on a fallen branch so I allowed it back out into the river to tire itself out so I could handle it with ease. Normally I play fish very fast on the spinning rod as I have more control with the braided line and it is really good because it doesn't tire them out too much but this fish was still a little green so I let it have some air on the surface and then brought it in. It was another fresh sea liced salmon just smaller than the first fish and about 11 lbs but a beautifully shaped salmon and as it was still very fresh it went back very strong. Moving upstream I fished the end of beat 2 as it was getting dark where I hooked and landed another smaller fish of about 9 lbs again fresh but no sea lice. It was too dark to film so I just took a photo and released the fish, it was again on a long tailed shrimp pattern and it was only gently hooked in the mouth. There seems to be a few coming through and with the fresh rain forecast we should get a good push of salmon soon with the coloured high water.