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Fly Fishing Wexford

Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming Inland Fisheries Ireland staff and associated visiting anglers/journalists to Wexford for the second year in a row with only one thing on our minds, catching Bass on the fly.

Forecast for the week looked tough with moderate to strong Easterly based air flows predicted along with extremely bright sunshine dominating each day of fishing. Fishing bass on the fly is by no means easy even under ideal conditions but it was clear from early on in the trip that the bass were going to be hard caught.

 

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8 and 9 WT single handed rods were loaded with various floating and intermediate shooting lines, cameras prepared, glasses cleaned and sun cream put on in anticipation for the fishing ahead. Fishing was focused in estuary’s early in the week which showed signs of life with fish spotted in waves, some smaller fish landed and the odd ‘bump’ as flies swung in the ebb tide, it was not however productive enough so we moved much further South to mixed ground covering miles of coastline in search of ‘holding fish’ so to speak.

 

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Despite the challenging conditions there was some fish landed on various fly’s from Lefty’s Deceiver’s, Hollow fly’s and small baitfish imitations but more often than not fish simply followed or ‘plucked’ at even the most sparsely tied patterns retrieved at various speeds.

Not easy! and it seemed we were not the only anglers struggling as some other visiting lure anglers some of whom we knew from previous excursions were also struggling, they a group of 5 were covering huge areas of water each day for what seemed like minimal return for lure angling.

 

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Massive thanks must go to Markus, Shane, Rudy, Mario and Christin for making the week so enjoyable in what were at times quite challenging conditions for fly fishing, not that it seemed to deter you folks from fishing at every given opportunity! Working with such professional people (and top class fly anglers I must add) is a pleasure, lets hope we can chuck some flies again in the near future.

 

 

 

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Right Place, Right Time….

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The Challenge

Jim travelled down from the midlands during the week to participate in a bespoke workshop with one thing on his mind, to become a proficient saltwater fly angler.

In the afternoon we discussed the ‘need to know’ information required to successfully target Bass, Sea Trout and Pollack on the fly then moved on to some casting and fishing techniques in a quiet and peaceful estuary. Despite having limited fly casting experience Jim promptly advanced his casting and fishing skills. The challenge begins ….

 

Fly Casting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Get Out There’

Conditions today were challenging but rewarding as the photo below shows a nice rainbow trout which weighed in at 6 lbs. All too often the anglers who ‘get out there’ in such conditions are duly rewarded. Once there is a reasonable chance of catching a fish in a safe environment its well worth a go, often the best fishing is had when no other anglers are about.

 

6lb rainbow trout

The fly that caught the above fish Is a Damsel variation which I tied up last week which has caught a lot of fish since, a combination of several successful patterns which worked over time I combined to create a fly that is working pretty well so far!

The fish above amongst others landed fought superbly on #5 weight tackle but by increasing leader strength slightly to 8lbs it means you can land the fish that bit faster to keep its stress to a minimum to aid recovery. A lovely fish that has certainly been in this water a few winters growing naturally. Some quick pictures and off it went to fight another day.

If you would like to learn how to fly fish or indeed further develop your existing skills get in touch to create your bespoke workshop. Location can be arranged to suit your needs, any queries will be answered promptly.

 

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Stocked Trout

Long bright evenings are slowly approaching with the water temperatures rising also the fish are becoming much more active. Air temperatures are below average for the time of year which made for some very enjoyable early morning and late evening sessions recently.

Stocked stillwater fisheries make for some exciting sport all year round and are readily available throughout the country. Many of these fisheries are spring fed or have some source of natural water flowing into them so as a result they also might hold native fish.

 

rainbow trout

 

Where possible fishing light tackle is the route I generally choose regardless of target species. Fishing a 3/4 weight or 4/5 weight rod in stocked fisheries might seem too light to many people but I find such equipment a pleasure to fish with and perfectly practical for most fisheries.

The # 4/5 Airflo setup was utilised greatly on recent sessions with floating or slow sinking weight forward lines, 6 lbs leader with fly choice being a variety of small beaded nymphs all tied to represent each areas natural available food life. Short fan casts covering all areas retrieved using a slow figure of eight worked in most cases with fish taking furiously and fighting extremely hard all the way to the net. Mostly well built rainbows with some nice browns landed for good measure ensured we were busy and quite content anglers.

 

brown trout

 

Taking great notice of surrounding activity and putting observations into action can improve your results greatly. If you are struggling but do manage to catch a fish and intend keeping it perhaps use a marrow spoon to inspect what the fish was feeding on prior to taking your fly.

 

brownie

 

If you would like to learn more about this type of fishing by taking part in a Workshop get in touch using the contact page to arrange your bespoke package at a location and time to suit your needs.

 

 

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Rainbows And Browns

With last weekends forecast looking poor due to high winds it was decided that myself and Jay would take advantage of the reasonable day that was forecast midweek. A stocked fishery was chosen that can produce some good sized hard fighting rainbow and brown trout.

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On arrival the conditions looked fair with high hopes to have a good days angling ahead. Fly and light lure rods were set up and before no time we were fishing. Most fisheries (rightly so) will not openly allow or advertise any form of lure fishing but if you ask fishery owners kindly explaining the use of light guage, single barbless hooks and great care taken there is often no problem. Fishing in a responsible manner with the correct equipment it places no extra stress on the fish than alternative methods.

Brown Trout

I started fishing the fly rod with sinking line, short leader down to a olive damsel on the point. Jay geared up his Tiro 1-12gm lure rod with a 4gm Hansen lure and was the first into a small brownie after ten minutes. Some fish were showing interest but it was decided a move was in order to a different area of the lake. We caught browns and rainbows on a regular basis to about 2lbs on lure and fly breaking for lunch with perhaps thirty fish including a first fish on the fly for Jay.

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During lunch tactics were discussed and I decided to pack away the fly rod to fish lures for the afternoon. The remainder of the day produced fish almost every cast to the point where we stopped fishing several times. Typically fish took on the drop or during a pause in the retrieve. Effective lures on the day were as follows:

Metals:  Ima Gun, Hansen Stripper,  Small Wedges & Mepps (all modified before use)

Soft lures: Tronix HTO shads, Ecogear minnows, Daiwa dfin shads all on 3gm jig heads.

Quick hooking along with barbless hooks ensured fish were landed and returned in seconds without handling the fish at all. We estimated that we caught 100+ fish for our efforts, Not bad fishing for January.

Rainbow Trout

There is a large number of stocked fisheries in all parts of the country that offer good angling from boat and shore so get out there and enjoy what they have to offer. If you would like to learn the skills necessary to successfully target rainbow trout or brown trout using lure or fly get in touch.  All equipment can be provided if required.

 

Rainbow, Cropped

Brown Trout

Returning a fly caught brown troutIts the time of year again when the Brown Trout fishing on local waters comes to an end so It would be rude not to put an effort in to catch some fly caught brownies before the 2013 season draws to a close.

During the summer the fishing in local rivers and stillwater’s became difficult due to low water levels and bright conditions. Of course catching fish is still possible in such conditions but compared to when water levels are more favourable there is no comparison as far as catch rate is concerned. Recent rainfall has produced much improved freshwater fishing opportunities as this report shows.

fly caught brown trout#4 and #5 wt fly rods loaded with floating double tapered and weight forward lines, long leaders and beaded nymph variations caught these hard fighting fish. Many presentations can be promptly altered by adapting the weight of the fly’s and length of leader and of course retrieve type.

fly caught brown trout

The photo above shows a nice sized mature male fish which is easily identified by the strongly curved or upturned lower jaw, Great fighting fish on 5wt tackle!

Influences

Fly fishing for bass under the moonlit sky.Yesterday evening was spent eagerly waiting for a weather pattern to emerge not wanting to miss any opportunity.

Saltwater fly fishing for Bass under the bright moonlit sky as the wind swung south west and increased in speed was challenging but very rewarding.

Casting flies into headwinds, battling with oxygenated rich waves as the fast incoming tide pushes white water around your boots is all part of the Irish Bass fishing experience, As is the anticipation of hooking into that big fish and seeing the line rush off the reel as you assure yourself that all knots and loops are in order and sufficient backing clinches the end of the spool.

The rod of choice last night was the Echo Edge 9ft  #8 that and much more swff equipment is available here. Self made tapered leaders and various flies were cast on Guideline coastal & Scientific angler lines loaded on Vision Koma and Okuma Airframe reels.

Salty Fly Fishing

The challenge that is saltwater fly fishing – Never give up – Kevin didn’t.

Kevin SWFF in Wexford Swff

There seems to be a perception by some that you can catch large numbers of big Irish bass with minimal effort. The reality is that fishing for bass in Ireland is not easy by any means and the angler must put in the hard work before results follow.

We had a good day today, Tough conditions as expected but very enjoyable.

 

Saltwater Fly Fishing

One very capable and determined German customer spent a Guided day in Wexford recently saltwater fly fishing in what were very challenging conditions for many reasons.

Saltwater Fly

Having previously explained that conditions would be so difficult he remained quite happy to fish and by day end after fishing hard all day went home feeling happy having experienced a small taste of what the Wexford coastline can offer.

Saltwater Fly Fishing

It is very easy to get accustomed to the locations we visit regularly as anglers and as a result we often take many things for granted. The Irish coastline and its picturesque surroundings are truly magical.

Fly Tying

I feel confidence is a huge part of angling regardless of what you are trying to achieve. Much of my personal confidence when saltwater fly fishing comes from using flies which I have tied myself such as the ones below.

Clouser minnow

The fly boxes are always full so customers availing of Guided days or Workshops will have the option to use such flies as the ones posted here and many more patterns.

Mini Candy Fly

Most of the flies are tied using Sakuma 410’s in sizes ranging from 4 to 2/0. The best quality available synthetic and natural materials are used when building the flies.

Feathers and bucktail Bucktail blend

Fly tying is something I took up a few years back and something I enjoy doing and will continue to improve at over time. I look forward to posting pictures of flies here in the future and indeed pictures that prove there effectiveness.

South East Angling Services clouser minnow