Tuesday 19 October 2010

Visiting Danish Anglers to Wexford - One

Irish wolfhounds and great Danes

There’s no doubt that any person fly fishing for bass on the south eastern coast of Ireland during the seasons of 2007, 2008 and 2009 have had a tough time. Three seasons have now passed since what seemed like an eternity of very long, wet and dark summers that began in mid 2007. Summers that every day each of us hoped would begin and we would at last get some fine weather.

This season at last, visiting bass anglers have at times experienced some fantastic fishing here in Wexford. It’s been very tough during those three years. And particularly tough when you are trying to develop a new market for saltwater fly fishing in what is an already complex environment.

I have been interested in Danish saltwater fly fishing for quite a while now and as my personal interest in saltwater fly fishing has become almost all consuming it seemed logical to attempt to get some interested people here. In recent years saltwater fly fishing has experienced a tremendous growth in Denmark. So much that today you may see as many - or even more - fly fishermen fishing the shallow water wading from the shoreline as you see fishermen using spinning gear. The advent of long and light graphite rods coupled with light and saltwater resistant fly reels and a fantastic internationally recognised fishery has made this exciting development possible.

Standard equipment is a 9-10 foot long rod for 7-8 weight lines. Forward tapers are preferred as are floating lines for shallow and quiet water in the sheltered bays. On more open and windy shorelines intermediate lines are preferred to get below the waves to facilitate a good contact to the fly during the retrieve. I read this and more from a Danish Seatrout site and thought it sounded very familiar. Sportfishing in Denmark is almost exclusively focused on the prolific and fast growing sea trout in both river and sea. All major river systems are located in continental Jutland with the rivers Guden, Karup, Storå, Skjern, Varde, Kongeå and Ribe being the main fish producers.

Fishing in these rivers usually starts January 16 where "greenlanders" (the Danish name for small, overwintering immature sea trout in prime condition) together with spent and spawned out fish in bad to extremely bad condition dominate the catches. Serious and decent fishermen leave the spawned out fish alone and concentrate on the fat "greenlanders" instead, using light fly and spinning tackle. The "greenlanders" are mostly in the 35-45 cm range.

The "real" river fishing season for sea trout usually starts around June 5 where most major rivers experience the first run of large and mature sea trout. The first fish are often the largest with many silvery sea trout in the 5-10 kilo range being caught. From June on and proceeding to the end of the season (usually November 15) more and gradually smaller sea trout run the rivers and join the often fierce battle for the best holding spots.

What really interested me was that in Denmark, thousands and thousands of sea trout are caught annually along most of the Danish coastline which spans an impressive 8.000 kilometres!
The length of the coastline reflects the huge number of smaller and larger islands which comprise the non-continental part of Denmark. In the shallow water surrounding Denmark sea trout find an underwater Heaven on Earth. Food items of all sorts abound and provide easy prey for hungry sea trout. Here was a large concentration of anglers already familiar with fly fishing in tough conditions for a difficult quarry using gear that would ‘fit’ the requirements for fly fishing for bass in Ireland.
Early beginnings back in 2007

New Website

The beginning AND the end…

Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...