Thursday, 28 April 2011
I flipped my fly into a broad shallow pool that was forming at the shore. It is something I always do having tied on, I wet the fly and ‘swim’ it for a few moments, checking its orientation, confirming to myself that the fish will want to eat it. I strip 20 yards of line off the reel and load it back it the basket, I check the leader and the leader knots again.
I look at where I am going to fish. I know it well. A mild southerly blows straight at me steady at force 3 to 4 posing no real problems. It has created excellent white breaking water along the front of the rocky reef I am about to fish, water clarity remains superb and I wade into the water past ‘groin’ depth. Its 30 minutes or so into the rising tide. The sun is to my right and its 16:30 in the afternoon. The sea temperature is still pretty cold and a sea fog drifts over the land from time to time. Air temperature is 19 degrees and there are some clouds.
I am fishing a slow intermediate line and nine foot leader of flu0rocarbon and a four inch white deceiver tied in a loop knot.
Try this – place your left hand flat on the table and spread your fingers. Your middle finger is facing due South. Looking down at your hand imagine that each finger is a line of rocks higher and longer than what is in between, which is also by the way rocky too with a mixture of sand and stones gathered at the base of your fingers. Where am I at this time, where am I positioned for fishing? I am just to the left of the little finger past the end.
Waves crashing onto the shore are breaking slightly past the base of your finger nails moving North and water is running up the gulleys to as far as the second joint. Depth at 25 feet beyond your finger nails is approximately 12 feet and the ground outside is sand with large patches of weed covered rock. At the rocky points (end of fingers) its possible to move over and through to the next gulley.
I don’t like to cast over my right side when the wind is blowing southerly or south westerly, the fly tracks too close to me. So I turn and cast backwards. My first casts are made out of the zone to the left of the little finger. When I’m happy that I have it going I make my first active fishing cast, making a cast towards the end of my ring finger, the running line crossing perhaps just at the top left. I immediately gain control of the line and as the cast is quite short turnover is very quick and I may at times ‘shorten’ my cast gently. The fly and the leader lands very ‘straight from’ me so ‘landing to fish time’ is very very short. There is one false cast only. My intention is to get the fly to meet and coincide with shore bound waves and to fish it through the ‘nail’ area and up to the second joint of my ring finger as quickly as possible.
On the third cast I took my first fish. I land and release the fish and move slowly through the water crossing my ring finger without standing out of the water. Just beyond the left end of my middle finger is now my new target and this situation is one where I will fish most actively and as best I can. Its here that I expect to have real success. I fish for 15 minutes with no result and decide to check the knots – I begin reeling in the entire last cast when a fish hits, he is immediately on the reel and its a nice one too. Some walkers stop to watch the crazy man up to his elbows in the sea trying to land a fish, its always a mad time with a fly rod. This one runs to just under 3Kgs
The walkers wave and shout, I cant hear what they say so I put my thumbs up and smile. I continue crossing the fingers, slightly up wind as it moves more west and take two more fish. Eventually reaching my thumb I stop for a while and then fish back. The tide has pushed up now and the middle knuckles of your fingers are my targets as I move down wind over the same area.
I prefer to fish moving against the the wind even if its more difficult so I normally get out at my thumb and walk down the beach back to what remains of the little finger and fish back up again towards my thumb. This means I am fishing at the location that has been fished an hour or more ago and hence fish have had the least amount of ‘disturbance’. Once then once more, about three hours and I’m done.
You will find fish around reefs and rocky points because they provide both ambush locations and opportunities to find food. As microscopic matter is stirred with wave activity and rising tides are compressed into tighter spaces so are the larger predators along the chain – including you.
The continued attraction and at times obsession for me is the combined number of challenges that I face when fly fishing. Its the cast, the limit of the cast, the quality of the cast, the way you move and fish the fly in the bass environment, how and when I move in the water……it goes on.
Friday, 22 April 2011
All of the fish were caught at less than 50 feet distance with the fly stripped very quickly
- Rod: Jensen High Tide #8
- Reel: Danielsson LW 6/9
- Line: Guideline coastal slow intermediate #8
- Leader: 9’-6” Tapered Rio fluorocarbon
- Fly: 4” white mini sloopy here
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Its been a very busy time over the last few months of that there’s no doubt. Training for the boat, an IT project, Pike fishing, working on the book and school too!
Its probably reflected in the posts that have been appearing on the blog recently – generally short and sourced from the web, the odd occasion I can put something together has been quite rare.
I am enrolled on the Failte Ireland Bsc Tourism enterprise management 3 year degree programme at WIT – (2011–2014) and now school is officially out until September! I am just about finished my submissions and its a weight of my shoulders – its going to require a lot of commitment and I hope that its not reflected too badly here. I am learning a lot and I love the interaction with other tourism providers -
I do feel to that during my submissions which are based around actual existing business practices that I can do something even more for bass fishing in this country. I am ensuring its continued profile to the graduate business department at WIT and indeed the Failte Ireland people involved in the programme. Hopefully by increasing their awareness of my small fishing business and how I can improve it combined with the many issues involved around bass fishing in this country it can do no harm to the tourism potential and protection of the fishery.
So instead of spending my days and occasional nights at study, the fishing season begins for me shortly. I will start posting in the conditions section in about two weeks time as the bass fishing usually kicks off around week 18 (the first spring tides of May).
Hopefully VERY Bendy very shortly.
There is a short window of opportunity opening – might be a bit too short though.
From a South Easterly perspective -
- Sudden cooler flowing air over warmer water can make fishing difficult
- Sudden or extended periods of cooler flowing air over already cool water will make fishing difficult (Spring - late Autumn) for a time
- Sudden change from cooler air to warmer air over warmer/cooler water will create opportunities on the right tidal cycle
- Protracted periods of cooler moving air has more impact than shorter periods
- Sudden dropping air temperatures have less impact time during autumn than during spring or summer
- Impact time during autumn is shorter than during spring or summer
- Fishing periods during off-shore winds are more difficult than during on-shore winds
- Protracted periods of either off-shore or on-shore winds will affect your fishing
- Air temperatures increase/decrease much faster and are much more irregular than sea temperatures which are more stable over time
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
3 Day Summer
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
The photographs below were some of the hundred or so that I made, and the time spent at working and walking through various stages of the tide now provides me with an endless amount of water and terrain information about the locations. This will help me no end especially when I return to these places when the conditions are more favourable.
I found drop offs, focused current, gulleys, and steps - all key places that I know will hold fish in the future. I know how water runs in and out off various sections, how waves break and mix and when, and much more. I'm tired and a bit stiff today, I worked very hard over eighteen hours of fishing with six hours in the car too. Am I disappointed that I caught no fish? Of course I'm not, for isnt 'not catching' a major part of the game?
And look what I came away with - invaluable information that will apply and be re-considered for many years to come.
Rod : Jensen High Tide #8
Reel : Danielsson LW 6/9, Ross Evolution #8
Lines : Guideline fast inter - Guidleline slow inter - Coastal #8's
Leader: 9'-6" and 11'-0" Rio fluorocarbon hand built tapers
Flies: Mini sloopies, mini hollows, sandeel, shrimp, clousers,
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Thursday, 14 April 2011
- Bright sunny day late in the morning
- Crystal clear water
- Flowing current
- Bright - Gold / Chartreuse and clear/semi transparent surface lure
- Very calm conditions in an estuarine environment
- Photographed in June this was one of 14 fish taken in rapid succession at around 11:30 in the morning
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...