Thursday 28 April 2011

Fly fishing - Once in a Blue Moon production screener from On the Fly on Vimeo.


Palm down fishing

DSCF1208I 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 supeDSCF1233rb 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.

DSCF1228Waves 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.DSCF1209 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

DSCF1211The 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.

Some early Spring Tactics HERE and HERE for fly and hard lure.

Friday 22 April 2011

Catch Report–22-04-2011–Wexford

The window of opportunity opened this afternoon for a short while and I was lucky to be there to take it. Taking four fish in a 45 minute period the action was thick and fast with the best fish running to 3.25kgs.
All of the fish were caught at less than 50 feet distance with the fly stripped very quickly
Landing Gear

  • 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



There "out of our element" - Faceless - Fly Fishing - from faceless fly fishing on Vimeo.

Thursday 21 April 2011

Schools’ out for summer :-)

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.


Stones, they fall

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

Summer Special 3-Day Workshop Guided Fishing

Would you like to Jump start the season – maybe round off a few corners - The 29th 30th of June and the 01st of July fall on an excellent tidal period – This short Summer offer includes two days guiding with on the water instruction if required – on the third day I fish with you as we explore the South East Coast of Ireland. The spring special is for two people only with guided fishing day 1, 2 and 3 (and I get the opportunity to fish with you on the third) - please contact me for further breakdown of exact details and plan.

3 Day Summer

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Evening mullet

Not catching - valuable information

I spent Sunday afternoon, early Monday morning and the rise of the tide just after lunch yesterday flyfishing for bass with no success. This was not a real surprise to me given the conditions that we are experiencing and the fact that I was on new ground way south using a difficult method.

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.

Exploration tools

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,

A few days exploring with no fish

Saturday 16 April 2011

The nine go forth

Sunday - Dave - Dublin ~ Short workshop saltwater fly casting, bigger flies Monday - Aidan and Grainne - Galway ~ Bass fishing an introduction workshop, lure Tuesday - Anne and Pat - Dublin ~ Bass fishing an introduction workshop, lure Wednesday - Thursday - Pat and John - Wexford ~ Short workshop bass fishing influences Friday - Saturday (today) - Frank and Frank - Cork ~ Bass fishing an introduction workshop, lure. Many thanks for a very busy and interesting week, I wish you all a sunny and safe summer ~ find loads of silver!

Thursday 14 April 2011

Learn about bass fishing from a photograph

  • 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

please sir can I have some more?


Take a look here to see another sure fire winner – bass will eat these till the sprats come home!

Guided Pike Fishing Service Details

Details of the service now available here

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Nice spell of weather on the way


The season begins

The season for 2011 got off to a busy start for me in the last couple of days. I delivered workshops on Sunday Monday and Tuesday - and both Monday and Tuesday were shared by a husband and wife team. Grainne and Adrian from Galway went through on Monday and Anne and Pat from Dublin 'qualified' today with flying colours. Much is made about the socio economic benefits of bass fishing as a defence against the possibility of commercial exploitation - the six people whom have come to Wexford to take these courses in the last few days have spent both money and time in the local economy of Wexford - in difficult times like these any input from tourism is more than welcomed. What gives me a great sense of both satisfaction and achievement is that fact that an increasing number of people are prepared to take a 'short workshop' to learn some of the principles of bass fishing, enough to get started and much more. People are committed to travelling from all over Ireland to Wexford to do this. Its not a huge volume of people but its a growing number. I make no apology to say that I take full opportunity to promote Wexford as best as I possibly can during the workshops, in many ways - it encourages people back, not neccessarily always back to SEAi (it does happen a lot) but hopefully back to Wexford. They come back based on their own positive experiences - the clean environment, the quality and vibrant atmosphere of the town and the chance to learn techniques about what must be the best fishing available in most of the coastal counties of Ireland at this time. My attempts to make a living from bass fishing are based around a few simple things, the fact of the matter is those things are been changed for me and hence will change for my customers. In many ways I dont really understand. I ask you to remember this post for the simplicity of something that already works and has worked for many years and benefits many in many ways, ways that people aren't even aware off - remember too in years to come when the questions are asked, what and who broke the model?

Saturday 9 April 2011

March weather summary

Very dry and sunny everywhere; becoming warm after a cool start Areas of high pressure over or close to Ireland were the dominant influence on the month's weather; as a result, dry and mostly sunny conditions prevailed during the first week and for much of the second half. Temperatures rose above normal during the month after a cold and frosty start. Monthly rainfall totals of between 15mm and 50mm generally were only around half of the normal March amounts, with lowest values relative to normal in eastern and southeastern areas. It was the driest March for between 11 and 14 years at many stations. Most precipitation was confined to the period between the 9th to 14th, when snow fell in some areas, while the 30th and 31st were also wet. Most stations recorded between six and nine wetdays during the month (days with 1mm or more rainfall), well below the normal range for March of between 12 and 17 wetdays. Despite a cold start, March was a little warmer than normal overall; mean monthly air temperatures were around half a degree above normal generally, but were over a degree above normal in some western areas. While mean maximum temperatures were around a degree higher than average, mean minimum values were more than one degree below normal in most places, reflecting the frequency of frost during the month, especially during the first week. The majority of stations recorded a total of between 18 and 25 ground frosts; this compares with the normal range for March across the country of between seven and 13 ground frosts. Sunshine totals were above normal everywhere and, for the fifth successive month, they were well above normal in many places. Cork Airport had its sunniest March since 1970, while totals at both Shannon Airport and Valentia Observatory were the highest for March since 1955. The sunniest period of the month was between the 23rd and 27th, when daily values of more than 10 hours were recorded at many stations.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Trouble in Chesapeake Bay

From Ed Mitchell Morning Jim, Through Stripers Forever, I've started a drive to raise money for mycobacteriosis research. With 75 percent of the bass in the Bay now infected, myco poses a huge threat to the future of fishery. I've attached our press release and a brief document from the lead research guy at the Virigina Institue for Marine Science. Could you please mention this drive to any anglers you know that visit the USA to fish for bass? Its a worthy deductable too Feel free to contact me if you have questions - Ed Mycobacteriosis of Striped Bass in Chesapeake Bay

Tuesday 5 April 2011

The Atlantic Salmon Trust

Funding research and practical measures to ensure the future of salmon and sea trout at sea and in fresh water Interesting link and very informative site Sea Trout - the forgotten species Sea Trout Recognition

Sunday 3 April 2011

Prowrassefisher!~from April 2005

Looking back through older April photos I found these from a softlure workshop a few years back - bass assassins and bachi sv-67 heads!

Go ahead - zoom bang and tapout - leaders in the field.

Saturday 2 April 2011


John Devlin just sent me this photo of his first Irish fish > 20lbs - I think the smile says everything. John does trojan work for the IBG

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...