March 1, heralds opening day for trout fishing on many of the rivers in and around our district. As part of my anticipation of this I have been out checking the river levels over the last three weeks or so.
As it happened, it was the perfect antidote to the seemingly endless ranting and ravings the general election generated in all our broadcast media. As part of my annual preparations for opening day, I like to walk the river to in order to see what changes the ravages of winter storms and flooding have made.
Each winter creates its own unique changes so it’s good to be aware of these especially if you are planning to do some wading. Equally important is to see where new pools have been created and to make a mental note for days when summer river levels begin to kick in.
My opening day will be spent on the river I first cast a fly on. A small river in general terms and in fairness to its numerous custodians has largely been untouched by modernisation or over development. It would be considered as a little bit wild and hard to fish due to the high banks and overgrowth.
But this type of fishing, for me encapsulates all the right combinations. It is difficult to begin with but after a while and the loss of countless flys, tangled line, hooked snags and battles with foliage things get easier.
The moment you get the hang of it you are going to be entertained by a very healthy population of hard fighting wild trout, not to mention the joys of near solitude and surrounded by nature at its finest.
The water is going to be cold and the fish will not be too active, so I will fist tie on a weighted nymph, something fairly bushy like a hares ear or a messed up pheasant tailed nymph. These go down to the river bed where the fish are lying and offer a promise not to be refused by any hungry trout in the vicinity.
I shall also have in my armor, some worms, which if my fly fishing tactics prove futile offers me an opening day chance of bagging my first trout of 2016.
Rinn-Shannon & District Angling Club
Pike fishing is still going well on Lough Rowan. The milder weather has seen a marked rise in visitors to the lake. It is great to see more boats on the lake as the weather begins to improve and it is important to remember to always wear your life-jacket and never take a chance.
In the photo above is Jonny Dowds from the “Lurgan Esox Club”, Lurgan Co. Armagh, who recently with some friends fished the lake over the course of a few days.
They went home delighted with their fishing and the “warm welcome given to them by everyone they encountered”.
The annual stocking of Lough Rowan shall take place early next week, if any club member would like to take part please call Paul on 087 6254740. Until next time I want to wish you all a great season and tight lines.