The Last Cast

Rian Murphy aged 8 from Inchicore Dublin with his fantastic rainbow trout, caught on a recent trip to Lough Rowan
Fly fishing gaining popularity: Over the past few weeks, whilst out on the Club Lake (Lough Rowan), I have been impressed on the amount of club members (young and old) who have turned their hand to fly-fishing.

Fly fishing gaining popularity: Over the past few weeks, whilst out on the Club Lake (Lough Rowan), I have been impressed on the amount of club members (young and old) who have turned their hand to fly-fishing.

Unfortunately fly-fishing has a reputation for being very difficult to master and even a little elitist. Nothing could be further from the truth in my humble opinion. Yes, it can seem daunting at first, but with practice and repetition you shall soon get the hang of it. There is nothing better than getting expert tuition from the start, but as professional lessons are costly and it’s hard to come by a tutor in these parts, I have no qualms in suggesting a search on Google or YouTube. A link that I found to be very beginner friendly and more or less jargon free is www.flyfishingfromscratch.com. My own casting cannot be described as professional or as artistic as some of the anglers on these sites, but that is not the point, the point is that my methods work for me. Believe me, after a little practice you too shall develop your own style and with some luck be soon bagging a fish or two.

Early Methods: It’s still early season, and the lake is full of trout, so how can one capitalize on the fantastic sport to be had? Now, I know some people shall disagree with me on this, but as far as I am concerned, “lures” definitely give you a better chance of a hook up. These gaudy creations of man-made fibres bring out the trout’s aggressive nature. Many purist fly fishers frown on their use, but in my experience they are very successful and trout will attack them with gay abandon, just a word of warning, takes are usually very vicious so pay attention on the retrieve!

Location: Recently introduced trout tend to stay near the bank; you shall not find many fish in deep water due to the temperature and lack of food. The shallows are the first to benefit from a rise in temperature, which in turn will mean more activity in aquatic insects. These places are where your chance of hooking is greatly increased. A good tip to remember is that recently introduced fish will find a depth that they are used to, so if they came from 5ft deep farm ponds, they are very likely to be found in 5ft of water! However if you are after some of the longer residing fish you will possibly need the assistance of a boat or a float tube. I shall have more on that subject in a later article.

Successful Lures: Trout, are by design, very curious. This is why casting a lure, which in most cases resembles nothing like anything in nature, is a very successful method to use. Trout are also very territorial and opportunist feeders. Imagine your lure flashing past the nose of a fish; it has a very quick decision to make. To grab the curious looking mouthful or let it pass to be taken by a competing fish? More times than not the trout shall make a grab at it and that is the time to strike! The lures that are proving most productive for me on Lough Rowan at the moment are as follows; “The Humongous”, “Cormorant”, “Orange Blob” and any large scraggy “Damsels”. If you have not tried lures, take my word for it; they work so why not give them a try. You can have a look on www.dunfly.com to see their large selection for sale, and don’t forget to quote “Leit10” for a discount when ordering.

Michael Prendergast Memorial Cup: The annual Michael Prendergast Memorial Cup shall be up for grabs on Sunday May 5. This is a fly only, member’s competition and if last year’s turn out is anything to go by, then we are expecting a fantastic day this year. Entry fee cost €15 and the competition commences at 11am. On the subject of competitions, I am delighted with the response and fantastic photographs and compositions that I have received so far for this months, www.dunfly.com , fly box and fly’s. Keep sending in your pictures and essays to iarlaith66@gmail.com in order to be in with a chance. Until next time …… tight lines!