26 Sept 2022

Lake or river fishing?

RSDAC junior member Charlie Richards with his largest fly caught Lough Rowan rainbow trout of 2015.
My little boy Iarfhlaith asked me recently which I preferred lake fishing or river fishing. His question got me thinking.

My little boy Iarfhlaith asked me recently which I preferred lake fishing or river fishing. His question got me thinking.

Lake fishing is an exciting day out and it takes skill and a fair deal of local knowledge to find where fish are feeding. I always look at a lake and ask myself where do I start?

Such an enormous expanse of water and if you are unfamiliar with it, can make for a very hard days fishing. Most of my forays into lake fishing have involved the company of experienced lake anglers such as my friend John Cloughley who has in the past so kindly brought me to fish the great lakes such as Ree, Arrow and Allen.

These experienced boatmen know exactly where to go, what fly to use and exactly where there is the possibility of catching some serious rod straining fish.

This knowledge is not gained overnight; it is from years of early morning starts, checking weather reports, contacting local anglers and an awful lot to do with proper preparation.

In short if you are thinking of heading out onto one of the bigger lakes it pays to try and get a ghillie or failing that at least heed any local advice on the dangers of these lakes, make sure you let people know where you are going what time you expect to be back at and best of all make contact with someone on shore every hour or so.

As you can see, lake fishing takes a lot of preparation and is not without its dangers.

On the other hand, river fishing for me is a case of see nice looking water, stop, set up and away you go. I always keep my river fly rod and tackle bag in the car and there is nothing more enjoyable than crossing over a river, have a quick look, and if it looks half way decent, give it a try. I find this very enjoyable and exciting especially on rivers that I have not fished before.

Now there is always the chance that there may be no trout in a particular river or stream but that’s not the point, the point is that you are experiencing new terrain, seeing new sights and the feeling of being immersed in nature is for me very spiritually uplifting.

If I do come across a nice previously unfished river and manage to hook one of its larger residents then that is merely a bonus and something to be thankful for, however if I fish the river and draw a blank I can still be thankful to have starred in my very own episode of “To the Waters & The Wild” which as a child I watched weekly as Eamon De Buitlear and Gerret Van Gelding instilled in me a lifelong fascination of everything to do with our beautiful Irish natural world.

Until next time ... tight lines and stay safe on the water please.

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