Apologies i have not been posting as regular, but lifes hectic and there have been many events all over the country, most have been hampered by wind or rain . But finally the sunshine  arrived to the happiness of our Nation, apart from all the Fly Anglers that is.

When we get sun in Ireland we normally get wind and this can cause even harder conditions for the lake and River anglers, sun and wind is never good on the lakes or rivers. I would prefer a flat calm conditions with bright sun any day. The Rivers are ok to an extent as the main hatches are in the eveing at this time of year. The the wind normally drops in the evening aswell, making for pleasant fishing conditions, but without rain the rivers get lower and lower and full of weed. the water clarity becomes extremely good. So what to do, where to go.

The Liffey have been my main port of call. The evening rise on the stretches i fish on the Liffey have been ok. Not great but ok. Small sedges, very very small sedges hatch in the evning along with various olives. But the sedges are the main hatch throughout July with a few olives hatching here and there.

I did fish a few competitions on my local Club Stretch of the Liffey and they are running C and R competitions, which is great fun,but in the dark it can be tricky. I have dunked a phone , a camera and myself numerous times trying to measure fish.

 The sedge hatches lasted 30 mins if you were lucky,  little guys can range in sizes and colours , using the stomach pump its amazing to see what stage of the hatch of the sedge the trout feed on most. You would think that with all the splashy rises etc they would be on the adult. But they are all taking the sedges as they emerge.

Sampling fish throughout the rise the trout seem to prefer the sedge as it is about to hatch. Now thats only my thoughts and i am only going on what i find in the contents of the pump. But the fish are taking the flys right in the surface film. A tricky proposition for the angler as you want to fish a pupae or a sedge emerger, keeping it in or below the film without sinking the fly too deep below the feeding fish.

I have explained about the stomach pumps before, to me its a vital part of my fishing. You get to learn the flys that hatch from month to month on the rivers and on the lakes.  Also its very interesting to see the crustaceans that the fish feed on  from the lake or river beds. Below are a few photos of what i have found the fish to be feeding on in the late evening rises. Mainly sedges

Fly choice is relatively easy, Deer Hair Sedges, Ballon Caddis, cdc sedgesin size 16 to size 12. All these flys can be seen tied on you tube. The lower your fly sits in the water the better in my opinion and trying to get within a rod lenght of your quarry is very much the order of the night as its very hard to see a size 12 in the Dark never mind a 16. My favourite of all time is known as a bubble wing sedge, .

I fished this in the 80's when the fly was not known around the world, the original had squirrel hair coming off the bend of the hook under the cdc bubble acting like a shuck. There was also a small amount of red in the top third of the body to represent the haemoglobin as the fly hatched. It was devastating in its day, still is. I will dedicate a bog to its tying over the winter, after all it is a fly i developed in my early days a s a fly tier and works very well to this day..

Below are photos of the sedges i mentioned aswell, again these are all on the various you tube channels, hmmm imight have to start one of those..

Lough Lene Collinstown

Lough Lene fished well ifor the first three weeks in June but it started to slow down in the last week of June and into the first week of July. The fish had been feeding on small black terestrials and some snail, with other fish taking sedges and jelly fry out in the deep. Fishing on the snail was tough enough, as there were many about to get the fish truely on them. But if you took your time and waited for fish to come close to the boat, sport could be had.

The snails have not really appeared in huge numbers yet and probably wont this year as its getting late and the water temperature is cooling down. The snails in question are about the size of a pin head. This gives us a few problems, fish moved faster through the water taking the snails subsurface as they need to cover ground to pick up enough snail. If there were more snails the fish would move slower and therefore the trout would be easier to track and you would be able to pinpoint the direction the fish are going. Because there was not many snails about, the fish also swam longer distances between each rise as there were not enough snails present for the fish to move slowly through the water grazing as they went. The size of the snail also was an issue, it  is hard to imitate something that small and then present it in the 4 to 5 inch window of a trout, guess its direction and the next place it would rise. So its easier to try and put a general representative fly in front of the fish.

  Next year hopefully it will be better fishing on the snails and i will do a fill feature on my approach to snal feeders, leaders etc that have worked well for me in the past

Fario Flies

Flies ...

Well what to use, as i said in my opinion there is no point being too exact with you snail pattern as there are just not enough snail about, so the fish need to feed on other food stuff, Black flys, sedges, buzzers and terestrials are what i go too. The fish are normally very thin at this time of year and they will be on the hunt for anything they can fund, Gentle presentation and leaving your drys out longer than normal are the key to success. I prefer to head to more oxygenated wafer, whether its along the shores in windy conditions or out in the middle in calm conditions where the water is cooler. Fish will be there. Please if there are scum lanes . fish them and fish them hard. On any lake i fish if i see scum lanes i get straight into them and fish them. Insects collect in the foam lines and the fish know it.

I have been using Fario Fly since the start of the year. Fario Flies do not have a huge range of flies to boggle the angler, saying that the range is bigger than a lot of other sites and the flies are made for the pleasure and competitive angler alike. They all have been tested over the years and all catch fish. The quality of the materials used in making these flys is of the highest order aswell and they will not fall aprt after one or two fish.

Shuttlecocks, suspender buzzers, humpys and hoppers are what i use . All in small hook sizes in 12 and 14s  in conjunction with light leaders as low as 4lb. Differnt black shuttles will work certain days and not others so its fgood to have a variety in your box, but they work well. The same with hoppers, the fish see things differently on bright abd dark days so a variety of hoppers is key. The humpy in hares ear and bibio work as general flies, this means they represent all sorts of inssects and will be lapped up on the right day. The suspender buzzers i fish in calm water,  when the fish are rising but not very often, they fish will just come and sip the fly down as it looks very natural and you can leave it out for a long time due to its bouyancy.

 I normally use a two fly cast, 8ft to the dropper and 6ft to the point fly. These flys will do you on most of the toughest days There a a selection of flies below that i would use .

Fario Fly link.

On the rougher days at this time of year i will always try the shallows and the reed margins , first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Fish 8lb 16ft fluro straight through with two poppers fished 8ft appart. Some days they like them popped through the waves, other days the fish prefer them absolutely static. You may have read in all the magazines how lethal fry poppers are and that they catch a lot of big fish. Dont get me wrong, they catch a lot of fish, its very excitimg fishing but i havent caught any huge fish on them yet. But as the sesaon is coming to an end, the bigger fish will be on the prowl for bigger snacks so watch this space.

Things have been hectic of late, with many different competitions being ran around the country and abroad. The ITFFA Rivers Team did absolutely brillianty with a clean sweep in the  IFFA Four Nations on The River Agivey. The ITFFA Youth Team emulated the Rivers team win with another clean sweep, this time on Lake of Menteith in Scotland. A historic win for the youths as they never won away from home before. A brilliant result for both teams. Hopefully the ITFFA Senior Autumn team will also do the deed on Menteith in September.

Next month is Daddy time and i have been very successful over the years on Daddys. I always look forward to this time of year but with three competions in the the next three weekends including a Interprovincial and an International i might not get time for any pleasure fishing.

Till then take care and tight lines.


Ed Burke

29.06.2020 07:41

Oops- sorry for spelling your name wrong Denis

Ed Burke

29.06.2020 07:39

Excellent website Dennis! I'm learning lots!

Theresa Kelly

21.08.2019 23:03

Very interesting as I know little about fishing but love your take on nature and how interesting fishing is, not just about catching the fish but also about what they live on. I also love your photos


23.08.2019 20:22

Thank you for the kind comments Theresa

Brian Maloney

19.07.2019 15:40

Hello Denis , I'm intruiged to see the sedges you use . The photos don't seem to have uploaded for the article above.
Heading to Lene tomorrow. Hopefully the snails are active after the rain today.


23.08.2019 20:23

Photos are up there now Brian. I will be doing some tying features over the winter and i will go into sedges step by step

Latest comments

19.05 | 05:47

Hi Denis
Good meeting last night, and enjoyed reading your blog. Felt I was on the lake with you. Great work

02.05 | 20:42

Hi Dennis loved the article straight to the point .just wondered will the trout feed on the small buzzers all year ?

06.04 | 11:57

Cant wait to read this

01.03 | 03:03

glad u enjoy, ty, will be back when the fishing returns

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