January 19 2020
It was an early start on Jan 19th for me as I had the 4th round of the AWOL League on Adaire Spring which is only 2hours 30 mins from my abode!!!, As you can see from the photo of my car , the day started very cold, overnight temps went as low as -5c. Great fun, a long drive in crappy conditions, but I had company as Peter Doherty was now fit and able to come along for a spin, although he wasn’t fishing the match due to a back injury.
All anglers met in the car park of Adaire Springs and as we tackled up we could see fish rising in the shallow end of the lake.
Adaire Springs is situated in Mooncoion Co. Kilkenny, it is very easy to travel to with the motorway and it is just a slip off the Main road out of Waterford. It has a small well stocked bait lake and a large fly only lake which is also well stocked. The proprietor Ned Maher has an alladins cave in the shape of a fully kitted out tackle shop and very important coffee dock which was well used that morning. Coffee and tea are free also.
I set up three rods which is now allowed in the AWOL. On the first rod I set up an FNF Floater on one rod with the bung and various worms. The second rod was a straight-line buzzer set up with three buzzers and an apps on the tail fished on an FNF buzzer lock up line. The third rod I set up with an Airflo di-5 straight and 2 lures, 6 ft to the first dropper and 8 ft to the point fly. I had an apps on top and a white snake on the tail. All flies were from Fario as I had never fished the lake before and I went with some of the flies that had worked for me all winter long.
The first peg I got was one of the main points of the lake, I started with the lock up tip as the water is very deep and there was no sign of fish in the flat calm, so I went for a very static approach on the buzzer set up. First cast as the leader sank, I could see the line arc to my left, I lifted and nothing. In the next half a dozen pain staking slow casts I met another three fish, but nothing stayed on, not your typical buzzer takes so I knew they were at the apps.
I changed to the di5 line and cast as far out as I could, as the line sank to the required depth, I kept tension on the line with a slow figure of eight. When fishing deep water this is essential so you can feel takes on the drop. Just as I started the jerky retrieve after 15 seconds of letting the line get to the required depth my rod bent round and then the fish was off. Was this the start of a day to forget.
Two cast later again I was in, the fish ripped line off my reel and into the backing on two very quick runs and then slowly plodded towards me. A sure sign of a foul hooked fish. 5 minutes later a fish in the 5-6lb range begrudgingly gave in and I removed the fly from its posterior before I released the fish. Foul hooked fish don’t count. With minutes left in the first session I changed the point fly to other apps and halfway back the line stopped as if I hooked the bottom, but then it started to move. The fish was so solid, big and heavy. I struggled to gain line but eventually a close double if not a double figured rainbow lay in the net. At 61cm I was off the mark at last.
My second peg produced a fish first cast on an apps on the hang. I got a few more pulls on a snake but it was a really uneventful peg.
On Peg3 I had very little space to fish, lures did not work, the buzzers did not work so I went on the bung for the last ten minutes. Fish a Red Worm Bug on the first dropper at 4 ft and a white egg at a further 6ft for a total of ten feet.
From what I heard the fish liked the bung close in, so that’s what I did. Most anglers were catching well, and I was so far behind after the first two sessions I needed a fish. I kept getting small indications, which I left and they never developed into a proper take. I decided to hit the next tiny indication and bingo a fish was on but off again as quick. Changing to an orange egg I picked up one fish before the whistle.
Peg 4 was terrible with only one fish coming to the net, this fish was caught on a cormorant after I twitched it under the bung under the rod tip. They were so close.
Peg 5. I was now in the shallow end of the lake and fish were moving through the top water layers, I hooked three fish landing two on buzzer, but both were proper slabs into double figures.
Peg 6. I was giving up hope as I was now out of the race as I thought, fishing the Buzzer Lock up line brought two more fish to my net one on a buzzer and one on an apps. But as I was fishing so slow, I could see other anglers catching on the bung in the deeper water and close to the bank. But i just couldnt btempt them.
My last peg, peg no, 7. With only 8 fish on my sheet it was make or break time. In my angling life I have fished for many species using many different tactics, but I have found out that nine times out of ten, never ever second guess yourself and go with your first instinct.
What to do wasn’t the question, as I unclipped my bung set up, but how to do it. I knelt 6 or 7 feet from the edge of the water and watched. We have 5 minutes to move from one peg to the next. I could see fish cruising along the drop off about 12 foot from where I knelt. The whistle went and I pulled off three foot of line and flicked the set up out. As the indicator settled it twitched and then twitched again. Slowly the top of the bung just went under the water. I struck and the fish was in the net in less than 5 seconds. A 58 cm fish, Shane Callan did the honors and measured it. I got back into position and flicked the flys out again. Twitch, twitch and the indicator just went under, another rainbow of 53cm in the net again in seconds. After returning the fish I again flicked the flies out, they settled under the bung nicely, as I was fishing about a foot off the bottom I knew if the indicator moved or dipped it was a fish after taking the fly. This time the indicator went slowly to the left, i struck and met solid resisitance but i just raised the rod over my head nice and slowly not givuing an inch of line and after a commotion of splashing and water everywhere I netted a big brown of 70cm. I was only 7 or 8 minutes into my last session with 3 of a possible 4 fish already landed. I retied both fly’s and let the water settle for a minute or two. I flicked the flies out and as they dropped through the water the rod was nearly wrenched from my hand. With the reel screaming I slowly slowed the fish down by palming the reel. Eventually the fish stopped boring deep and popped up to the surface and into the net first time. 12 minutes into my last peg and that was the end of the 4th round for me.
Peter came over and we had a chat sitting on the bench. I was delighted to hear he would be fishing the league next year with me. The Squirminators will be back in action.
It was a great day out and many lessons learned, ending up with 12 fish was ok, but it really was not good enough. Practice is all so important on the small waters. Learning areas of the lake that fish like to frequent puts so many more fish in the net. Many thanks to Ned and his family for looking after us and to Alan Lawless the founder of the AWOL League for making sure everything is always right on the day.
I was very surprised to finish second on the day, but after a recount of points I ended up third. I was doing the scores with Alan, so it was my bad. lol. Congratulations to Marius on a very good win on the day. And a big well done to Darius on winning the AWOL over all with 1 leg remaining. I was just one point behind but 2nd place was still within reach.
1st ) Marius Lincevicius 17 fish
2nd) Darius Simkus 13 fish
3rd) Denis Goulding 12 fish
16 anglers caught, measured and released 99 fish, with Stephen Potts catching the longest fish of the day@ 73cm long. Well done Potsey
Ned Maher runs an amazing fishery where lumps of trout roam. I had 12 fish, 11 rainbows and a brown trout, with a 49cm trout being the smallest, the fish measured in cm were as follows- 49,58, 53, 58, 54, 54, 68, 65, 62, 69, 70, 70.
There was at least 4 doubles in my net that day. Where else can you get that sort of quantity of big fish in Southern Ireland.
I would say I will be back, but I was and had great fun, I will post the next two blogs over the next 2 weeks. Incidently all fly patterns and lines have links if you click on the fly or line and you will be directed to where u can get the item.
If you like the Blog please click like and comments are always welcome.. ty
Stay safe everyone and Stay at Home and our lines will be tight again, hopefully sooner than later
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19.05 | 05:47
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