It has been a while since we had wind,  cloud cover and rain. These are ideal conditions for pulling wet flys and indeed dry fly fishing. But what do we do when it goes calm. To be honest i love calm conditions as the fish get harder to catch and its a chance to experiment and most importantly learn.

Over the last month the heat has put the fish down and on the waters i fish, the trout do not conform to the text book approach of going deep and dirty during these times. It was proven during the I.F.F.A.Four Nations Youth International on Lough Lene in Collinstown. You will get a few fish pulling or twiddling deep as you will on tip lines twiddling nymphs, but the chances are few and far between. As the other teams found out.

I was lucky to be part of the Youth set up and our tactics of fishing single or double drys done the trick and Gold went to Ireland. The reasoning behind fishing drys on match day was that the fish residing deeper in the lake are semi dormant and wont take, they are very lethargic and hard to catch, but if you came across a fish in the top foot of water , the trout was there for a reason, he was feeding and if you were lucky it would take. 

Fishing this way is second nature here in Ireland, as we are used to grinding it out and if you are lucky on a good dayyou might get three or four takes, especially when its flat and bright and sometimes that is all you need to win competitions,


Now there are occassions during heat waves that a ripple might appear or sud/wind lanes or slicks.

The edge of the ripples are very good, as the fish swim along the edges of the ripples taking whatever has accumilated against it. As we know food also accumulate in slicks and sud lanes. Photos below and there is also a photo of a fish im netting in the slick.  

The lake in question had not fished well for weeks before the youths, as there was no life in the water. I went out to test my engine after it had been repaired. As i headed up the lake i spooted a huge slick and i motored slowly along it. Sure enough there were a few fish in it. All i could see on the water were black smuts . So i put mirage quill shuttle cock on the point, ten foot above it i tied on a black and pearl cdc smutt, the leader was 6.5lnb fulling mill masterclass. These flys were spaced 10ft apart and 10ft to the floating line.

A great few hours

I only had a few hours before the competition that night, so i quickly set myself up in the drift. When fishing lanes i tend to cast short and leave the flys out as long as i can. None of this cast , wait 5 seconds , cast again.  there are a few reasons why i dont likre doing this. The fish and feeding in the lanes, sometimes they travel up the lane, sometimes down or across the slick. But sometimes they just feed in circles, but they are resident in the lanes searching for food.  If you keep casting you will spook the fish. As the trout are a bit lethargic they will slowly swim  around. So moving your fly position a lot is not really helpful. I short cast and leave the flys out as long as i can and let the fish find the flys.

I have caught fish literally with just my leader out the tip of my rod.

I use fulling mill masterclass fluro as the knot strenght is second to none. Believe me when your fishing slicks in deep water there is only one place the fish will go and thats down. Having fluro you can rely on makes it all the easier

I picked up 7 fish before the slick dissapeared, so i swapped the tail fly to a real foam daddy from Fariofly, as both the flys above mentioned are also from Fariio. The lake had gone glass calm and i always feel that if there is nothing moving a Daddy  will always, well nearly bring a fish up.

4 fish later it was time to head in and get ready for the 2nd Annual Peter competition,. Now thats a diffeent ball game altogether

Flys, Leader and Rods

I know some folks will frown on this, but i used a 7 weight for all my fishing, be it wet flys or drys. The reason why is that i dont break in fish on the strike as i have learned to lift gently into a fish. Once hooked with a 7 weight rod i have a lot more control over the fish and therefore i land it quicker.

Leader is a personal choice, with small drys 6.5lb masterclass is a must for me. Degreasant as in mud, fullers earth to take the shine off your leader is so important. Mucilin grease for floating your flys and also your floating line. 

As for flys, well if you cannot tie, Fario Fly make really good flys on good hooks . They have a range of flys that work as i have tested them out for many years on wild and rainbow trout. Fario do a great range of shuttles f flys  etc and their daddys are seconfd to none and in a good range of types colours and sizes, so much so i dont tie Daddies anymore. Photos below.

Hopefully the weather will change soon and we will get some nice daddy and fry fishing towards the end of the year. Till then tight lines and keep safe.

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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