Friday, 22 February 2013

Some fresh fish about on the Bandon

Great news shortly after the opening day of the season with word of a fresh fish caught at the weir in Bandon on the fly weighing around 6lbs. This gives everyone a boost in confidence knowing that a couple are running. The cold easterly winds all week didn't help fishing at all, they're the worst winds you could have. All  I managed was an old sea trout not far off 3lb on a red and silver flying c and another kelt around 9lb. This fish was in even better condition than the one pictured in the last post and gave me a fright with the initial 30 yard run! The fish even had a little bit of bulk about him, obviously another very late runner. Checked the gills to be sure. Although I didn't contact any fresh fish I saw 2 in the one spot which left me in no doubt that they were of the 2013 variety. Deep, very broad fish along the backs, the biggest was hovering around the 10-12lb mark, which is brilliant to see. The easterlies are supposed to lose power and shift altogether in a different direction from Tuesday/ Wednesday on which will be very welcome.

Above is a Dee Sheep and a Willie Gunn tied on 15mm brass propeller tubes with a clear soft sonicdisc fitted at the head. These are to be used in conjunction with the swing tubes. This is the first time I tried tying a plamered body, really like the look it gives. Testing these in the water today the sonicdisc realy does help the flies movement, even with a brass body. Must tie some up with plastic bodies also which will boost the movement even more. With news of a few fish coming off the Blackwater this week and some mild weather coming in next week, these lads will be the first out of the box.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bandon Opening Day

The River Bandon opened on Friday the 15th of February with perfect water, hovering around the 0.3m mark on the gauge in Bandon and dropping slowly. I managed to get out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and caught 3 kelts, losing another. The condition of the kelts is exceptional. A possible reason for this is they are late running fish which have recently spawned and so have not spent long in fresh water. This has also been echoed on the Blackwater, aswell as other rivers. Below is a quick photo I took of the first kelt before release.

As you can see its pure silver with no sign of any disease or ragged fins. The gills were also very red in colour, although I didn't check for maggots. The other 2 were also in pristine condition. Many old fish were caught by other fisherman who ventured out, alas no sign of a fresh fish. February is always going to be the toughest month of the year, but no doubt some are running so there is always a chance.

Set up for the day was my Bill Drury Multi Tip Spey line, to which I attached a Guideline DDC Connect Multi Tip S6/S7,  short 4 foot leader and 3 inch Monkey fly tied on a 15mm aluminium bottle tube. This set up allowed me to get my fly as deep as I wanted by throwing in upstream mends and some slack line as soon as it landed on the water. I'm confident that if there had been any fresh fish around my fly would have been sufficiently deep enough to scratch them on the nose!

Monday, 11 February 2013

4 days to go...

Went for a small walk yesterday and the river is looking in fine fettle, just rising and colouring up a tad after some rain. Below is a quick blog of a couple more tyings, the first influenced by looking at the water yesterday, I imagined it to be perfect for a Gold Bodied Willie Gunn. It is tied with yellow and orange tanuki, gold holo tinsel and a black cock feather in front.

After the GBWG there is the Kinermony Killer, a red shrimp fly and the ever popular Monkey fly.
To finish, a few photos of the river from yesterday.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Some spring hairwings

Counting down the days here now till the 15th of February and the opening of the Bandon. The water is now dropping and looking at the long term forecast we might be in for a relatively dry spell which will be no harm as it will make it easier to try and find the needle in a hay stack that is a spring salmon in February! Good news on the Lee however as there was a spring fish caught on opening day weighing 8.5 lbs and sea liced. It was caught on spinner on the Cork Salmon Anglers stretch at Ballincollig Park.
Have not being tying too much lately as I feel that I have enough to do with for the spring months. For the time of year I would rather fish only a few patterns rather than have a box full of different flies.

The above flies are tied on size 6 Daiichi hooks which are very strong and sharp, highly recommended. Decided to tie these on singles as I'll probably come a cross quite a few kelts and there's no reason why I wouldn't get a firm hook hold with a spring fish if I came across one.

Above is a zonker pattern incorporating a black/orange over yellow tiger barred rabbit strip tied on a 15mm brass bottle tube for high coloured water. Can't wait to see the movement of this one in the water. Botched the head up a little though with a few too many wraps of thread and the whip finish kept slipping, especially as I was trying to add in some hot orange ice wing to the head. Must sharpen that part up! 

Here now is a green butt park shrimp tied on some plastic tubing, with a conehead placed just in front of the tinsel. I added in the conehead for some weight and it will add to the movement of the fly.

Lastly a Garry Dog variant tied on a 22mm brass tube for high and clear water. I'm hoping the fluoro green butt and antron tail along with the pearl rib will add to the pulling power of this fly and attract the attention of a running fish. 
Lastly, for anyone reading this who may not already know, a big march is taking place on Saturday the 2nd of March in Galway at 12.00 p.m. We are meeting at Eyre Square and marching to Salthill to a BIM sponsored event at the Galway Bay Hotel.