With an upcoming National Lake Qualifiers, we spent a lot of time on Lough Owel of late. Getting practice and gathering information for the upcoming competition. Haven’t fished this lake many times in the past and this year already, we know it can be a tricky lake at best of times but enjoyable for a day out on the water. We began practice almost 4 weeks ago on Lough Owel, with days out on lake weekly and testing patterns that have always been bankers for us and tweaking them to suit what fish wanted. In recent months and weeks our weather has been very hot, dry and very little to no rain and wind. So, fishing had been tough to begin for us and many others. Fish were not chasing or feeding as hard as they normally would for this time of year.
However, with a recent stocking around start of August and weather slowly changing and more wind occurring to stir things up on the lakebed. Fish began to feed that bit more in recent weeks. Air pressure and water temperatures dropping too caused for some good fishing and practice in last 10 days on the lake. This time of year, the fish will take wet flies, more so dabblers that are tied with some sparkle in them to represent fry. As well as minkie or streamer patterns best fished on the point and stimulator patterns for top dropper to draw the fish up. The trout will feed on the small fry or minnow as their eating habits increase leading into the end of the season before the winter months; best results can be found pulling the below flies along the rocky shelves between the shallows and the deeper water.
The days out practicing was spent locating where the fish were mainly holding and feeding. When we would arrive back up for another days practice we would drift the same lines and locations on the lake to see if fish were still there and if not, noting changes to see how the fish were moving and behaving. We found in the early weeks, that in the morning times fish would be holding between 8 to 13 foot deep, but as the day went on the fish would move up to and be feeding around 4.5 to 6 feet.
So, knowing this we found a Di5 Sweep line was best in the morning time to get down the fish and then switch to a fast intermediate in the afternoon from lunch time onwards. Which proved best and got us good numbers of fish. However, in the last 10 days with rougher weather moving in over the lake, we found a Di3 Sweep line to be the best line of choice for both times of the day and this was the line of choice yesterday on the day of National qualifiers, with a 3-fly set up. Our plan was to stick to our flies of choice from practice and constantly searching the water in front with alternative medium to fast retrieves to have a best chance of picking up some good fish.
My team of flies that we focused on mainly with much confidence from practice was a Fry Style stimulator or dark Olive version for the top dropper, middle dropper we used a claret dabbler with some flash in the wing which was a good catcher, but mainly having best success with a silver dabbler for the middle dropper. Our point fly then was a black humongous depending on depth and fish behaviour this was either weighted or unweighted. Casting these on 0.20mm Shogun Monofilament Tippet, which have great confidence in.
Hook: Size 10 Kamasan B175
Thread: Piscari-Fly Kevlar
Tail: Extra fine deerhair (small amount stacked)
Rib: Uni Red Wire (Small)
Body: Silver metallic dubbing from Hends.
Body Hackle: Grizzle
Wing: Natural Deer hair Stacked. (Medium thickness for wing)
Thorax Hackle: Black Cock Saddle
Thorax: Piscari Hot spot Flame Red Dubbing.
Hook: Size 10 Kamasan B175
Thread: Hot Red
Tail: Several Strands of UV Polar Chenille
Rib: Sliver Wire
Body: Sliver UV micro fritz
Cloak and Wing: Bronze Mallard (but not to dark)
Cheeks: Jungle Cock
Thorax: Red Thread
Hook: Dohiku W 12sl or 10sl
Thread: Piscarifly fine strong Kevlar silk
Eyes: Silver bead with Neon Yellow UV nail varnish (but some without bead proved very effective also. If want weight in fly but without bead, 3 to 4 turns of flat lead in body worked well also for us).
Tail: Black rabbit fur with sliver holographic tinsel strips down each side
Body: Sliver UV holographic micro fritz
Hackle: Grizzle ribbed with clear mono
Beard: Pinch of red holographic dubbing
They truly are great looking flies and even better when they are wet with the early sun shimmering off the UV in the body and tail and in a nice drifting wave, well worth having in your boxes heading out on the Irish Loughs this Autumn before the end of the season, but can also be quite effective in the spring time months also in search of hungry fish. They proved very effective yesterday at the national qualifiers placing us high on the table for irish team postions and one of our close friends to also win the Nationals Masters Title, securing his place for the Worlds Masters in Canada.
I hope you enjoy tying these patterns and enjoy fishing them even more then I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find our contact details here on the website. Thank you for reading, tight lines and safe angling for the remainder of 2022 season.