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Rookie Bass Angler: March 2012

Friday, 30 March 2012

Update: Welsh Bass Guide

New site up and running. I urge you's to take a look


Saturday, 24 March 2012

An afternoon at Rainbows

This was my second time out with a fly rod, but I new I had to get out and practice. I admit this was a million miles away from the wild lakes of Donegal, but it was close by and filled the gap that I had this afternoon.

We arrived, paid the minimal fee and bought 2 little Buzzer Pupas - to be honest i looked at them and thought 'no way will the trout see these', but I put my faith in my dad and off we set.

Needless to say my casting was woeful!

It took me about an hour to get it tidied up enough to reach the fish. Then I next had to master setting the hook. After about four failed attempts and several tangles I eventually tightened into a nice little rainbow!

The average fish size was quite small by stocked standards but they were very healthy a lively. It wouldn't have mattered what size the fish was, to me I was over the moon at putting all I had learnt in to practice and getting a result. 

We fished on and landed a few other nice little trout.

After I had finished I chucked the rod over to my dad and he had a quick cast or two before we ended for the day. 

The lake was calm and we could see a large bow wave soaring across towards us. A neat little cast just in front of the fish and several delicate retrieves later my dad banged into a bigger trout.

It hung out in the lake and gave some serious head shakes. But we landed it.

But a lovely fish to end the day on. Really appreciate the patience and instruction from my dad. without his instruction I would still be either stuck in the reeds or throwing lines which were spooking fish.

Hope that as I get better and progress I can start exploring the vast world, that is fly fishing. I am already seeing massive potential for some of my saltwater marks for pollack etc and I can not wait to hone my skills and get out after pike later into spring and summer. 

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The unpredictability of Donegal weather!

I had been all set for a few days fishing and got my myself geared up and had a good bit of banter and craic with some lads about what I will catch (or in this case not) but I was quietly confident.

Well here is a lesson for you - If you are going to fish Donegal, never ever rely on the weather giving you a break.

I headed off to fish 2 hours before high tide on a rock mark to try out HRF for wrasse and pollack. Looked good when i left the house, slight breeze but nothing serious. Boy was it a different story when i got out onto the rocks. There must have been a storm the week prior to my arrival, the swell was what can only be described as evil.

It started off a little choppy and then gradually got worse, forcing me to leave my mark and head for home.

It was dissapointing to say the least because  i had got myself geared up and finally got the time to go out and try my marks but sadly not, although i think i got the end gear right!

Anyway later on that evening i did some trecking over fields and down onto the shore line once again to try for some pollack as it was coming on for dusk. This time with hard lures and plugs ..... The water looked nice and active but the tidal variation between low and high water was pathetic .... it was a shocking tide and sadly no fish.

The one thing however i do appreciate is the surroundings which i find myself in when fishing these parts of Donegal. If nothing else it is hard to beat being out by the water in lovely surroundings. 

The next morning i set the alarm for just after 6am and set out to try the estuary for sea trout. Opened the curtains to find a hard frost outside - great now i have a huge temperature drop ..... car dial read '0' - this wasn't looking good. The water was like glass and the sun was up and bright. Not ideal conditions to say the least but sure it was a lovely morning.

To top it all off another huge shower came in from the atlantic but we managed to get a quick snap of a rainbow before we got soaked and made our way back to the car......

After several failed attempts to throw a line in the sea, we dug out the fly rod and headed for fresh water ..... See the Wild Irish Brown Trout post for details.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Wild Donegal Brownies

After two days on a horrific swell in the sea I decided to cut my losses and grab the fly rod and head for a local lake. Although it is early in the season, there was a decent breeze blowing which would at least be vaguely conducive for trout.

I spent around an hour in front of my house with the rod and practiced my casting then set off for the lake with my dad.

Got out the rod which was a Nielson 7/8 Weight with a Cortland Weight Forward Line and a Loop Reel.

After negotiating some rather mucky swamp ground i was eventually set up and in the water. Sun was out, ripple on the water - all in all it looked quite stunning, but where there any trout about?

It wasn't long before the first one obliged and took the Bibio at the edge of the drop off.

I gradually worked my way along the bank and with some good advice from my dad continued to work the drop off ...... then the line tightened and i was into another perfectly marked wild brown trout.

This time it took a Sweeney Todd on a slow strip retrieve. 

As i approached a large rock which marked the end of the section i hooked into another little 5oz trout. Again on a Sweeney Todd.

Although these trout are not huge - the average in the lakes of Donegal are not big. The biggest of the three weighed around 6oz, this may be small but what pleased me so much was the wild aspect to this. You can not beat getting out in the water and fluff chucking for these little beauties. When i was younger I never paid much attention to fly fishing etc. but I have to admit I think I may be hooked.

They put up a lovely scrap on the rod and I have to say when the sea conditions do not oblige and the scenery is as beautiful as this, can you really complain? I think not.

Stay tuned for more fluff chucking in the future............

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Mad about Maria

This is the lure I have got so wound up about .... the Maria Angel Kiss 115mm.

I hunted in the U.K for these but could not get them smaller than 140mm and in the colour I wanted. After some hunting on the internet I finally tracked down what I was wanted and after about a week of checking the post everyday it arrived:

I just think the colour looks lethal! A very shallow running plug with nice action in that sandeel colour has to kill for Bass! How could it not? And at 115mm it isn't too big for a decent trout to get its chompers around. I have taken sea trout on90/100mm lures in the past - fingers crossed.

Either way - i just love how cheap these our compared to some other brands..... i know the finish is maybe not as shiny but hey - i'm impressed and I haven't even got it in the water yet!

Might get a cast or two with it this weekend coming but more than likely its first test will be South East Ireland in April .......

Piking in March ............

After a few sessions in February we decided to gear up and set off again in search of some pike.

We decided on a new spot which we had read about but not yet tried ..... it was a large large so the chances of tracking down the fish at this time of year was slim but sure you need to be in it to win it - as they say!

It was cold, as only march can be here in Ireland at times ..... we arrived set up and the place was stunning ..... parts reminded me of American style Large Mouth Bass fishing, in among stumps and fallen trees etc (you will see what I mean by the pictures)

Fished mostly with Lime/Green senkos ....... with a little secret modification - more to come on that on later date!

We had no takes at all!! Lovely spot though. We packed up and then moved back to out tried and tested little splash of pike paradise. . . . We had plenty of interest, but the fish were very timid ......unusual for pike i know! We landed one little jack and had a  few other decent rises but that was all .....

A good trip nonetheless ......

On the way back to the car we spotted this little devil scurrying around in the leaves at the edge of the road ..... Just put the rod down to give you a sense of scale ...........TINY!!!!!