During the last week I had the pleasure of fishing with Paul Moinester from the USA. Paul is a very driven young man with an innate affinity with the sport of angling. His passion for angling and the environment is evident from the get go. He is undoubtedly one of the most enthusiaistic fly anglers that I have come across in my forty odd years in angling. If it swims, Paul would be happy to give it a go and he simply could not wait to get out onto the water to try for his first Irish pike.
As we headed out for an afternoon session on to Lough Ramor in Virginia in Co. Cavan I was unsure as to how the fish would respond to the fly. The weather has been milder than normal for the time of year and fish seemed to be active. Some coarse fish had moved into the harbour in Virginia and coarse fish were still in evidence along some of the lakeside margins. As we chatted and drifted the boat over some likely holding spots we both had a number of hits and misses before Paul struck into his first Irish pike. After several strong runs, a fish of about eight pounds exploded onto the surface and I remarked that it was a small fish. Paul looked surprised, happy, perplexed and disappointed all at the same time. My fault. An eight pound fish is a nice fish but knowing that there were much bigger fish there I was hoping that it was one of the bigger ones. I explained to Paul (while taking my foot out of my mouth) that an eight pound pike was a nice pike on the fly but that there were much bigger fish in the lake. As the spirited fish came to the boat still full of life I could see that it was lightly hooked and took the leader to land the fish only to be left with a nice pike fly dangling just above the water. Did I feel bad!!! Paul kindly passed it off and having learned that there were bigger fish to be caught he simply set about trying to catch one of the Lough Ramor’s monster pike. We both fished very hard for the remainder of the session and only had one or two more hits but no more fish for the afternoon.
The following day we had an early enough start on what was a beautiful day and we were rewarded with a fish within the first half hour. A spirited jack pike had obligingly darted from under the boat to seize the fly no more that two feet in front of us. The fish was landed, photographed and released back safely to the water. We fished over a number of likely holding areas and Paul hooked and landed a coulple well conditioned fish and at the end of the day we had boated a total of 6 pike. Just like myself Paul usually has to be dragged off the water and we must have had dozens of last casts and last drifts. Eventually, the light beat us and we headed back down the lake to get the boat off the water and prepare for the journey home. I was happy because Paul had his first Irish pike and Paul was happy because he had landed his first Irish pike. He cannot wait to get back again to secure his first double figured Irish Esox lucius. A big thanks to Paul for some of his outstanding photos.