Paul Hanley has only fished the Inniscarra Dam fishery on the River Lee twice since May 15th due to the extremely low water and was glad to see that the water was up a foot onarriving there yesterday morning…

I was only too eager to try my new Switch fly rod which was made for me by Tony O’ Sullivan to my specifications. With a good flow on the river I put up an intermediate fly line with a sink tip ( 5.9ins per second sink rate – not a great casting combination but a good fishing one) and a size 15 Ahilles double shrimp fly. I met quite a few salmon while fishing Beat 4 but all were taking the fly short so I moved up to Beat 1 and hooked and landed the first fish of the session, a nice fresh sea-liced salmon of about 7lbs. After releasing this fish I hooked and lost a smaller grilse of about 4lbs. They were so fresh that they were playing with the fly and pulling it by the tail. Even though I use a size 15 Ahilles shrimp fly I tie in a nice long calf tail to give the fly great life and movement in the eddies and boils as it fishes down the lies. I know that sometimes it can be annoying when salmon keep plucking at the long tail but Ii’m always happy to be meeting salmon when others aren’t, so the tail stays.

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Moving down the beats I caught and released two more salmon of about six pounds each, very fresh and covered in sea lice. Then I met a very large coloured salmon in the high teens which threw the fly in a backward spiralling cartwheel. Just as darkness was arriving I met another salmon that passed me by and spat the fly at my feet and on swimming away gave me the fin! There were a few choice words exhaled but all in all it was a great day’s fishing.

The question is whether to shorten the tail and maybe not meet so many fish but hold onto them or leave the tail and meet fish with a chance of losing them. I will have to ponder over that till the next time.

Compliments of:

Paul Hanley,
Salmon fishing in Ireland