Mr Fly Fisher himself Liam Stenson made his way down to the river Suir at Holycross in County Tipperary last weekend and tells us:

This was my first outing to the river Suir for this season. The week leading up to the outing was again a cold dry one with the dreaded East wind still with us. While travelling down the M8 my thoughts were would it be worthwhile travelling the distance when the weather was so cold and  the Easterly wind was blowing hard, prospects were not too good! At least it’s raining, can’t be too bad!

I arrived in Holycross shortly before 10am,  all quiet there as usual. I looked at the river and it was in great condition, with a good water height which was flowing clear. I also noted that there was no signs of fish moving and no signs of any insect life, again I thought would it be worthwhile fishing today? I headed up to Glasheens shop where I had a coffee and a hot scone. After the coffee I bought a day ticket for Thurles,  Suir & Drish Anglers’ Association club waters.

Holycross Abbey, Co. Tipperary
Holycross Abbey, Co. Tipperary

I set up the rod with a team of wet  flies consisting of  a Waterhen Bloa on the point, a Hares Lug and Plover on the middle and one of my new patterns on the top. The new pattern is a variant of a Iron blue Nymph that I am trying out this again this season. I had some success with the same pattern last year. Those of you the regularly read my posts will know that each new season I try out several new patterns. Over the past seasonsIi have had some success with a few of them but i also had more patterns which failed. You cant win all the time!

My preference when I am fishing with a team of wet flies is to walk down stream and fish each pool as I come to it. This was not the case today as the section of the river I choose was flowing towards me which would have been great had I been dry fly fishing but i was fishing wet flies. My tactics were to walk up to the head of each pool and fish the flies down and across letting them swing around in the current, fishing through the pool. This meant a lot of doubling back on myself. I cast the team into the head of the first pool I came to and on my third cast I was rewarded with a take and a hook up. My first fish of the day was caught and released, a nice wild brown trout close to a half pound in weight. I caught another five fish in the same pool before I moved on upstream to the next pool.

Suir Trout
Suir Trout

Keeping with the same team of wet flies, I started to fish down through the pool and I was soon into my next fish. Another fine trout near the three quarter pound mark. The next fish I hooked into was the one that got away, a fine wild brown trout which at a guess was over two pounds in weight. After loosing that fish I caught and released three more fish including a nice one over the pound in weight. It was now time to take a break and warm up with a hot soup and a sandwich.

While i walked back up river after the break I noticed that there was a few Large Dark Olives coming off the water and there was some fish rising to the Olives. I decided try and have a go at the rising fish with a dry fly so i tied on a Light Cahill Klinkhammer. I did not last too long with this tactic as the wind was just too strong and it was blowing the wrong way. I did however manage to rise a few fish but I failed to connect with any of them. Time to change back to the wet flies! I changed back to the wets and I caught and released seven more wild brown trout before I called time out.

I had a brilliant day out on the River Suir even though the conditions were dreadful. The team of flies I used all worked on the day but the best fly was the Hares Lug and Plover. I also noted that the new pattern I was trying out accounted for five nice fish. I will be giving that pattern another wetting the next time I get out. Are we ever going to see temperature get into double figures this April? The air temperature on the day was a mere six degrees although it felt much colder with the persistent east wind blowing in my face. The water temperature was also six degrees.

This was my first outing to the wonderful river Suir this season and I have already planned a return trip before the end of May. Lets hope the awful weather has improved by then!

To book Liam Stenson…

Irish Fly Fisher

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