The Eire Bass guide Richie Ryan had a visitor from Canada recently. The guide takes up the story…

Those anglers who regularly read my diary contributions are aware of my concerns regarding the future of angling due the reduction in the number of youths taking up the sport. I have only one grandchild and thankfully he’s stone mad on fishing. A few years ago he was spotted by his parents with a piece of stick and a string down a drain. Now that’s what I call hooked on fishing!

The Ryan family had a reunion recently and Seán was super excited about fishing from grandad’s new boat. He lives in Canada and loves coming to Ireland for the fishing. He’s inherited the bug from both sides as his other grandfather Andy Newman is an avid angler also.

Sean Ryan with a good fly caught pollack

The first outing was to target bass. Some small schoolies were landed and released. My ambition on this holiday however was to get Seán hooked on fly fishing. We went for the easy prey, pollack. Initially my grandson was a bit too eager, stripping the fly line far too fast. Grandad had a few pollack on the fly at this stage and he asked to switch to spinning. My heart sank ! I subtlety suggested we continue with the fly a little bit longer. At last a reasonably sized pollack was landed and released by Seán followed by a few more. He was enjoying this fly fishing lark. To my disappointment the fishing was not as good as expected.

The next trip on the boat was about snorkelling but a quick cast with the fly rod was requested. Uncles Conor and Cian were on board as was Mark Cook from Australia. I could not believe it, beautiful pollack around the six pound mark were hooked and released in a frenetic 30 minutes of fly action. Only one small fish amongst a shoal of whoppers, some heading for the kelp and breaking us off in the process. A few trips for salmon with Andy after this proved difficult. On one occasion Seán asked after 20 minutes “Can we go out in grandad Richie’s boat now as we’re not catching anything here ? ”

A third and last trip on the boat was organised with the other grandad Andy Newman. The two of us watched in awe as the novice fly angler beat the pants off both of us. Seán was absolutely  chuffed. On the last night of the holiday in Cork the sad end to a great trip arrived. With heavy hearts we waved goodbye to Seán as he headed off to the Blackwater with Andy for the last chance of a salmon. To our delight we were informed that grandad Andy had hooked a 12 lb salmon which Seán played and helped to land. What a way to end a holiday.

Well done Seán Ryan  !

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