Dan O’Neill sent us in this report from the Southern County Fishing Resort:

With the winter ahead, most anglers are looking for something to break down the dreaded off season. I have been tying nymphs and various other patterns but this weekend wanted to get away from that and bring my apprentice angler, Anthony, out to try some fly fishing for rainbows.

We drove along the avenue to the car park of Southern County Fishing Resort looking at the trout cruising just under the surface. Occasionally one would pause, flick its pectoral fins resulting in a slight backward push, then sip down a small insect,

All this pointed straight to dry fly tactics and luckily I had a few left over from the wild trout season. With the sight of these rainbows, my apprentice had a great sense of urgency about him, one that came to him naturally. I skipped leader set up training for a different day as I don’t think it would have sunk in whilst these trout were so visible!

Looking around the lake there were a few anglers about, all of whom were friendly, some offering advice which was greatly appreciated. We came to a lovely spot, just beside the bridge that travels over the lake, where quite a few nice trout were moving around. We were keen to try for larger fish as practice for an upcoming trip in Monaghan, for which hopefully we will need some of these practiced skills.

Starting out, I put on an elk haired sedge and cast to some feeding fish. It wasn’t long before Anthony was into his first trout, a lovely, lively fish of about 2lb which carried out all sorts of  acrobatics to regain its freedom. Once the fish settled it was in the net and released and we were away to look for number two.

Anthony spotted a nice trout that seemed to be cruising in a tight space sipping quite frequently. Once we had a chat and decided the best strategy for this trout, it was game on. The trout cruised passed our fly as if it wasn’t even there several times though, so it was time to look to the box for something more natural. I picked out a beautiful CDC fly on a size 16, as I felt was the way to go. I also decided to switch tippet to a thinner diameter and, after about 5 casts, our trout stopped, then flicked its pectorals resulting in a backwards move, and sipped in our fly.

Lifting into the fish, Anthony immediately felt the difference here with big head shakes and deep thumping power – this was going to be a tricky fight for the apprentice. The trout flung itself into the air and slapped back down on the water, which added more pressure on Anthony to get this one in for a picture. Letting the rod work and drag do its job, Anthony finally got his PB trout to the net – a lovely trout, very deep with beautiful markings. After this we did have one or two of a similar size and quite a few around the 2lb or 3lb mark, a nice stock of trout here, really strong fighting fish.

Anthony’s best ever trout

An absolutely wonderful day today at Southern County and we’re looking forward to getting back here soon, it’s great to have such a place to help break up the winter ahead.

Go fishing…

Angling takes place on over 10 acres of water on 3 different lakes and Southern County Fishing Resort prides itself on its Rainbow Trout.  The lakes are stocked on regular basis with high quality fish reared in an onsite hatchery. The fresh river water which feeds our lakes supports the life of a range of insects which is a source of natural feeding for the fish. Fish size range from 1.5 lb to 10 lbs.

Southern County Fishing Resort
Milltown, Garryhill, Bagenalstown, Co.Carlow.

For booking enquiries please contact Chris on 0892550585

Web: https://www.facebook.com/southerncountyresort/


Dan normally manages the fishing on the River Nore at Mount Juliet:

Dan O’Neill
Mount Juliet Estate.

Mount Juliet House is set on a large estate, which offers private fishing on 2.5 miles of the middle to lower reaches of the River Nore. Mount Juliet Estate offers fishing of the highest quality, just a short stroll away from the Manor House. There is a fishing room on site in the Manor House for your convenience i.e. for storage and drying of fishing equipment. Mount Juliet Estate can also provide the necessary equipment on site if needed.


Contact Dan: 0857652751 or  [email protected]