The Del Boy Mayfly, one that worked
The Del Boy Mayfly, one that worked

Jackie Mahon writes from his blog at

Guiding for the Irish team for the Home International fly-fishing championships on Lough Melvin

Along with Tony O’Sullivan from Cork, I was the official fly tyer for the Irish team that won the international fly-fishing championships on Lough Melvin earlier on June this year.

With captain Darren and his dad Sean playing a big part, we covered the lake and put the work in beforehand. I had to take 4 days off afterwards to recover from the early starts in the morning tying flies, covering the lake and tying again at nighttime preparing the flies for the next day. It was worth it though, I was thrilled to see the team getting the gold, even though I didn’t get the gold, it felt like I got the gold doing it for them. It was really fantastic.

I can’t share all the flies we used as they might be called upon again, but below are some of the flies that worked, and some kind words from Denis Goulding who was involved on the day of the competition and won the coveted Brown Bowl.

From Denis Goulding, Oct. 2022
“I first met Jackie a few weeks before the international, as he had offered to guide anyone on the team that wanted a day on Melvin. Peter Byrne and I took up the offer. I have known about Jackie for many years and he was held in high esteeem by everyone I had talked to. His knowledge of the Lakes he guides on and the the locations of hatches on those lakes I was told was a joy to experience. Not to mention the flys he designs to represent the hatching Insects.

I was met the morning of our trip with a smiling face a a hearty handshake. Jackie had his boat kitted out and ready to go, all we had to do was sit in the boat. The first half of the day was flat calm with rain, so Jackie literally brought us on a tour to his best drifts for Sonaghan, Gillaroo and Brown trout. Believe it or not we caught and moved fish on every drift in such terrible conditions. After lunch we fished in earnest as the smallest of ripples appeared.

I caught fish on nymphs and drys while Peter caught on wets, but I really wanted to get among the Gillaroo… Jackie reached into his box and handed me a Mayfly Pattern. During my many years of fly tying and teaching I have come across all sorts of patterns of flys. As I took the fly from Jackie I could feel the hackles resist my grasp. Its very rare you come across commercially tied patterns with such high quality hackles in them. During the next hour or so I actually can’t remember how many fish I caught on his flies, many many Golden Gillaroo and a few double hooks as well.

I learnt more in that day about Melvin than I did in all the years I had previously fished it. I used the knowledge Jackie shared with me during our day out, on the match day and I was fortunate to be part of an Irish Team Gold win and claim the Brown Bowl for the top rod in the International. But I must go further, Jackie boated the team by day and tied by night, it did not matter what we wanted tied Jackie had them done for us. To this day I do not know how he kept going and I have no doubt that Jackie had a huge part to play in our win.

Months after the event I visited Jackie at his home. We chatted about this and that and then he showed me some of the material he uses to tie his flys. I was like a kid in a candy shop, the seals fur, colours I had only dreamt of, clean clear deep colours, all dyed by Jackie, the capes, the boxes of french partridge all dyed again by Jackie. No wonder he is renowned throughout Ireland for the quality of the flys he produces. Jackie leaves no stone unturned to get the best of the best ingredients for his Flys.

I have no hesitation in recommending Jackie as a guide and a fly tyer. If you want a good day out or patterns for the wild brown trout you need to look no further.”

Here’s to two years time and more of the same.

Thanks, Jackie Mahon

Go fishing…

You can purchase some of my patterns in the new Fulling Mills brochure for 2023 which will be out soon.

For guided fishing please do not hesitate to contact me as there are still some dates available for 2023.

Jackie Mahon Flies and Guiding

Address Barnadearg Grange Sligo F91HW68 Ireland Mobile Phone: +353 87 9222458 Website: