Dan O’Neill reports on a coarse angling trip to the River Barrow…

Last week the River Nore was still a little high for Anthony to fly fish so we decided to go to the Barrow for some course fishing. Anthony seemed very interested to fish for roach of a larger size than normal. Luckily late last season I managed to find a little spot on the Barrow that held some nice roach.

Armed with a very roachy homemade ground bait we headed for the Barrow. The water we were fishing was just shy of 14ft deep. The thoughts of what lurked in there kept us keen throughout our session. We began gently groundbaiting the swim with golf ball sized rounds of ground bait. After ten minutes we had our first cast which led to the usual suspects – being small Dace and roach, which were welcome to the net.

After 20-30 minutes of fishing the float slowly held up in the current then disappeared, being taken into the depths. A solid strike indicated a much heavier weight than our previous small face and roach. With the fish trying to move back out into the current the fight was on. Peering into the depths I saw a silver flash followed by Anthony asking “What is it?”. As the fish came to the surface I replied “it’s a beautiful roach”. A nice fish, a PB for Anthony as far as roach go for him. A quick picture and away the roach went to fight another day.

A good roach and a PB for Anthony


The wind wind started to pick up a little, pushing us to change to a ledger rig. I went through the method quickly, explaining it to Anthony. It was time to sit and watch. The rod tip shook a couple of times most likely caused by smaller fish rattling at our worms or maybe larger fish feeding nearby and hitting our line. Eventually the rod tip wrapped and Anthony lifted into the fish. A fight that was a little different this time began. There was  less head banging and more swimming around the bottom a bit. Anthony knew this was different and possibly a new species for him, a new species it was indeed as a beautiful hybrid came to the net, a quick picture and examination and away the fish went.

Dan with his hybrid

Of course we couldn’t leave without a couple of casts with the lure rod which resulted in a lovely little jack pike to top off our trip.

jack pike

Go fishing…

For a full list of classes in various different aspects of fly fishing or guiding please contact Dan on the below details

South East Casting

Address Thomastown Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353857652751

Coarse angling in the South East