Dan O’Neill angling guide and casting instructor at South East Casting reports on a recent trip to the Nore…

My guests this weekend are ones very familiar to me and share a very unique bond that only fly fishing can form. As we got ready and put  our waders on it was quite clear that these were going to be 2 very special days. Of course it was already a very special weekend as Alan informed me it was Pat’s 21st birthday weekend!! With this weight firmly set on my shoulders it was time to get to the water and hopefully allow the morning’s results to relieve me of the weight.

Before we headed to the river, we went through some of the knots we’d be using in the fishing room. I explained to Pat and Alan that my preferred fly line to leader connection is the needle knot. I believe the needle knot gives exceptional turnover cutting out the latch effect that a braided loop or welded loop gives you. This knot was demonstrated to me by a very good friend Pat Hughes who I met through my APGAI journey (Thanks Pat). The next knot would be blood knot to blood knot followed by the perfection loop. Both anglers picked up on the knots quite quickly (Pat’s young eyes). I think I may have converted them to using the needle knot from now on.

As we got to the waters edge we touched a little on casting and a couple of different casts we could use in difficult situations (Single Haul, Wiggle cast, Aerial mend, Reach cast, overhead cast, Accuracy casting). Both anglers were quite competent casters and it was nice to watch them cast as the unfolding of a fly line loop never loses its magic. Adding a couple of different casts to your arsenal is never a bad thing and very fun to learn.

Now it was time to put our new skill set to the test. The river on the first day was about 15cm above normal for trout fishing which presented a very slight challenge but not one that would stop Alan or Pat. Plenty of trout came to hand over the two days but I feel day two was probably the highlight as we had plenty of nice trout on dry dropper below the white bridge. We used an olive nymph pattern which the trout seemed to respond very well to. Some of the takes were magnificent and had us craving them throughout the day.

nore trout

As the morning progressed fish became a little more active on the surface, maybe not enough to justify putting on a dry fly but wet flies certainly would be worth a shot. Changing the leader set ups to suit wet fly fishing it was time to get in and again practice some of our casts while swinging the wet flies. When the water is lower I tend to fish wets upstream along seams or into pocket water. It can be very exciting watching your line tighten up followed by a buttery gold brown trout leaping in the air for freedom. Today however the water had risen from yesterday so we decided down and across was the way to go. I demonstrated how to swing, slow down and speed up the fly during the swing. This time I slowed the swing right down to which a lovely brown trout obliged and took the fly. The perfect demonstration ( 1 in a million chance of it happening again that way). Feeling Pat’s eagerness I handed him the rod for him to try. Passing on and assisting with the technique it was time for me to step away and go to Alan. My back had not been turned very long before Pat hit his first trout on the wet fly. Lots of excitement; the flow was energetic as was the trout. Pat and Alan had many more trout on the wet and seemed to enjoy the techniques being very surprised at how subtle the takes were which at times felt like the current running along your fly line.

nore trout

A great two days with two anglers that share a very unique bond like I mentioned earlier. Listening to their stories and tales of their angling adventures gave me knowledge of something else fly fishing can offer and that’s a life long friendship with feelings and adventures that is unique to angling.

Go fishing…

South East Casting

Address Thomastown Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353857652751

River Nore trout fishing

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