Dan O’Neill gives us an update on his latest guiding session on the Kings River


Casting, exploring and meeting new friends

Continuing my love for streamer fishing, this week I hit the Kings River and even went to the River Nore for a couple of hours.

Firstly, I have been doing a lot of casting recently. I enjoy watching loops or trying to improve my casting skills. My very good friend from APGAI Mr. Pat Hughes (who sadly passed away) would ring me and say to me “there is always something you can improve on” and he was right, of course. When I began studying for APGAi I found myself picking about 5/6 instructors/casters. From the few I picked I wanted traits that they had, everything from teaching skills, casting abilities, analogies, presentations, how they conducted a casting lesson and how they answered questions or looked for answers when asking questions. Back to Mr. Hughes again and a saying that sticks with me “It’s well and good that you can make a cast or various casts, but can you teach it”. Again, he was correct. So, when I studied the chosen instructors I found myself as an instructor becoming a hybrid of their skills and knowledge. Let’s not forget they done the same thing when they learned and began their journey. So, the traits they learned from their mentors were also passed on. It’s like a spider’s web of knowledge and I placed myself in the center listening to my select few that I chose to study. I have been very lucky with my ongoing journey.

Back to angling now and I had many clients out over the past week from far and wide. Hitting the kings with me this week were Eric and Mark who were from New York.

Two anglers beside flowing river
Eric and Mark

Mark had done quite a lot of streamer fishing and Eric practiced dry fly and nymphing mostly. Stories were a plenty on our walk to the joining’s, we had to remind ourselves why we were there and get on with making new stories. We chose 3 small glides spread out over about 150 meters, here I could keep and eye on both anglers and advise as best I could. Eric started off with the Cadence 10ft 3wt tight lining, he began at the end of the glide and worked his way to the head. Mark took a different approach and grabbed the trusty Cadence 10ft 5wt to use some of his leech patterns from Montana.

Fishing rods set up
Ready for action

The noise came from Eric’s side first where he hit a nice brown trout on a pheasant tail nymph, not a very big trout but an “Irish brown” so he was very happy. It wasn’t too long before Mark had a fish on the leech pattern, again nothing big but a trout all the same and one he was very happy with. I had a lovely morning with the lads and am hoping to head across to them in the future at some point.

After walking along the riverbank earlier that morning I had decided to try some little pockets and back eddies with some of the streamers Mark was using. I brought the 10ft 5wt with me equipped with sink 5 line. I started at Georges wall and made my way to the end of the long pond. Before I began I took off some fly line and dipped my streamer into the water and moved the rod tip to see what king of movement I got as I wanted to go for a natural flick in the streamer, I was also seeing how the pattern worked and was there anything I could add to make it more attractive or realistic. It was wonderful to watch the effect the rod movement has on the streamer and made me think I am probably jigging to hard which resulted in unnatural movement of the streamer. With my newfound jigging skills I made some casts differing my retrieves. It was the jigging that made the difference today and I had many trout along the stretch I fished. Watching them was superb. I had one trout follow it right into the edge, it almost seemed that the fish was being playful with the streamer. I love watching the streamer and seeing a sudden gold flash behind it, it is so exciting and a lovely way to fish. Of course, Anthony was on the lakes and I was in sight and he saw me hook a few trout, so he came up to “help out”, he ended up getting a few lovely browns also and was very happy. The takes are superb and sudden.

Anthony once again showing dad how it’s done!


Spring Angling Fair – Ardaire Springs 4/5 May

Don’t forget to save the dates, the line-up for this year’s fair is superb. There are some wonderful talks and demos over the weekend. It’s events like this that can take your angling journey to the next level. I will be there with the APGAI team and the Cadence fly fishing team. Make sure and stop by to say hello.

Go Fishing…

South East Casting

Address Thomastown Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353857652751