Bringing the Dog Fishing was a Good idea-
The story of A very large wild Irish trout on the Dry Fly.
I published details of this fish on social media but things get lost in a matter of hours so am adding it here as its become tiresome taking nice pictures and writing only for an algorithm to determine who gets to see them. There are some interesting lessons in the story too. It’s certainly the biggest Irish trout I’ve caught on dry fly, though I have had some bigger streamer trout.
I was out walking the river in search of a rising trout. Streamer fishing had been poor for a number of days due to the horrible humid weather. There were olives hatching from 11am each day but I wasn’t expecting much to happen as it was windy with bright sunny spells and frequent rain showers. The weather had me deflated and I was tired after 4 days non-stop fishing with the dog in tow. I had cast to one fish by lunchtime who took the fly lazily and I responded a little lazily possibly, because when I lifted he wasn’t there.
It was then I spotted a good fish rising to olives on the far bank. He was rising really steadily, taking every fly that passed close to him. It is a large river in this area and achieving any sort of good presentation from my bank was not an option.
I had a dilemma. Either to walk 20 minutes back to the car followed by a 20 minute drive to the other side of the river, where I’ve never gone before and didn’t know how to access and chances are when I get there the fish will have stopped rising. I could take a punt or just forget about the fish continue my search on my own bank. I looked across at the fish who continued feeding through a shower of rain. I suspected it was a fairly good sized fish at that stage. There was a small patch of shelter caused by the high bank that the fish was working in. I just had to take the chance and go after him!
I jumped barbed wire fences quicker than I’ve ever done while thinking about the lovely head and tail rises that I would witness as reward for my trouble. I drove through town and frustratingly I got stuck behind a slow moving wedding convoy.
Eventually I got to the other side but could find no easy way to get down to the river. I was really committed at that stage so pushed myself to knock on a farm house and ask if I could park there and walk through their yard to the river. The farmer thought I was mad in the head but agreed!
I walked until I spotted a dark weed that I had taken note of from the far bank as a marker for the fish. I waited two minutes without seeing the fish and my heart rate began to slow down. The fish rose a meter from the bank and it was like an electric shock, knowing that my gamble was now very likely to pay off. I made an off shoulder cast and my CDC F-Fly landed beautifully and I knew then that the fish would take. Up he came slowly and turned down and I waited, then lifted. The big trout went off like a scalded cat and a period of awe and terror resulted in this beauty in the net. The fish, as fat a trout as I’ve ever seen!
Most of the larger trout that I’ve caught on dry fly have been through observation and stalking rather than blindly casting. On this occasion, having the dog with me meant I was moving along at a slow pace. Had I been walking the river at speed I may have missed out!
Up he came slowly and turned down and I waited, then lifted. The big trout went off like a scalded cat and a period of awe and terror resulted in this beauty in the net.