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Fly Punk - Issue 3

  • Text
  • Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Trout
  • Carp
  • Lure
  • Dordogne
  • Suir
  • Flies
  • Thailand
  • Sharks
  • Reel
  • Pike
Fly Punk - No tweed, wicker baskets or trousers tucked into socks. Just a free digital magazine aimed at the fly fishing punk ... Read on and join the party ...

that, if they were in

that, if they were in England, would be continually assaulted by coach loads of invading pensioners. But here everything is peacefully vacant. I admit to finding this slowly rusting side of Ireland reassuring. Samuel Beckett must have agreed when he wrote that: “What constitutes the charm of our country, apart from its scant population, and this without help of the meanest contraceptive, is that all is derelict.” The bones of old castles sit splendidly idle, daisies growing from their windows. Such are the torn remains of what looks like a medieval turret sitting by the Suir just outside Cashel. The waters are sparkling and, as is always the case when you don’t have a fishing rod, we spot trout moving in the stony runs and rushing water. An evening return is plotted, but until that time we must be content ourselves with fishing trips made in books. Among all the advice on Irish trout fishing are the accounts of night fishing such as those from Niall Fallon’s “Fly Fishing on Irish Rivers” are especially bewitching. On a hot summers day this can be the only time Suir trout really drop their guard. The reasons involve science as well as alchemy; “Invertebrate drift” is the term used to describe the nightly emergence of life forms on the river. During the witching hours, all that was hidden ventures out. An endless collection of creatures crawl from their hiding places in river bed. The trout suddenly find their appetite and grow bolder. This was also the favourite time of Liamy Farrell, who could be observed immersing his stocky frame into the river while more timid souls packed up for the evening. “Where others were glad to climb out of the strong waters of the Suir with an acceptable brace of trout on a July evening, Liamy would meet you on the bank in the warm, scented dusk with half a dozen, topped by a three-pounder” writes Fallon. “He liked to get right 38 | 39 in amongst a shoal of feeding trout, moving with the utmost patience and slowness, and fish a very short line either side and above,” The first hour or two on our return to the Suir near Cashel begin with a friend of a friend and a rusty gate. The river drops away invitingly at the end of lush fields, but the only signs of life are odd rises well out into the current. Long leaders and distance casts earn only the most occasional of finicky takes until the light begins to drop. Aidan aims a team of traditional wet flies across the current to mix things up, but one hit and miss take is all our river punk can muster so far. Once again, we’re foxed. It is only as the light drops that the rises become more frequent and we spot a familiar, tall figure working the far bank. It is George, here to teach us a lesson presumably. Creeping along up to his thighs he searches the stony shallows with quick, short casts. Within minutes his rod jolts over and a Suir trout is kicking at his side. Aiden and I stand watching in that semi-appreciative way unsuccessful fishermen do in the presence of a local expert. Another trout comes to hand. And another the very next cast. “Just watch the bugger! You have to admit, he knows a trick or three though.” Hoping that the dying light will help to conceal my own lanky presence, I double back along the bank and drop into another shallow run, the water just about covering my knees. Where there was only a cool flow of water minutes earlier, there are now regular, splashy rises. As if someone had flicked a switch. Tying on a small Balloon Caddis, I flick the fly into the stony run and pick up the line gingerly. I lose sight of the fly, but there is a sudden rush at the surface and I’m attached to a lively half pounder. Quite soon you can hardly make out the fly, but it hardly seems to matter. Numbers two and three follow, while the whole river seems to buzz into life. I throw a couple of painfully clumsy casts along with the better ones; the trout seem oblivious. At one stage they’re rising directly just a couple of rod lengths behind me, totally untroubled. Such is this magical time on the Suir that in the space of half an hour a frustrated amateur can be transformed into a trout fishing assassin. The change is so dramatic you wonder how you ever found it so difficult beforehand, but it’s an exhilarating feeling. The fish don’t sip, they smash. The best of them probably wouldn’t quite trouble the pound mark, but kicks and thrashes as hard as a punk rock band. Tipperary is sleeping as we return home quite a lot later than planned, leaving the Suir to the trout and Liamy Farrell’s ghost. Moths swarm down the overgrown lanes to Aidan’s place as we gather in the night sky, still damp from the river. The best trout tastes beautiful, freshly fried in butter by the river punk himself. www.fly-punk.com

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