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3 days learning the fine art of fly fishing fo tack4

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in an atempt to improve technique and hopefully break my fly cherry am away from early hours friday8th for three days fishing at straid fishery NI


wish me well full report on return i promise :D


possibly the odd one or two beers will be scoffed but hey ho some ones got to do it


big report this, so grab a drink now 'cause i am will post up photos when at home as unable to access my hard drive at the mo


part 1

friday am restless night eventually gave up trying to sleep after 2 attempts so with 4 hrs sllep i was up at 04:15 to have a shower cuppa brekkie, followed by a quiet tidy up, last minute double checks kitchen sink taken out and left where it belonged enough is enough and off to check in for ferry


Sea was mirror calm, yah wee dancer, a really smooth crossing and hopefully a few


met by alan, one of the likely lads who fish straid,with the famous northen irish greeting "what about ye?" and driven thro' some idilic NI country side approx 15 mins from terminal to fishery arriving just on 10:00



introduced to adrian (fishery manager), wayne ( ex london wide boy and pro fly tier), Phil the 'scouse (the only other traveller to the meet) Jackie (who's the local worthy and whose voice would shame Frank Carson), Stevie Munn (pro guide,Hardy instructor and font of knowledge)







first order of business was a walk up the near bank on the hut side and to set up the tents for the weekend.


rod set up and a fly given to me to have a go started to Fish!!!


Phil was quick into action too at the deeper end of the 22 acre lake



as we were all on a catch 'n release ticket for the weekend my first lesson in returning a hard fighting rainbow was soon commenced




Stevie Munn came along and watched for a few mins and then the day really started for me with the coaching started


he had his work cut out and after an hour he had had enogh and went for a well deserved smoke break to calm his nerves, with the instruction to keep at it and rest every 5 mins 'til he came back


after around an hour or so had to pack in and get the shorts n wading sandles on as it was hitting 23 degree C with little or no wind and blue cloudless sky and 2nd thick application of factor 20 sun lotion


more juice and a shout from stevie " come away big man were out on a boat"





four hours of boat fishing followed and a stevie rightly pointed out it was realy still casting practice which was slowly working and imporved greatly when he examined my set up after 30 mins afloat


"this an 8wt line, a ron thompson i rarely sell these any more" he pipes up "and i'll tell you why....... they're shhheeee...ite!! in his broad NI lilt

(whats the middle east got to do with it i thought to myself )

spool changed to a 333 8wt and low and behold a cast that shot line approx 2 out of 5 times


tips and critique continued and the ratio of good to bad casts improved and i knew what i was doing wrong when it happend.



at long last when we came off the water it was barbecue time



from left to right

chef alan, stevie, adrian, phil and wayne







out of picture is harry who arrived whilst i was out on the water

Edited by tack4


member of Save our Sharks


SACN member

it's the taking part that counts!

@==---¬--¬--¬------<(')))>< angling classics

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part 2


after food was washed down with a medicinal


the adventure continued


the evening rise came on but the trout were extremely pre occupied by "the curse" canis and would not rise to a lure from many a rod including stevie (my new sensai)


so practice casting and presntation of the fly continued


as the evening began to turn to night several appoligies and well wishings were exchanged


Phil hit the tent for a sleep he'd been up since 3 am for his flight from liverpool.


Me......... go to bed........that would be right so talked a plan of action with harry who was up for a full night on the water in a boat (now equiped with alan's electric motor) and wayne was up for a wee wager each angler would be on a take first fish heaviest weight won the kitty of a princely sum of £3 ( £1 entry) so with big stakes to play for we started to talk flies and tactics


a wee test of harry's plan resulted in......



harry playing a nice fish which unfortunately wnet under the boats and broke him! this wasnt to be the last break off.......


one of the guys had left a all weather two piece suit for me to use and with out it i would have got hyperthermia when the mist came down



as the fog/mist came down we started to lose sight of wayne so harry decided we would fish hard and quiet for the pot!


i was to learn a valuable lesson or two that night

firstly when casting at night its all about concentrating on the lift n stops as you cant see a thing


this i feel is one of the best things i did that weekend and started to cast better and better with less line tangles, wind knotts, and with less wrist break


every 1 1/2 - 2 hrs we came off the water for coffee n a mars bar to keep sugar caffine 'n' warmth levels optimal


just shy of 2:00 harry had a fish on to be broken the air was a tad blueish for a few minutes


at 2.30 during a break we were all tying flies and i was getting tuition on dropper set ups including buzzer dry combos, single dropper and point, two dropper setups, and why to do it ie to find the sub layer the fish were in.

just before 3 am wayne tuned in, me..... you guessed it back on the water.

by 5 am i was getting a sore shoulder and with fatigue my wrist break was back so what could we do


ahh yes harry has recently got a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 so as dawn was imminent i gave him a quick tute on compsition and we had 3/4 hr off the water practising photography


with some really nice shots as a result


one of my favs of quite a few





lesson over and a couple of happy david baileys with fresh coffee n mars bars in our stomachs we headed ot on to the lake once more feeling the tiredness creeping up on me but that was about to disappear , read on.....


during this session fish were rising all over the place with more of a splash indicating it was dry fly n buzzers on the dropper


at approx 6.30 am i had a funny sensation on my rod and being a comlete novice at actually recognising a bite slowly lifted to harry's yelp "quick m8 rod up high and strip line back"


my first hook up n fight


christ what an experience for several minutes it was strip, tension, give line , strip n tension again all from the deep


as we started to see colour my leader was nearing the rod tip


quality fish says harry ......


lesson 2 off the night stay relaxed and dont tense grip on line finger








leader parted at the loop bye bye fish the air was blue i'm sorry to say


harry then explained his preffered way of putting leadre on by loop to loop lesson well and truly learned




right checklist by end of night session

1 casting very much improved

2 had hooked a fish

3 had played a fish

4 dropper set ups

5 leader loop to loop


huge thanks to harry for above checklist help



as the guys surfaced from the tents it was brekie time hmm bacon rolls with steak from last nights barbie, n a rib or two washed down by copious amounts of tea, coffee n juice


by the time adrian had arrived harry and i had our stories straight and the size of the fish we lost were getting gradually bigger n bigger nah only joking


then it happend at 09:45 i went to bed for a whole two hours my first sleep in approx 28 hrs and short lived as the sun was well up in the sky and the forecast was for 25 deg c +


wind nil cloud nil ...... the next session was going to just as hard if not harder


my arm was ok wrist was a bit sore so gave the rod a rest time for more tuition....




adrian spooning a fish



the result



exactly like the buzzer adrian had tied me the evening before right down to the breathers, thorax, body, and "red errse"




alan came back just around 1 pm as did the guy who had loaned my my thermal protection with my fave expression of all time now " what about ye big man?"


gotta love these guys



and alan produced a big pot of irish stew from the back of his car


man that has to be the best irish stew i have ever tasted and like all good ones you know "its gonna stick like glue" beautiful doesn't do it justice


after showing some of the guys some of the shots i'd taken adrian asked if i would take a few shots for him of the fishery so a walk ensued around the complex will post up pics in photgraphy section soon some of thes will prob be used in his new publicity and i said as long as he gave me a mention in credits he was welcome to use as many as he wanted


after walk and letting him browse some of the results which i'm really pleased with i need to cool off so waders on and ......









during a 20 min paddle i realised wayne had set the tube up as the way he likes it and could have done with a good bit more air in for me as a change of postion resulted in the sectional bar over my lap pulling apart and hence



at least in the conditions they would dry quick

as would my clothes



off for a wash n change


food time was upon us again not too many fish were coming to the bank but a husband and wife couple had 22 fish for there troubles from the boat



evening rise saturday produced a nice fight for wayne resulting in......






on a dry fly


things were looking uo they weren't wholly on the canis


after a few chucks adrian came over to check flies


"wheres you box big man?"


opened to reveal the right fly for the situation had been in my box all along





wait for it ..........



fish on


"don't go to hard on it too fast" adrian advised "give line when it wants and only strip back with light pressure on rod /line finger"



what a fight only a fine 1 1/2lb rainbow, the cherry had been popped


rod greys 9'6" grx 7/8 wt cortland 333 wt/f 8 wt line 5lb leader and white klink a moment i will never forget



this pic sums up my feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, relief, wasnt allowed to have pic taken till i had wetted my throat (tin behind my shoulder whilst phil kept the fish in the net and in the water)

with strongbow and had the ahhhhhhhhhhh moment



the compleat angle by issac walton aint got nowt on this report


the adrenaline that had been keeping me going was fast depleting and after the required " saftey dance" it was time for a couple more


by 11:00 it was bed time


phil saying "i'm not being gay but can i bunk up in the bigger tent with you"


so we started to bring his mattress in when it caught on waynes (who had gone home once the last angler had come off the water and locked up) carp bed that i was granted sleeping rights on




SLEEP WE DID and no gay activity from phil phew!


again a restless night and cramp from float tubing had me up at 06:30 for a pee!




whilst waiting for the guys to open up Phil and i cleaned out the boats with me becoming half a dozen flies to the better along with some genk floatant

who ever left it finders keeprs m8

the first angler appeared just before 07:00 a regular that adrian allows to turn up and fish before he officially opens his m8 arrived and they set up to beat there competition to the first fish before they arrived

a normal sunday occurance, they fish for a few hours till around 10-11 am

heaviest bag gets lunch paid for when for when they meet up at the pub a great way to spend a sunday i think!



when adrian arrived the barbie was back on for sausages reheat a steak n burgers tea by the jug washed it down


a great tip from adrian saw me tying a griffiths gnat and wayne had me back on the water for an hour prior to my lift to get the ferry home


fond farewells were given and recived and alan took me back to the ferry terminal at larne



delayed ferry due to technical difficulties meant i got home around 4pm to a a bath waiting drawn by my good lady bathed after a long hug in almost silence so i could freshen up before the kids saw me



home sweet home when the squeals sounded when they were asked to come down for tea once my bath had finished





what a weekend and what a way to fish


totally hooked pardon the pun

and as arnie says



i'll be back.

Edited by tack4


member of Save our Sharks


SACN member

it's the taking part that counts!

@==---¬--¬--¬------<(')))>< angling classics

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Well done that man :thumbs: A great report as well :clap2:



Fishing digs on the Mull of Galloway - recommend





Me when I had hair



Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

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