A lot of people believe that fishing in Ireland is easy, that there are so many fish that they literally jump into the boat without even being hooked…

It is partly true, there are lots of fish but they are as difficult if not harder to catch than anywhere else. Time and time again I have experienced this, and when fishing for brown trout on the big lakes it is a rule!

In this particular biotope, there are many essential parameters to be taken in consideration. At the beginning of the season you need to look for the trout where the water warms first, the choice zones being the margins of islands and shallow bays. It is also there that they come to find their food.
Even if you are fishing with lures you still need to have some « bug » knowledge! Small fish are on the trout’s menu, but so are insects like duck flies, march brown, olive blue dun and the famous sedge flies.
In the springtime, it is the duck flies that pay the tribute, keep your eyes open to spot the large white trail that appear over shallow zones, float around the islands towards other shallow areas. Be sure to fish these white trails as they are made of hatching, dying or dead insects. It is quite possible that the trout and pike will not be far.

It would be a crime not to fish these zones; all you need to do position the boat in the middle of this “white soup” and fish all around.
Easier said than done, I have seen a lot of fishermen perfectly positioned, with the right lure, the trout feeding, but not catch a single fish. It is not just a question of being in the right place at the right time with the right lure, you have got to know how to use it, and that is the secret to an unforgettable day on the water.
As you will targeting 35-65cm fish, a 00 size spinner or a Gunki Gamera 50 are going to be too small!

The trick is to cast in the direction the boat is drifting, which is with the wind behind you. As the boat is constantly moving towards your lure, you will have to fishing it fast, a bit like when using a surface lure, with twitches and fast retrieve! If you are not used to this style of fishing it is not easy.
So which lure, rod, reel and line to choose?
After trying quite a few different combinations I have at last found my “ideal” combo.
The Gunki Saburau Kaze 180ML rod is just perfect for working the lures and with sufficient power to counter those crazy brownies or an unexpected pike.

The Luxor 4000 match reel thanks to its feather weight, high speed ratio, shallow spool (perfect for 6-8°° braid without have to use a backing) and precise spooling is my choice reel.
The Luxor 4000 match reel thanks to its feather weight, high speed ratio, shallow spool (perfect for 6-8°° braid without have to use a backing) and precise spooling is my choice reel.
Ok, time to talk about lures! As most of the time there will be wind and waves and you will need to cast as far as possible, you are going to need some weight. There are 4 lures that are just perfect for that: the Gunki Gamera 65 and the Illex Squad Minnow 65. Both excellent “casters” they react instantly to the slightest twitch or jerk. The fact that they are suspending is also a big advantage for “on spot” animations when the fish bit on the 'stop'. I also love to use them for trolling when navigating to restart a drift.

The Illex Squad Minnow 65 Heavy Weight (HW) is ideal when the conditions get really rough or if you have to fish deeper or when fast trolling. Its added weight gives it extra stability and incredible casting abilities.
Last but not least, the Gunki Mothra 75. When the sun is bright and the fish seek the shade of the depths, tie on this lure, cast and simply start retrieving. It is probably the most effective and easiest lure to use when the fishing deeper waters. The one I use most here is the Illex York spoon. Don’t forget to stop every now and then as that is a key time to get the fish to bite.

Don’t forget a good length of 20 or 22°° fluorocarbon, even if fishing for big fish, discretion pays!

A good day’s fly fishing on this type of water ranges from 3 to 10 trout, above is a day to remember! At the beginning of the season (March-April), when fishing with lures, anything under 20 fish is not a good day!

See you soon in Ireland!