The trout season here in Ireland is winding up at the end of the month. As usual the season has flown by, leaving me with the feeling that I missed out on some of the adventures I had planned back in March.
In reality though I’ve had a successful season with some nice fish caught, as well as some rewarding trips around the country and abroad. It’s not quite over just yet, and I have the final few weeks to hopefully scratch some more goals off my bucket list for this season.
September fishing on the rivers is not too complicated, the trout are busy feeding for the upcoming spawning in October and November. For the last two weeks in Ireland we have been having an “Indian Summer” where we have quite mild weather with high pressure great weather for BBQs but not so great for fishing.
The water has been very low for the last few weeks, and the trout have become quite spooky. One bad cast in the slower pools and all you see is a wake on the surface as fish bolts for cover. Fishing these slower pools with long leaders and very fine tippet can yield some good results if you’re patient
My fishing tends to be concentrated on the faster water below the falls and weirs. The water here is more oxygenated and there tends to be a relatively constant supply of food for the fish. This also allows a better margin for error with your casting and you can get away with some stronger tippet material.
The fish in these waters do not have as long to decide if a fly is edible or not, so they can hit the fly quite hard. It can make for some exciting fishing.
I’m quite lucky in the fact that I’ve a productive trout river less than five minutes from my house, so I have no right to complain when I get down to the river and see barely a trickle flowing over the weirs and falls at my regular spots. The water is lower than mid summer levels, and as result the already difficult trout have become trickier to catch.
This river is situated right in the middle of Dublin and holds some substantial fish up to 2kg, but the average size would be less than 500g. It is fished fairly regularly, but it’s not too difficult to find a secluded spot where you can fish away in peace; bar the odd dog jumping into the river directly where you are casting!
However, these things happen on an urban river, and you can always move on upstream to see what the next pool is like.
I generally fish with some general emerger type patterns around this time of year as there are often a number of hatches of fly taking place at the same time. It can be difficult to clue into what the fish are feeding on so I carry a number of these flies in a variety of sizes.
Generally, fishing with flies of 16-18 in size to either match the olives hatching throughout the day, and sometimes up to a 12 if there is a good hatch of caddis in the evening.
The caddis fishing in the evening can produce fish right into darkness, with an opportunity of catching a fish over 1kg if you get a decent hatch of flies. Some of my best catches have come in complete darkness where you have to rely on all your senses to know if a fish has taken a fly, this is very exciting fishing.
The odd time we have to drop to size 20 and 22 when the fish are taking tiny midge flies trapped in the surface.
September fishing, when the conditions are right, can be very fruitful. The trout are in their best condition, and will give a very good account of themselves once hooked. The days are getting shorter as autumn arrives but there are still a few more opportunities to catch some fish before the curtain is drawn on this season.
Replenishing the fly boxes will be on the agenda over the coming winter months as well as the odd trip out for some pike or sea fishing.