Saturday, 30 August 2008

Enniskillen, Hurray for Holidays

Just back from my Hols, went to the beautiful county of Fermanagh. The Wifey, Ethan and I had to recover from a particularly stressful week away with my family in Donegal and I'm so glad we chose Enniskillen.

I had managed to whip myself up into a fishing frenzy by reading about the fishing opportunities nearby, so with the news of crappy weather I wasn't steeling myself for a disappointing week. Luckily it wasn't that bad with just a couple of bad days.

We were quite fortunate in our location, we were renting a superb farmhouse near the Navar Lakes so after a bit of research I new this was going to be the first call. One the first day we called up to Glencreawan after convincing Wifey that there was a spectacular view point nearby (there was, it was incredible) and sneakily I brought a light set up with me. As fish rose all around us I knew this was going to be an interesting week. Wifey had other ideas and didn't relish the prospect of hanging around whilst i fished so after a brief bit of fluff chucking and a photo opp we were off.

My Buddy Andrew was nearby for the next day so we set off to explore the lakes properly, He had suggested we try Meenameen but with my typical snobbishness for all methods lake, i over-rode him and we ended up at Glencreawan. Things were looking up as Andrew was immediately into a fish on his first cast at the weeds near the slipway, but after that things got tough we spent the next couple of hours soaked through and miserable but still we fished on. To compound my misery I managed to drop my only lighter into the water and had to spent an uncomfortably long time trying to get it to work properly. Our perseverance paid off in the end though we finally got into a couple towards the end of the day.

Enniskillen is the home of the legendary Fly dresser Frankie McPhillips so I knew i had to at least call in. Of course when i got there I had to stock up on some new flies, i picked up some great looking dry daddies and a new landing net. I'd been finding the foldable one a bit crap when wading as unfolding it one handed when playing a fish can be hard work so I wanted a big scoop net that should stick to the back of my vest.

Later on in the week I ventured back to the Navar lakes as the weather had calmed down abit. I found the fishing at Glencreawan had turned impossible as the wind was still blowing a gale only this time over my line hand. So after a couple of fly-to-eye near misses I decided to re-locate to Meenameen. This lake, whilst of roughly the same size is sheltered by the forest and looked a great deal calmer. It also looked to have fish at the surface on the far bank. Oh Joy. After a brief struggle through a swamp I ended up on a floating platform of weeds slowly sinking into the vegetation. Although it was hard to cast from behind the fronds this position definitely paid off, within half an hour I had caught two cracking browns and was loving every minute of it. At this point my phone goes off and the wifey reminds my i have fatherly responsibilities waiting for me at home. After i promise to be home as soon as possible i decide to have one last chuck into a feeder stream that i had just seen movement in. After a cast that could only be described as gently lowering a fly onto the water, the previously flat calm water erupted. I was into a huge fish. After quite a while struggling to get the fish in past a tonne of snags I eventually landed it. Most of the time whilst playing it, i cursed my choice of a short handled net and longed for my extendible one.

This was probably the biggest fish i have landed yet. The net measures 45cm across and he was longer than it! By my calculations this puts the fish at about 42 pounds (give or take a pound). Fishy went back after a quick breather but by now i was running late so I packed up to go. I spent another day back at the same location and had another very productive session and cannot wait until I'm back.

The only other water I tried was Lough Keenaghan and the weather once again was not ideal and whilst it looked like a great lake I chose to talk fish with a couple of anglers and then sneak off to fill up with cheap diesel from over the nearby border

Monday, 4 August 2008

Murloc Angling and Rural Pursuits

Whilst running an errant in Aghalee I thought I would check out Murloc fishery. The fishery is situated within spitting distance of my old house so I was very curious about the setup. It is a newly constructed pond of about five acres and it only opened at the start of July.

As I hadn't a rod with me I was just going to have a nosy and bug the owner/manager if I could find him. I immediately bumped into Fred the boss man who was out enjoying a pipe and his randy dog Fly. Whilst chatting away to Fred and trying to avoid the amorous advances of his dog(who incidentally is an excellent fisher, check the photos in the lodge) I was able to experience the quality of the fishing. The beautiful clear lake was alive with activity, there were many anglers fighting with sturdy looking fish and even more rising on the lake. The fish stocked have a minimum size of 2lb and there are a number of doubles. All in all I was extremely impressed with the setup. The lodge looked very comfortable and the staff were really friendly and helpful.

Hopefully i can make up some excuse to be out in that neck of the woods again soon, but next time I'll definitely have some kit with me.

Murloc Fishery is situated halfway down the Old Church Lane which is just off the Soldierstown Road in Aghalee. You can contact the fishery on 07843632197