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


Fish Whisperer said...

Andy, what an outstanding trip. Beautiful fish and a great read.

MY-NI said...

I thought you had nearly gave up on blogging. Seems you got some good fishing done. Now back to your dissertation!

thebigandyt said...

@fish whisperer - had a great time, it was good to try out some new water

@my-ni - it's been a while, struggling to get any decent work done though on dissertation

MY-NI said...

I managed to pass my exam resits. Looks like I'll be joining you in that dissertation club as I've decided the business setup programme isn't for me.

thebigandyt said...

Well done dude, now get started on the dissertation Andrew and I need some company on this lonely road

MY-NI said...

Gerard and Dave willing be joining us. Goodluck trying to get yours done for next month :P

T. Brook Smith said...



We dont' need no stinking dissertations!

Excellent blog, sir. Please do work on your dissertation or you'll end up like me. Check here to see how bad it can get...

I like Ireland and your approach so I'm adding your link to my site.



wow..nice fishing blog..i know your blog from my friend blog ( Mr T Brook smith)i am snakehead fish hunter in Labuan island,Malaysia,hope be your fishing friend.

Anonymous said...

Good idea start them young!

thebigandyt said...

@ T Brook Smith, cheers for the add, i've checked you out too, cool piccies, you'r on the blogroll

@ mizlan, thanks, i'll check you out too

@ Fly gear, was thinking abut teaching him how to tie flies first his wee hands should have no problems with the smaller hooks


thank for visiting my blog..I'm adding your link to my site.

Fish Whisperer said...

Andy, I am pretty sure most of the garbage on the beach here in Fiji comes from.......Ireland, LOL Most of it reeks of thick beer and has a funny accent.

thebigandyt said...

@FW - :) The gulf stream is our new garbage disposal system

@Mizlan - Good man, i'll do the same

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