It's been more than a year since I started fishing for trout in Ireland.
Granted, I have only fished on one river, in it's urban stretch.
But what a river!
Crystal clear waters that hold a very good population of nice size trout, both wild and stocked.
I figured out fast that I have to forget everything I thought I knew about trout fishing.
Long forgotten the small spinners (even though they still produce the odd fish), no more UL moderate action rods and ultrathin monofilament lines.
The fishing style, lures and the fish here require a rod stiff enough to twitch and jerk bigger and heavier lures (4-7cm minnows), fast enough to provide an instant hookset, but forgiving enough not to pull the hooks from a stronger and harder fighting fish.
Right now, I think I have reached a good compromise with a 6' fast action Light power rod, a 1000 size reel and 5-6lb fluorocarbon or low stretch abrasion resistant line.
I will get more specific about brands and models in a future post.
Last season I managed to catch a good number of trout, with quite a decent average size, the vast majority of them on 4-5cm minnows. I also had a lot of fish caught on small soft plastics (actually I got the first ever trout here on a 2 inch shad on a 1,5g jighead ), but that happened mostly when trout were very apathetic.
As I expected, in the early season they prefered the bigger sized lures, 5 and 6cm ones getting the best results for me, but now as the weather and the water start to warm up, I had to reduce the dimensions slightly.
Fish are moving into shallow, faster moving water, so a smaller lure with a good balance and stability in strong currents is needed in order to efficiently fish these stretches.
I have been successfully using some 3.8cm minnows for the last year, that produced fish regardless of weather, water level and clarity or fishes state of activity. It has been my go-to lure ever since I first fished with it (as I said before, more details in a future posts).
On top of that, for the last few weeks I started making lures again after almost 3 years being away from lurebuilding.
The first few models that I am testing, already caught me a good number of trout in the last three or four sessions. Needless to say, I am excited about the results! Still some fine tunning to be done, but nonetheless, I am very pleased!
It can still be considered early season, so I hope my results will improve in the next months, even though I know that the trout are getting fewer (sadly) and more aware of fishermen and their lures.
But if lure fishing was easy, we would probably grow bored with it and move to something more challenging.
Thankfully, it is not the case!