River Moy Updates

Friday 05/03/2021

A little bit late today but better late than never. Good morning from a dry and cold Foxford. We have had a big drop in temperature over the past few days with a cold breeze, it looks like this will continue into the weekend. No reports of anymore Salmon taken on the river but it is still very early and with the restrictions there are very few anglers out fishing. Better times ahead.  For anyone who is missing the Moy and feels that they are missing out, I took a quick video clip of the river a few minutes ago. It’s still high but coming into better order. A lot of Kelts splashing about, a good sign for the future. Trout fishing on Lough Conn has been pretty good but again the weather is not ideal and it’s not for the faint hearted. I will wait for a definite rise in temperature with a nice SW breeze.

On the fishing tackle front Brexit appears to be having an effect. We received one rod from the UK last weekend to which there was added 109 euro in charges, hard to remain competitive and make profit on that one! Needless to say we are in negotiations for better terms. We have a lot of stock arriving at the moment and are busy behind the scenes preparing for the season ahead. Judging by phone calls and emails we are receiving it will be a pretty busy season once it kicks off.

Bankside clearing on Foxford Salmon Anglers “Bakers fishery”

Work is continuing along the riverbank south of Foxford. In line with regulations the cutting has finished for this year but the tidy up continues. The plan is to do more of this work over the next couple of years. This will open up a lot of spots that have been inaccessible for a long time.

River Moy Updates

First Salmon of the Season, Friday 26/02/2021

Good morning from a cloudy but dry Foxford, it looks like a nice day ahead. The first salmon of the season on the Moy was taken last Saturday morning. Peter McHugh was the lucky angler who caught the beautiful 11lb fish. Well to be honest it was more than just luck, perseverance played a large part. Peter who is a very active member of the Ballina salmon anglers and lives close to the Moy in Ballina has fished every day since the season opened on Feb 1st. Congratulations Peter. Later in the week we heard of a cracking 25lb fish taken on the River Drowse. Hopefully these two fine early fish are a sign of good times ahead.

Foxford Salmon anglers Bakers fishery south of Foxford has had a “hair cut” and is looking a lot more accessible from an angling point of view. The work is been carried out by the OPW. Thankfully they are not totally clearing the banks as we have seen done in the past. There seems to be a bit of thinking and certain trees have been left while a lot of scrub has been removed. The area in question holds a lot of fish but because it had become so overgrown was unfishable. This season anglers will be able to fish a few places that have not been fished for decades. Something to look forward to.

Its now coming to that part of the season where the cobwebs are been blown of the rods and anglers are starting to have the occasional throw. There is never a season that we do not meet at least one happy angler proudly displaying a Kelt. Its an easy mistake to make and any of us can make a mistake. Here’s a little bit of info on the difference between a fresh run Salmon and a Kelt. No harm to share it with others and especially newcomers to the sport of Salmon angling


Kelt v Fresh Run

Kelts/Slats: Are salmon which have spawned and are making their way back to the ocean. If this Journey is successful the Kelt which is worn out and emaciated after several hard months in fresh water can once again feed, regain strength and condition and perhaps make a second return to its river. Only this time as a Larger Salmon. Identified by the thin shape, distended vent and presence of “gill maggots” on the gill filaments, Kelts are frequently encountered by anglers in spring when they regain a silvery appearance and can be mistaken for fresh run Springers. On the Moy it is not uncommon to hook a Kelt as late as the end of April. It’s easy to get excited when we catch a Salmon but let’s not get too excited before we first determine that it is a fresh run Springer. By Law, Kelts Must be returned unharmed to the water.

Spot the difference. Fresh run fish above and Kelt below


Fresh-Run Salmon: Recognised by the pristine condition, bright silver flanks and thick girth. A Salmon straight from the Ocean will have loose, easily detached scales and many carry sea lice which drop off within a few days. Spring Salmon rarely “show” themselves, on most occasions they make a Boil in the water without jumping. Kelts on the other hand jump frequently and Tail walk across the surface. During the Spring period if you see a fish jumping several times or splashing on the surface its most likely a Kelt, move on and leave it alone. When hooked a Spring Salmon Fights hard, will make several runs and will stay deep in the water. A kelt may attempt to fight but after a few minutes and a couple of half-hearted runs will come to the surface.



                          Look Out For                                          

Salmon that has Spawned “Kelt”

Erratic Jumping (Tail walking).

Frequently follows Bait/spinner to the bank.

Short Fight, loses strength easily.

Can be Silver.

Normally thin with a flat belly.

Fins and tail are ragged.

Often scared or marked.

Gills are pale colour with maggots.

Fresh Run salmon, note the deep flank

Fresh Spring Salmon “Springer”

Sea Lice on a fresh run Salmon

Rarely Jumps or “Shows”.

Solid take.

Hard Fight with long runs.

Deep Girth.

Bright Red Gills.

Loose scales.

May have sea Lice attached.

Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace


River Moy Updates

Choosing the Correct Fly Rod, Friday 19/02/2021


Good morning from a wet Foxford, a big improvement on last week though. Certainly a noticeable stretch coming in the evenings and dare I say a hint of spring is creeping in. The extended lockdown has slowed us all down a little this year and we are no different. Stock we normally take delivery of in January is now planned for March delivery and hopefully by the time you visit us in spring we will have loads of new goodies for you to purchase. Our new website is a work in progress and it too will soon magically appear. Yesterday I was having a chat with a local angler about a fly rod he wants to purchase, a complete new Salmon outfit. I explained that we have new stock on the way and it will be a couple of weeks before I can show him the rod I think is correct for him.  I was happy when he said “take my number and call me when you have it, I want to buy it here”. I was happy because that customer has trust in us and that means a lot.

On a daily basis throughout the season we get asked to recommend a fly rod. It’s a difficult thing to do especially when dealing with a novice or inexperienced fly angler, someone who doesn’t know or understand the finer points associated with fly fishing and the different disciplines. As tackle dealers though it is our job and something we are good at. Assisting our customer in making the right choice is a very important to us. Getting it right can be the difference in retaining that customer as a customer or loosing that customer, you will only bluff a person once!.

Of all the rods on the market the fly rod has to be the most difficult to choose. As most anglers who have stood and wiggled a rod in a tackle shop know making the correct choice lies somewhere between an informed decision and Pot luck. There is such an amount of rods to choose from and as trends and fashions changes this selection just gets more confusing. Twenty years ago we didn’t have Switch, Scandi and Nymph rods to name but a few. The secret is to shop wisely, do your homework and know what you want and what you are getting for your money. In today’s angling world good rods don’t have to cost a fortune and as I already said there’s a huge selection to choose from.

So what’s the rod for me?

It’s impossible to choose one fly rod and say this is ideal for everything. The magic wand doesn’t exist, but while there’s not a rod for everything there is a rod for everyone and this is where we as tackle dealers come into the equation. We have to know what rods to stock and this is the difference between a good and a not so good tackle dealer. A good tackle dealer will have gone through all the rods manufacturers have to offer (hundreds) and will have chosen the best rods available in different styles and price brackets. Of course like most things in life, if you want the best you will have to pay the extra. Sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not, we take a lot of the guess work out before you have to make the final decision.

Here’s a few useful bits of info to help you in the thinking process.


Rod styles and their uses

Single hand: Still by far the most popular fly rods on the market the single hand rod as the name suggests has a single handle (as opposed to two handles, upper and lower found on a double hander) and is fished single handed. While some single hand rods may have a short extension or fighting butt this is not used as an aid to casting. Generally ranging from 2m to 3.3m in length they come in a large variety of weight classes from #2 up to #10. They are used for everything from small stream dry fly fishing to shark fishing but again one single rod cannot adequately cover all situations. You need to think about where you will use the rod and for what species. If you target a single species at similar venues then a specialist rod model may be ideal, if you target different species at different venues and only want one rod you may be happy to compromise and go for something in between. For example someone fishing small trout streams with nymphs would find a 3 or 3.3m #3 rod very useful whereas the angler who fishes a little bit on the trout stream and a little bit on the local lough may be better with a 2.75 or 3m #5 0r #6 as a compromise. I was once told by a large manufacturer that the most popular length of fly rod in the world is 9 foot (2.7m) and they sell more of these than any other rod. The reason for this is that it’s a compromise. Not too long, not to short and most anglers seem willing to make do with it. However I would always recommend that you look closer at what you intend to use the rod for and where you intend to use it before you settle for this compromise.

Double hand: Double hand or Spey rods are a specialist tool designed for Spey style casting. In Ireland and other parts of Europe and the UK they are primarily used for Salmon fishing on the bigger rivers. In the U.S they are used for trout fishing as well. Spey rods which are double handed (an upper and lower handle or butt) are generally longer than single hand rods with 3.6m to 4.5m in weight classes of #8 to #12 been the popular range. A specialist tool they have limited applications and are not for everyone. Again I would recommend a little thought before swiping the credit card. Start with a less expensive model and this is your type of fishing, progress to the top end.

Switch rods: Switch rods are a sort of compromise between the single hand and double hand spey rods, like an in between range. They generally come in the 3.3 to 3.6m #6 to#9 weight classes. They can be used single hand or double hand (Switch) and are a nice tool for a midsized river or summer fishing for Grilse. Although I know some anglers do use them from boats in the lough I would not say they are well suited to this style. I would certainly say that this is the range we have seen the most growth in interest in over the past few years and are something we will be stocking more of.

I suppose the obvious thing that comes from knowing what the different styles of rods are is that we get a better understanding of what they are used for. We can start to look at our own situation and think of what we intend to use the rod for. An angler who uses sinking lines on a large river for spring salmon would be better using a 4.2m #9/10 Double hand rod than a Switch rod where as the angler who does a little spring fishing and more summer Grillse fishing may get more satisfaction from a Switch rod. The angler who fishes on a large Lough will get more use and satisfaction from a 3m #6 or #7 than from a 3.3m #3

Our own experience and physical condition are other important factors. For someone with a shoulder problem a mid sized Switch rod may be a better choice for salmon fishing rather than a large Spey outfit. For the angler starting out is it wise to invest heavily in top end gear ?. I would say no, start with a less expensive outfit and if you enjoy the sport make a gift of your starter outfit to a young person who needs it and then make the big purchase.


This brings me on to price.

 Taking the less expensive to be from 30 to 200 euro, mid priced from 200 to 500 euro and top end from 500 euro up wards. All manufacturers produce a variety of rods that fall somewhere in these brackets. Some are better value than others but again the tackle dealer who knows his or her job has already whittled the range down to offer you the customer value.

What’s the difference?:  Well it’s very easy to see the difference between a 30 euro rod and a 200 euro rod. A 30 euro rod will have inferior components and the material used in the blank will be cheap. It’s impossible to produce a quality product that retails at this price. You will not get anything of any use in a Double hand rod for less than 100 euros. This lower price range (30 to 100 euro) is for someone wishing to investigate the sport. For anyone who is into fly fishing the real starting point is the 100 to 200 euro range. Here you will already notice the difference in quality, slimmer blank with better materials, better components and finish. From 200 euro to 500 euro again there are very noticeable differences. The cosmetics for a start are smarter looking, the materials used in the blank will be better and the rod will perform better. The differences between mid priced rod and the top of the range rod are subtle and at first not so noticeable. Yes the finish will be better as will the components, the guides and quality of cork in the handle, this is visible. The true difference is in performance, this comes from proper design and use of top quality materials in the blank. Unfortunately this performance is something that is not always noticeable to an inexperienced angler and in many cases is wasted. It’s a bit like granny driving a Ferrari. For anyone thinking of investing I would say yes it’s worth it, certainly in the long run. You will get a product that is a joy to use and performs well and if treated correctly will last a long time.

Brands: To some people brand is everything and no matter what the price is they want the brand. For us a brand needs to be backed up with Quality, Performance, service and value for money. This is not something we see in every brand of fishing rod on the market. All I can say with honesty is that we recommend brands that we have found to have something behind them. We continually monitor brands and have over the years dropped many from our range. This will continue and we as tackle dealers are always happy to discuss your requirements and help you with your choice of rod, even if you don’t buy from us we know that by helping you today you might choose us for your next purchase. As someone once said “a poor man can’t afford to buy cheap things, buy right and buy once”

River Moy Updates

White stuff on the river bank Friday 12/02/2021

Good morning from a white and wintery Foxford. Looking at the river this morning it certainly would not encourage one to grab the rod. I think I have really become a fair weather fisherman. The thoughts of cold hands and numb feet just don’t appeal anymore. I wasn’t always like this and suffered many freezings. I recall one February day in particular when fishing with a friend we had to stop occasionally and clear the buildup of ice from the eyes on the rod, ice was forming on the line between it leaving the water and reaching the top of the rod. When we got too cold to fish we got back on our bikes and cycled about six miles to Pontoon bridge where we started fishing again. We didn’t catch any fish either!.  Nope not today.  So far angling effort on the Moy has been low. There’s a few locals fishing upstream of the old traps at Ballina but they have not had any success yet. Looking at Pontoon bridge it seems to be coming into nice order. If asked to bet i’d put my money on the first fish of 2021 in the Moy system coming from here.  Someone asked me recently about bubble and fly fishing and suggested I write a little bit on it. This is something I did before so at the risk of boring you I am going to share it here again.



The Bubble and Fly

 Generally two flies and a weighted bubble float cast across the river and retrieved slowly, it’s simple. So simple that most people don’t believe it can possibly work. So simple that for a lot of people it’s “to easy”. Well it does work but it’s not that simple and it doesn’t work on its own. It needs an Angler to make it work and there’s good anglers and not so good anglers. One thing for certain is that it’s a visual and exciting method, not boring.

It’s extremely difficult to find out where or how this method originated. I have spoken to a few of the older Local anglers here on the Moy and none of them seem to know. However, from speaking to them i have come to the conclusion that it arrived on the Moy in Foxford sometime around the time of the drainage, mid 60s. Prior to this the common local practice for fly fishing and in particular for trout was dapping with the “Wall fly”. The Wall fly is a type of sedge which got its local name (I’m quite sure it has a Latin one as well) due to the fact it hides in crevices on stone walls and in particular could be found in the stonework of the bridge in Foxford. A common local theory on the origin of the fly itself is that it came to Foxford in Wool which was imported to the Foxford woolen mills. These wall flies were attached to a hook and using a long rod was skillfully dapped along the surface of the water. This was done from stone perches in the river or from the bridge. It’s still possible to witness some of the older locals practicing the method from the bridge in Foxford during the summer months.

 By the time I started fishing in the early 70s Bubble and Fly was a standard method. The reason for its popularity on the Moy I think is largely due to the fact that a lot of the river is not suitable for the conventional fly rod. Steep banks, slow flow and vegetation, It’s just easier to use the Bubble and Fly.  On summer evenings the “Back of the Town” i.e. the stretch of river from Cualass to the Blackrocks, would be lined with locals, mostly youths using the method during the “Rise”. Bags of trout, both brown and sea would be caught each evening and the occasional Grilse would fall for butcher or Black Pennell. In those earlier days the range of Salmon flies available was not great. Primarily large single hook, feather wing and the occasional hair wing. Silver doctor, Thunder and Lightning, Hairy Mary, blue charm and Gosshawk would have been standards.

There was always a lot of visiting anglers in the Foxford and Ballina areas and with these anglers came new Fly patterns and styles. Shrimp Flies, hair wings, double and treble hooks. By the mid-80s Irish Shrimp flies had become the order of the day. A variety of patterns emerged and many of them are still favorites today, The Foxford shrimp and Ballina Grey been two of the most notable. I’m not going to get to deep into actual patterns here as it alone is a big topic, many books have been written on the subject. For now it’s safe enough to say that the method works and we know enough fly patterns to cover most situations successfully throughout the season.


I think the first lesson in bubble and fly fishing comes from the past.  I mentioned already that as young lads fishing the bubble and fly we took the occasional Grilse. It wouldn’t have been that common and most of these Grilse were taken late in the evening just before dark. Yet today this method accounts for probably 20% of the catch on several fisheries every season. So what has changed? Well let’s look at the equipment, system and the materials and compare the differences.

The actual system or set up has not changed. A weighted bubble float or similar, One or two flies, normally two. The bubble can be above or below the flies but on the Moy the most popular is to have the bubble bellow the flies, i.e. on the very end of the leader/cast.

On the Moy in the 70s and 80s the standard rod used for spinning, worm, bubble and fly and everything else was 9 or 10 foot long made of fiberglass. The standard fishing line was Maxima chameleon in 15 to 20lbs breaking strain (0.35 to 0.40mm) and a Mitchell 300 or D.A.M Quick were the standard reels. Salmon Flies as I said were generally large single hooks, feather wing with the occasional hair wing pattern. Now for anyone who has tried the method you are already starting to get a picture. if I were to suggest to an angler today to set up for fishing with the bubble and fly using a 9 foot rod with 18lb brown mono as a leader and two size 6 feather wing flies, I’d be as well to retire. The equipment and materials have changed, as also has our knowledge and understanding and this is the difference.

Today the standard rod for Bubble and fly is 3.3 m graphite with good quality guides, Reels are smooth winding with ultra-sensitive drag systems, Lines are strong with fine diameter 0.25 to 0.30mm and are virtually invisible in the water, flies from size 8 to 16 in a range of styles and colours and anglers in general have more “Finesse”.

Assuming you have your 3.3m Tiernan Brothers “River Moy All-round”  rod :), top quality reel and line, a few bubbles, perhaps a new modern bait controller (vive la difference), A few dozen different flies and a good landing net, You’re ready!.  Well you’re ready to learn how to tie up a cast or leader as it’s more commonly called today.

Most good Bubble and Fly anglers will use the same line for their main line and Leader. A well filled reel (it’s a lot easier to cast with a well filled reel) of 0.25 to 0.30mm clear/translucent monofilament. The lighter and finer line been used in very low water conditions ( July, August) the heavier been used in Spring time. A German brand “Stroft” is very popular on the Moy and Stroft ABR https://themoy.com/product-category/fishing-line/monofilament/ is our biggest selling line for Bubble and Fly. The bubble float or bait controller goes on the very end of the line, it is best to attach it to the line using a snap swivel. At a distance of approx. 1.5m away from the bubble (Towards the rod) we make a “Dropper” of approx. 15cm. There are many suitable knots for making a dropper.

I personally use a blood knot as I have always found it to be reliable and I’m a believer in the “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” theory. Mess around with a few knots until you find one that you have faith in. A second dropper is added at another 1.5m from the first. This give a combined leader length of 3m which is long enough and when using the 3.3m rod is still easy to cast. If the leader is longer than the rod casting becomes more difficult. If the rod you’re using is short it is probably best to use only one fly and give a greater distance between the bubble and it.

 If using a bubble float you will need to put water in it to give the necessary casting weight, approx. two thirds full is good. If using a bait controller, the weight is already built in (C’est merveilleux). The choice of fly pattern and size is dependent on conditions in general. I would say that if in doubt, ask someone for a suggestion. Anglers are normally happy to help each other and we are always available at the shop to give advice. A good rule of thumb is in early season or higher water conditions use larger patterns, size 8 or 10, as the season progresses and levels drop a little, drop down to 12 and 14s and in very low conditions 14s and 16s. Brighter colours earlier in the season and for fresh run fish, duller colours as the season progresses. On the Moy you can’t really go wrong with Orange, Gold, Silver, Blue, Yellow and black.

Rod set up, you are now ready to fish. Like everything else it’s possible to catch a fish in any conditions but for success it’s always better to pick the right time or conditions to use the Bubble and fly. Ideally from once the water temperatures have come up a little in late spring, a nice breezy day and a medium to low level of water is best. I would never fish the Bubble and fly in water any deeper than 3m, with 1 to 2m been my preferred depths. The water does not need to be fast flowing but the ripple or wave on the surface is an important factor. A dull day is always better than a bright sunny one but in Sunny weather early morning and late evening can be very good times to fish the bubble and fly. My preference would be the late evening. One of the nice things about Bubble and fly is that even in unfamiliar territory one can be successful. You can quite easily cast all the way across the river and cover all the water. A slow retrieve is all that’s needed but the fly Must “work” in the water. To cast a fly out and let it hang dead in the water been carried by the current is useless. I like to twitch my rod tip as I retrieve thus giving a pulsating action to the fly, some anglers raise and lower the rod tip as they retrieve. Do whatever you feels is giving “Life” to the fly. When a fish takes it is best not to make any big strikes. Normally the fish will leave its Lie, turn on the fly and return to its lie. While the fish is turning and heading back down, all that is necessary is for the angler to tighten into the fish. In a lot of cases the fish is hooked before the angler realizes anything is happening at all.  On other occasions the fish may come for the fly several times before been hooked. If this does happen to you, try different sizes of flies or try resting the fish for a little while. I’ve often turned a fish early in the day and went back later in the evening and caught it. Remember when playing a fish that it will most likely be lightly hooked, you are using fine line and there is a bubble and another fly trailing about after the fish as it runs, try to move the fish away from areas with rocks and bushes if possible. To avoid loosing fish change the Leader regularly as it can become weak at the knots or kinked where the droppers twist around the main line. I’m sure there’s lots I’ve missed and I’m also very sure there’s many out there who could add lots to this. We have come a long way from the 18lb maxima though and the Bubble and fly is “simple”.

River Moy Updates

A new Roadmap! Friday 05/02/2021

Good morning from a cold and wet Foxford. Nasty weather forecast for the next few days so I don’t think we will be fishing. The season started very quietly on the Moy. The water levels were very high and the weather was bad. Ive seen reports online of two salmon from other rivers so far. One in the south and one here in the west, promising for the season ahead.



A new roadmap

The most important news I have to share this week is that the Government has published a document called “Towards a Policy Framework for Inland Fisheries in Ireland A Roadmap 2021”

They describe it as a non-technical roadmap for the development of a new, modern, coherent policy framework for inland fisheries in Ireland. It’s well worth a read and I believe we all should have our say. You can and should ask to become involved by emailing fpolicy@decc.gov.ie or by post to the Inland Fisheries Division, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Elm House, Earlsvale Road, Cavan Town, H12 A8H7, Ireland.

I will post a link on our Facebook page. While we are not getting much fishing done we can help shape the future, no good complaining later.


This week’s “how to” is a short clip on tying a Blood Knot. The Blood knot is very useful for joining lines and for making a dropper on a fly leader. It takes a little practice but it is well worth the time.













Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace


River Moy Updates

Replacing a Spinning Rod Eye Friday 29/01/2021

8AM Moon still shining 29/01/2021

Good morning from a cloudy Foxford, 8AM and the moon is still shining.  Looks like a showery day ahead. Another week forward in the lockdown and very very close to the start of the new Salmon season on the Moy. Although we all know it will be another while before we are on the banks for real it’s nice to know its closer. I’m seeing kelts splashing about on a daily basis now and there’s plenty of water to assist them on their return journey (1.9m at Ballylahan today). Hopefully a few make it back to the ocean. Last weekend I was out walking near Pontoon bridge and although the levels were still fairly high it looked very fishable. Some uncertainty as to whether we can actually start fishing or not, some clubs are saying its fine for members within the 5k guidelines but no one is certain. Some of us are even trying to run small businesses and make plans for the season ahead.  A little bit of clarity would be nice, perhaps IFI or some other Government body could make some sensible recommendations, no pressure lads we have until Monday!.

The next installment in the How to series is a short video on how to replace a spinning rod eye. This is one of the little jobs we get asked to do regularly during the fishing season. It’s not a problem replacing a tip eye and we can do it in five minutes while the customer waits. The other eyes that need to be whipped on take time and it’s certainly not a job we can take on during the season. Hopefully after watching the video you will be able to attempt the task yourself. It’s not rocket science but as I said it takes time to do it neatly. Regarding the video, it’s a learning curve and this week I’ve learned not to leave it until the last minute and not to try making a video while the cat is playing (watch to the end ). Anyway, I hope you watch the video (link below) and get something from it, if only a smile.


River Moy Updates

And the fish keep coming, Friday 22/01/2021

Good morning from a cool but dry Foxford. It’s been another mixed week on the weather front and we certainly had a lot of rain. The river came up a lot on Wednesday and peaked at 3.25m at Ballylahan bridge. Interestingly, I received a little video clip of fish still running a tributary to spawn. It’s late for fish to be still heading up.  I’m hoping it’s a good sign of big numbers and a bright future.


A look forward to the season ahead

It has been a different type of winter than what we wanted but we are slowly getting through it. The time has come to start looking forward to the season ahead. Opening day Feb 1st is within sight now and there’s already a stretch in the evenings. I have a personal opinion that February is to early to open the season and when we still see fish making their way up in mid January it strengthens my belief. I would prefer to see the season extended two weeks into October (C&R if necessary) and opened later (mid March or so). It’s a personal opinion but id welcome debate and would urge the powers that be look into it. That been said,  It’s an old tradition around Foxford to “wet the line” on opening day. Even though they knew the chances of catching a fresh run fish were very slim the locals would always have a few casts. I suppose it was a way of welcoming the new season. It’s falling on a Monday this year so I will try to get out for 20 minutes at some stage.


 In reality it will be mid March before there is a real chance of success on the Moy but it’s nice to think that we will soon be chasing silver. With all the negativity about at the moment it easy to forget about our sport and the enjoyment we get, the simple pleasures. The first cast and the last cast are the two we always seem to remember but a lot happens on a day at the water and it’s not all catching fish.

It generally begins with an eagerness to get started. The hurried rush to get the rod set up and the quick march across the fields to our “spot”. That’s the spot that we started thinking about the night before when we packed our bag and planned the day ahead. The first cast and the baits in the water, a deep breath and relax. Stress and worry seem to disappear as we become hypnotised by the water, lost in nature. Casts and more casts, takes, misses, bait changes, bait losses, fish showing, fish not showing, rain, wind, sun, rising water, falling water, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone.

 It’s hard to beat that feeling when in the last minutes of light on a spring evening you spot a fresh Springer show in a pool and you know you will be out at first light for another try. The thoughts of why it didn’t take and what it will take, the preparation and anticipation of tomorrow.  A fish is a bonus and its all ahead of us.


Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace

River Moy Updates

Quick spinning reel service Friday 15/01/2021

Good morning from  Foxford. Half way through January already and heading fast towards the 2021 salmon season on the Moy. We had a lot of rain in the early part of the week and the river is now in a big flood. That will not matter much as it will be several weeks before fishing begins properly. Last week I mentioned that this is a good time of the year to service reels and change lines. This week I’ve made a little video to demonstrate just how simple it is to oil and grease a spinning reel. This is something worth doing as not only is it nicer to fish with a well oiled reel but they last longer as well. If you have a new reel which is still under warranty Do Not service it yourself as any tampering will void the warranty. If you click on the link below it will take you to the youtube video. I hope you get something from the video. Over the next few weeks I hope to make a few “How to” video clips which I will be putting up here.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4lNSxt_G2U

Have a good week. Michael

Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace

River Moy Updates

New year new line, Friday 08/01/2021

Lough Cullin 08/01/21

Good morning from a cold Foxford. We have had a week of frost and with it some beautiful days. just back from a walk in the woods close to lough Cullin and its absolutely beautiful out there. As we all know the current travel restrictions are making it difficult to get out and about so fishing is difficult. We have not been able to visit the spawning streams either but I have been talking to some others who live close to the upper Moy and they have seen good numbers of fish. Kelts are already splashing around Foxford. It’s early for this so hopefully that is a sign of good spawning. Less than a month now to the start of the new season on the Moy and while it will be a good while before fishing starts properly there are a few little jobs we can be doing to get prepared for the river bank. Reels can be serviced; a drop of oil never goes astray. Rods can be cleaned and damaged eyes replaced.

Winter sun over Drummin wood

One of the most important tasks at the start of the new season and indeed it should be done a few times throughout the season is to spool our reels with fresh new line. It’s amazing the amount of anglers who neglect to do this. In the shop we very often see reels worth hundreds of Euros half filled with “crap” line. It’s not that these anglers who have spent  considerable amounts of money on Rods, reels and other equipment are to mean to replace old line, they just have not stopped to consider that fact that the line is the only connection between you and your prize fish!.  Another reason to change line is that over the course of the season we tend to cut or loose bits of line from our reels. This makes casting more difficult. A well filled (but not overflowing) spool is a lot easier to cast.

Mono or Braid: This is largely a personal choice. Overall I would prefer mono but that been said, last season I did a lot of fishing with a new braid (Berkley X9) and found it nice to use. Mono is less prone to tangle and can be used for all different methods. Transparent or clear monos are very popular for bubble and fly. Braid has a very fine diameter and is good for casting but again most good quality monos have a good diameter to breaking strain ratio. Braid will last longer than mono but it too has a life span and should be changed when it becomes worn.


Characteristics of a good line: A good line is dependable and you can trust it will not have weak spots, it has a good breaking strain to diameter ratio, it casts well and does not kink and twist easily. It’s fresh on the shelf and has not been in storage for years.

Best Brand: At this stage I think we all know that there are a few good brands of line on the market and a huge amount of rubbish. It’s easy enough to work it out, if the line comes on a large spool and is very cheap there’s a reason. These cheap bulk spools of line are a false economy. The line normally breaks easily, is easily kinked and there’s little or no consistency, 10 meters can be fine and the next 10 meters are weak. Two of the best Monos that we sell are Maxima and Stroft.  Both are well tested and good. Maxima is thicker than Stroft but either will work.

Causes of damage to line: Sunlight is probably the biggest cause of deterioration in a line. Try to avoid leaving your reel in exposed places for long periods. If storing spools of line, they should be kept in a dark place and away from heat. Damaged rod eyes or line rollers are the next biggest cause of damage to line. Check these regularly as a worn eye can destroy a complete roll of line in a very short time. Fishing in rocky areas is another cause of damage to line. If you are making contact with the occasional rock make sure to check for frayed patches of line and cut of any damaged sections.

Discard old line in a responsible manner. Cut it into small pieces and recycle it.  Never leave lengths of line along the water’s edge. Birds can and do get tangled in it.

Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace

River Moy Updates

Happy New Year, Friday 01/01/2021

A Wild Atlantic 27/12/2020

Good morning and Happy New year from a wintery Foxford. I think the weather Gods have thrown just about everything they have at us this week. Storm, rain, hail, sleet, snow and Lightning, needless to say there wasn’t any fishing done. We did manage a run to the sea side to check out a few possible fishing locations. We found one nice spot that looks very fishy, looking forward to trying it out. From next week I will start back to the blog proper. For today I just want to say thanks to you all for following the blog and supporting us in the shop in 2020. I hope that 2021 is kind to you.


Remember: Don’t be “The Gobshite”, Leave no trace



River Moy Updates