River Moy Updates

Friday 03/04/2020 Stay Positive and share your Knowledge

Good morning from a cool Foxford. Its been a beautiful week and it would have been lovely to go fishing. The River is coming into ideal condition and i’m quite sure there’s a few Salmon throughout the system. In the big picture our not been able to get out fishing is minor detail and we will get over it. Good feedback from our Junior/beginner piece. I even received a picture from my own Gran-daughter who I didn’t know was following the blog :). So if your missing your fishing why not share some of your knowledge and enthusiasm with a younger person. This weeks beginner friendly lesson is bellow.

 

 

Hi again, that’s another week gone. Every week that goes by we are getting closer to going fishing and we already know more than we did two weeks ago. Like the name of our Fishing spot and the type of fish that live there. We also know the difference between Salmon, trout, Pike, perch and eels. We know the colours of the different types of trout. That’s actually more than a lot of people who have been fishing for a long time. We will be experts.

For this week I think we need to look at how we will catch some of these fish. What do you think we need?

A fishing rod and reel

Some fishing line

Some hooks and weights

A net to put the fish in

I’m sure ………………… and  you can add at least one other thing to this list?

 

How about bait?

Bait is what we use to catch the fish. We can use lots of different types of baits depending on what type of fish we are after. The secret is to use something that the fish like to eat.

So we need to think again. What do fish like to eat?

Well they don’t have shops and they don’t have kitchens and they can’t cook, hmm.

Have you noticed that we have to think a lot? That’s one of the biggest secrets to been a good angler. Always think

Fish eat lots of different things which they find in the water around them. These things include other fish, worms and insects. It might sound gross but it’s not actually bad and the fish enjoy these things.

When we go fishing we sometimes use real baits like worms or we use artificial baits like spoons and spinners that look like small fish. We can also use fishing flies that look like natural insects like May flies or Daddy long legs.

Next time you are out walking see can you spot any natural insects or flies? At this time of the year you might see little groups of black flies with white wings. Anglers call these “duck Flies”. See if you can find a picture of one.

 

Gathering Our Bait

Just to be prepared for when we can go fishing for real you could ask ……………….. Or another adult to dig some worms with you. You don’t need too many and you can easily store them in a jar with a lid on it. Make sure to put some tiny air holes in the lid and feed the worms every week with some wet newspaper. Keep the jar somewhere cool like in a shed.

 

A very important Knot

Something we all need to know as anglers is how to tie knots. This is the most important one to learn. Its called a tucked half-blood knot but if you just remember it as a fisherman’s knot that’s fine. We use it to attach all our hooks and other bits and pieces to our fishing line. It’s not very difficult but you need to practice it. It’s very important to tie good knots when we go fishing. ……………………. may have some fishing line and an old bait for you to practice with, no need to use hooks yet.

 

Step 1 : Pass the fishing line through the eye of the hook.
Step 2: Twist the end of the line around the main line four or five times.

Step 3: Pass the end of the line through the loop you have created.

Step 4: Tuck the end of the line through the second loop you have created.
Step 5: Moisten the knot and slowly pull the main line to tighten it.

 

Ok, It’s going to be a busy week for you. You have to go walking and see can you spot a duck fly. You have to dig worms and you have to practice your fisherman’s knot.

River Moy Updates

Friday 27/03/2020 Armchair Angling

Good morning from a bright and sunny Foxford. Well at least the weather is good so we should be happy about that. The river is coming into nice condition and the fish are getting a good rest . At this stage a lot of the fisheries on the Moy have taken the necessary step and temporally closed (until April 19t at least). We ourselves have closed the tackle shop to the public but are still working on line www.themoy.com . Some people think these are drastic or dramatic steps but if we look at the big picture they are nothing. We all need to do our part to combat the rapid spread of Covid 19.

I’ve done another little piece for our junior anglers which you can see below. I was very pleased to receive some emails from adults who are sharing the info with beginners, Four Irish, one from the u.K and one from France. That’s six beginners at least that i know for definite and if you share it with one more numbers will grow. Its not to late to get involved, give it a go. All you have to do is share (even if isolating you can still email or post ) the very simple lesson and help the beginner through it. Put your name in the blank spots, add few pictures and use your imagination. It might just help someone through this difficult period.

 

Hi again

It’s been a week already, wow that went fast. I think it’s because I was looking forward to chatting with you and planning some fishing. Anyway, remember last week you picked your Fishing place.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get around to it there’s plenty time. Have a little chat with ………………… and see if they can suggest a good spot.

 

My spot

I have a few fishing places. I don’t really know why but I call them “my Spots”. My first spot is the River Moy, it has Salmon and Trout in it. I also like Lough Conn.  Lough Conn is a big lake with Brown trout, Perch, Pike, Eels and probably other fish that I haven’t discovered yet. Occasionally I go to the ocean and try fishing there; I’ve caught Mackerel and some little flat fish.

You  and …………… know more about your fishing spot but I’m going to guess that there’s trout, Perch, Pike and eels in there and if it’s the Ocean I reckon there could be Mackerel . Am I right?

If your still not sure what fish are in there why not ask ……………. do they know, or if possible you could perhaps Google it.

Our Fish

Ok, so there are quite a lot of anglers in our little club here and there’s even some from England and France. We don’t all know what Salmon, Trout, Perch, pike and eels are or what they look like so ill explain and we will also need to know how to catch them!

Salmon: Salmon are normally pretty large fish and are silver. They are pretty smart and are difficult enough to catch. When we are lucky enough to hook one it puts up a big battle and is lots of fun. Salmon taste pretty good but sometimes it’s nice to just let them swim away again after we have caught them. We call this catch and release. You could get a quick picture of you and the Salmon saying good bye to each other. Ok, fish don’t actually talk but I have a big imagination J

Trout: Trout are the same shape as salmon and are normally smaller. There’s 3 main types. Brown Trout like I fish for in Lough Conn. Sea Trout which swim up our rivers from the ocean. Sea trout are normally bright silver in colour. Then there’s another brightly coloured trout called a Rainbow trout. We don’t have many Wild rainbow trout in Ireland. Most are grown in special ponds and we fish for them in “Stocked “fisheries.

Try to find a picture of each so that you will always know the difference. Why not draw a picture of each and colour them in. Brown Trout are sort of light brown with a golden belly. Sea Trout are Bright Silver with a black back. Rainbow trout are Very colourful with rainbow colours along their sides.

Pike: Pike are also fish just they come from a different family than trout and Salmon, so they look different. They are still fun to fish for and can sometimes be very Big. Pike are a greeny colour with some other white and gold markings. Pike eat a lot of smaller fish and have very sharp teeth. They are smart fish. They know that because they are green if they hide in grassy or weedy parts of the lake or river other fish will not see them. As the smaller fish swim past where the pike is hiding the pike that can swim very fast strikes and eats its prey.

Now there’s an idea if we want to catch a pike. We can use bait that looks like a small fish. Aren’t we clever!

I’m not going to tell you what shape a pike is. They have large heads with big mouths, lots of teeth. They can swim very fast and are green. Draw a picture of a pike then afterwards see if you can find a real picture and compare Your picture and the real picture.

Perch: Perch are beautiful fish. They are a green brown colour with red fins. They have a very special Dorsal fin (that’s the fin on a fish’s back). The perch has a sharp spinney dorsal fin which it uses as a defense for when other fish (like Pike) try to eat it. We need to be very careful when we hold a perch so that we don’t get a nasty stab from a spine on its dorsal fin. We sometimes take a perch home and cook it for tea but like all other fish we should only take some and leave most of them in the water.

Eels: Eels are very interesting fish. They look a bit like a snake but not as scary. They grow very slowly and live for a long time. We find them in lots of rivers and lakes and at certain times they go to the Ocean. For some reason or reasons the number of eels throughout Europe has declined and they are now protected. This means we cannot fish for them; sometimes we will of course catch them by accident. When we do we should release them without harming them. Hopefully the scientists will discover why the numbers are in decline and we can help fix the problem.

OK, you have a lot of Drawing and colouring to do and if you have time, some pictures to find.

For next week we best think about how we could catch some of these fish?

Which would you most like to fish for?

What bait could we use?

 

I Know 🙂

You go think. Bye for now

River Moy Updates

Friday 20/03/2020 I’ve a plan and your part of it :)

Good morning from Foxford and it certainly is a beautiful morning, the birds don’t seem to care much for the difficulties in the human world. It has been a surreal week and in general it’s a strange time for us all. It’s a very odd feeling to “socially isolate”. Meeting customers at the shop door and seeing the look of surprise and uncertainty in their faces as you allow one in at a time and explain that pre ordering will be best for the next while. It’s not easy for a shop keeper who enjoys serving customers to have to do this, it feels wrong and insulting but as we are all becoming more aware it has to be done if we want to win this battle. I believe we will win and things will return to normal again. For now we need to support each other and do what is necessary. I feel sorry for young kids who are bound to be scared by all they are hearing, we need to reassure them that it will be ok and there is a bright future. I also feel for the Grand parents who cannot share time with the kids. I came up with a little idea (I’m not sleeping either and it’s amazing what goes through the head at 3am) and I think if you get involved it will work. As anglers and particularly angling club members we complain a lot about the lack of young people getting involved in our sport. We now have an opportunity to introduce our younger and perhaps not so young people to fishing and the outdoor world we all enjoy.

For my part : I’m going to write a little piece about fishing and how to fish. It will be very simple and kid friendly. The main part is that it will involve You. You can be Mammy, Daddy,Aunt, Uncle, Granny or Grandad it doesn’t matter the important thing is that I am writing the “lesson” and You are sharing it.

For your Part: Each week you take a little bit of time and share the lesson and help the beginner to learn. I know we are also separating from Grandchildren at the moment and this is why the idea will work. If you take time you can easily share the information and be part of the experience. I would suggest you print it and post it to whoever you want. You can also add in extra bits of information, pictures etc. This will give the younger person something to look forward to each week. Think about it, when did you last post them a letter?

Im leaving blank spaces for you to add names. If you read through what I’ve wrote (see below) you will get the idea. We will keep this “Armchair” fishing going for 4 or 5 weeks after which hopefully there will be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, longer days and better weather. At that point I’m sure You may have an old fishing rod or other bits of gear lying around which they will be very happy to receive. Please give it a go we have nothing to loose here and it will make things easier for people.

 

Lets go Fishing

Hi ……….., My name is Michael and I live in a little town called Foxford. Foxford is in County Mayo, Ireland and is very close to the River Moy. So, I do lots of fishing and I was thinking that You might enjoy fishing to. Well I think it’s a good plan and while we have some time over the next few weeks i’m going to share all I know with you and ……….. .

……………. Will also be involved and that way you know you have someone you can ask questions of and really …………… knows more than I do anyway. This will lead to many adventures and fun times. You can share this with your friends as well. Ask ……………… to pass it on.

Lets start J

Fishing is fun and something we can all enjoy. One important thing is that when we go fishing we don’t always catch fish so we can do a lot of planning and imagining right now.

Actual fishing is really an outdoor thing but for now we can explore all about it and when we are all ready, (……………… will tell you when the best time is) we can go fishing for real.

Let’s think about where could you go fishing? Is there a Stream or a lake or maybe a beach that ……….. Could take you to?

It’s ok if you don’t know, finding out will be part of the fun. If you do know then write the name after My fishing Place and if you don’t please ask …………. Or someone who will know, maybe it’s in a book or on line?

My Fishing Place:

 

That’s it, you have started fishing! Easy

Next week we best think about what fish we are going to catch. Maybe if you have more free time you can find out about what fish are in your fishing place? I bet …………. Knows

We also need to think about what type of fishing rod we need?

Can you think of anything else? Make a list of anything you think

 

My Fishing List:

 

 See you Soon 🙂 Michael & ………..

River Moy Updates

Friday 13/03/2020 Scary Times

Good morning from a relatively dry and very quiet Foxford. An eerie gloom has fallen on the town as people prepare and wait for the unknown. Following the Taoiseachs address on national radio yesterday we ourselves witnessed the “panic”. As most of you already know we have a fresh fish counter which keeps us going in the quieter times. In less than two hours we were out of fish. The normal questions like is it nice, does it have bones, can you skin it were replaced by one question “can I freeze it”. Scary times but we will get through it. It will have an effect on business but again that’s a minor detail in the big picture. As anglers I think we are already solitary creatures who like a bit of space so it may be an opportunity to do a little more angling. If just to get away from the doom and gloom on the radio and TV.

Water levels are high (2.2m at Ballylahan bridge now)and the weather is very nasty. The forecast is for more rain tomorrow so in reality there will be no fishing on the Moy for a while yet. Hopefully as we get through the next few weeks things including the weather will settle down a bit. For now we will continue opening the shop on the winter schedule and will keep preparing for whatever sort of a season lies ahead. Our website is up and running and we can be contacted by phone or email. I can say with some certainty that Fishing tackle shops will close down over this. It could not have hit at a worse time of year. We are all “Geared up” for the season ahead and Large tackle companies must be paid. Although as separate businesses we are in competition with each other, which in normality is a good thing and keeps us all on our toes.  I would urge all anglers who appreciate their local shop to support them now or they will not be there this time next year.

Im looking for suggestions for the Angling blog. If there’s a subject of interest please drop me a quick email and thanks for all the feed back to date.  rivermoy1@gmail.com

Stay safe and wash your hands 🙂

River Moy Updates

Friday 06/03/2020 Lough Flies

Good morning from a slightly damp but not to wet Foxford. The weather for the past few days has been reasonable and water levels while still very high are starting to come a little closer to what they should be. Some rain promised tomorrow but hopefully in the next few weeks the River will come into good order. Ive done a little piece on Lough trout flies. its nothing major but might help someone who wants to start Lough fishing or just wants to have a reasonable selection of flies in their box just in case the opportunity arises to try a Lough.

Trout flies

Not taking into consideration hook style and size the main difference between trout and salmon flies and indeed trout and Salmon fishing is that Salmon don’t actually feed in fresh water while trout do. When fishing for Salmon using a fly we are trying to evoke a reaction. Instinct, memory or aggression, hence we use patterns of flies that do not represent the natural winged insects or their earlier stages of development which we see around us while fishing. While fishing for trout this is our first form of attack, “Match the Hatch”. We observe what’s happening in the air, on the water surface and if possible below the surface. We fish with patterns and methods that best mimic what’s happening in the trout’s natural world. If you think salmon flies are confusing and that there are hundreds of them to choose from well its nothing when compared to trout flies. There are literally thousands of patterns available. All of which will work at some point. I’ve often heard it said that most trout anglers have six boxes full of flies and actually fish for most of the season with six patterns.  While there is truth in this these anglers did not go out and buy or sit down and tye 600 flies for no reason. At some point there was thinking and reason. I myself have several boxes of flies that for the greater part do not see the light of day. It is however especially rewarding when on a “tough day” something clicks. A memory of a pattern that worked five years ago on a similar day, a frantic search through boxes and there it is. You tie it on and it works. That’s the moment you understand why trout anglers have six boxes of flies. Patterns and styles evolve and change but you can always find a gem sitting in an old box. This been said, not everyone wants 600 flies as ornaments. For the angler that wants a compact selection here’s a good way to think about it. Firstly I would divide the season into three parts, early, middle and late season. After that study where you will fish and try to figure out what natural flies or insects will be about. Thirdly, try to pick three or four imitations that will cover the most situations.

Early season, February to April: In this early part of the season generally temperature will be low and the amount of natural fly life will be sparse. Primarily a few Chironomidae  (Buzzers or Duckfly). Trout will spend a lot of time feeding below the surface on shrimps and louse although they will also take smaller fish where available. A lot of trout will be feeding in the shallows, mostly taking shrimp and louse from around the stones. Patterns worth having would be a few buzzers (traffic light & Pearly Holo are two good ones) an adult duckfly imitation , a few general purpose wet flies like a Jungle Bunny, Fiery brown, Peter Ross and silver dabbler are all worth having. For fry feeders, a humongous is well worth a try.

Mid Season April to July: As air and water temperatures rise the amount of natural flies hatching will increase. Olives will make an appearance followed by May flys and sedges. The Lough angler will start to see more action on the surface and dry flies will start to work. A few dry Mays such as the single feather May, The Bog Bay mayfly and a couple of wulffs are worth adding to the collection. Add a golden olive bumble, claret dabbler and a green peter to the wet selection.

Late season July to September:  The Lough angler will have most sport in the mid to late afternoon. A good period to strip wet fly patterns and an intermediate line can sometimes be a good addition. Add a Silver daddy and a detached body daddy to the selection.

As I said this is not a full list. We are always happy to advise on the best patterns for a particular period or Lough.https://themoy.com/product/flies-of-ireland-from-basil-shields/

River Moy Updates

Friday 28/02/2020

Need I say it, a wet and windy morning in Foxford. That’s the way its been since the start of the year. Storm after storm and another one on the way today. Water levels are falling a little but the whole system is at bursting point. It will certainly be mid March before we get a chance to do any proper fishing. On the plus side, at that stage there will be a few more fresh fish showing up. I spoke to a local guide yesterday who told me he had some nice trout from Callow Lough earlier this week. Its just what I was saying in an earlier piece that even on the roughest of days when the bigger loughs like Conn are un fishable, Callow can be a good alternative. I hope you got something from the little piece on Flies last week. I have had a busy week and have not prepared anything for today. I was thinking of doing something on some Lough patterns so hopefully ill have it for next Friday. In the meantime stay safe.

River Moy Updates

Friday 21/02/2020 12 of the Best Moy salmon Flies

Another wet and windy morning in Foxford. Water levels are very very high and the river is unfishable. Its looking like there will be no fishing for a good while. On a positive note there’s an odd fish showing up around the country so when levels do fall we should be in action. On a day like this its difficult to imagine low water and fly fishing but it will come and i’m sure we will be looking for rain by July. For anyone thinking about patterns to tie or have prepared this little piece may be of some use.

Many books have been written on the subject of fly tying and fly patterns. Shops including our own are seriously overstocked with hundreds of different patterns all of which were “killers” at one stage. It’s not that these older patterns will not work; they are just out of fashion or in a lot of cases have evolved into something new and slightly different. If we take it over a period of time, that’s not surprising. People see flies and try to copy them, they often substitute a material or colour for another material or colour and the original has already changed. What has really made a big difference in the past 20 years is the availability of materials. Synthetics have replaced a lot of traditional fur and feather (Bring back seals fur 🙂 ) and there’s an amazing range of “sparkle” available. This creative process of designing or adapting patterns has led to the availability of hundreds of new looking flies. Often When I look through old boxes of flies I fined patterns that I have forgotten about or can hardly recognize. I bet that in your fly box or stuck in a hat somewhere you have a G.P or an Orange Allys shrimp. These patterns will still take fish but when did you last try them?

Every day we get asked what the best fly is for today. It’s a question that is not easily answered. Like in a lot of angling situations, a lot has to be taken into consideration. If we were to get into it here it would be far too much for a short blog. For now we have picked a selection of twelve “go to” patterns. I’m confident to say that any angler fishing the Moy who has these twelve patterns in his or her box will cover most situations throughout the season. https://themoy.com/product/salmon-flies/

Lemon shrimp: In a size 8 this is a Shrimp Fly patterns that will take a Springer in the early part of the season. It seems to work well in clear water and on a day with sunny periods. Fished on the bubble and fly when there’s a good upstream breeze it will take stubborn resident t fish. One for a big fish.

Orange and Gold Shrimp: One of the original Shrimp patterns that has not “Evolved”. The Orange and Gold is a very good pattern to try throughout the season. It will take an early Springer and is a Local favourite around Foxford

Stoats Tail:  A very simple and effective pattern. The Stoats tail takes fish throughout the season but is particularly good from about mid May to September. A very effective pattern for fresh run grilse. Over the years we have added a hint of red to the wing which seems to work better especially for fresh run grilse.

Bann Special: The Bann special is hugely popular on the Moy. Fished in sizes 10 to 14 it is another summer favourite. This fly works throughout the system and is equally as effective on the tidal beats as it is on the upper parts of the river. A good pattern to try when the water clears following a flood.

Faughan Shrimp: One of the better Upper Moy patterns. I would not be without this in a size 14. Anytime from March onwards it will take fish. It works very well on dull windy days and will take both fresh and resident fish.

Coolraw Killer: Not unlike the Faughan shrimp. This pattern evolved in the 90s. It came from a copy of a Claret Shrimp pattern that was a firm favourite of a Moy guide who regularly fished on the Cloongee fishery. He would fish either size 12 or 14s and it accounted for many good catches. Best fished in dull windy conditions it also works very well on a falling flood. If fishing after a flood I would go up to a size 10.

White shrimp: One for a fresh run fish. Fish it in shallow streamy water, early in the morning. I have taken several fish on this pattern on bright days when all else has failed.

Cascade: An evolution of the Allys shrimp this pattern or should I say several variations of this pattern have really taken over as salmon flys in Ireland. It does work very well and accounts for large numbers of salmon annually. My favourite version is tied on a cone head tube and is very good for Springers. The half inch size working well on the Moy in medium to low water. The three quarter inch is well worth a try on a falling flood.

Wilkinsons shrimp: A real summer pattern. This fly works well throughout the system. On a size 10 it can fish very well on the Cathedral and Ridge pools while smaller size 12 and 14s seem to work further upstream. It will also take sea trout.

Foxford Shrimp: as the name implies this pattern has its origins around Foxford. A very effective pattern for bubble and fly and a favourite of many of the locals. It works well from about May onward and is especially effective in the later part of the season August/September. It will take both fresh and resident fish and is best fished in sizes 10 to 14

Ballina Grey Shrimp: Accredited to a Ballina angler the Ballina Grey is a deadly bubble and fly pattern in low water. At this time it is fished in small sizes, 14 and 16s. It works well at other times as well and is one to have in the box on a difficult day.

Curry’s Red Shrimp: One of the original shrimp patterns, the Curry’s red still works well. It fishes well on the upper Moy from June onwards and in a size 10 or 12 is very effective when there’s a slight hint of colour in the water.

River Moy Updates

Friday 14/02/2020 Stormy Weather

 

I said last Friday that the weather over the weekend would knock the river out of action and I wasn’t wrong . We had a serious flood. Not as big as a few years ago but not far off. On Sunday morning the water was touching the road at Ballylahan bridge. The road upstream of the bridge was closed due to flooding as were several others. Lough Cullin was flowing back into Lough Conn at an amazing speed https://www.facebook.com/tiernanbros.foxford/videos/484160108948751/.  Another storm, Dennis is on the way this weekend!, We live in interesting times. There’s not much to report on the Salmon angling front so here’s a little piece on yet another alternative to river Salmon angling. Sea trout from the Coast.

 

Sea trout fishing from the coast is something that is taking off in this area. Not that many years ago it was almost unheard of but now we see lots of anglers venturing out on the beaches in search of sea trout and the occasional bass. For your average traditional salmon angler this is a venture into the unknown. It can be daunting and there’s a lot to take into consideration, tide times and heights, location, bait among others. I would say don’t panic. Go with an attitude that it’s a day out trying something different while Salmon angling is not at its best, nothing to be lost. The best evening I ever had was when P.J and I finished work one evening and said we would throw two rods in the car and head to a beach. It was a beautiful summer evening and we were happy just to go for a walk. With minimum gear and very little preparation we arrived at the beach. Within 10 minutes we had our first trout. We fished until near midnight catching trout after trout. Despite returning to the same beach many times since, it has not happened again. We were lucky and the point is you don’t need to be an expert to try something different out.

There’s a lot of debate as to the best stage of tide to fish. Personally I like the last two hours of the going tide and the first two of the coming tide. I have spoken to anglers, some far more accomplished than me and from what I can gather it’s possible to take a fish at any stage of tide. Location and the ground your fishing over is probably more important. Not many anglers are willing to share information on their favorite places. A friend of mine was telling me one day that he and another guy had some great sport and caught some really large sea trout. I innocently asked where, he smiled and said ill take you some evening. I said great, to which he replied “yeah no problem but I’ll have to blind fold you and put you in the boot” that ended that conversation.  I suppose we can’t really blame anyone for not wanting to give away the location of their special spot. It took a lot of time, trial and error to find it. Its time well spent though and it is rewarding when you finally come across a place where some top quality sea trout are milling about.

Regarding baits to use. Natural baits like sand eel and mackerel strip are popular but lures are certainly becoming more popular. Some of the better and more popular lures come from Scandinavia and why not. They have been catching record breaking sea trout from the shores for decades and are light-years ahead of us in this type of angling https://themoy.com/product-category/sea-trout-bass-lures/. Fly fishing works as well but Do Not bring your best outfit. Salt water is very un-kind to equipment and even with care it still gets inside reels and eats through rod rings.

From a safety point of view. The Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous. Take appropriate care, wear a life jacket and just don’t take stupid and unnecessary risks.

Regarding License’s and season. Yes you must have a license to target Sea trout. I have only targeted them in the summer months. I’m not exactly sure of the “open season” in various regions or districts. I have asked IFI for some clarification and will post this when I get it. For now check with them yourself before heading out.

River Moy Updates

Friday 07/02/2020 Reels

A cool windy morning in Foxford, Its dry at the moment but the forecast is for heavy rain. The river is coming into reasonable order, it is now at 0.85m at Ballylahan bridge and has cleared a lot. The rain will most likely knock it out of action over the weekend. We are busy getting new stock in which brought me to look at reels, spinning reels in particular. There’s a serious amount of them on the market and we have a serious mish mash. The following is a little bit about Reels 🙂

My first reel was a cheap Olympic followed some years later by a DAM prince, they got me started and I managed to catch a few trout.  However I grew up in the era of the Mitchell 300. It was the reel to have. The Mitchell was for real fishermen! In the end I got one and as time moved on I started to build a collection of 300s, most hand me downs donated by older anglers who had given up fixing them and had bought new reels. I learned how to change gears, springs, heads, bail arms and just about anything. This was the great thing about these reels; they were all the same and didn’t change. Parts were interchangeable and readily available. It’s true to say that the Mitchell 300 was a reel for a lifetime. I still have some of the ones I had as a young lad and they still work. Other popular makes and models were the ABU Cardinal and the DAM Quick. All built with pride in their respective homelands, France, Sweden and Germany. Occasionally I put one on a rod and go for a cast, if just to remind myself of what it was like.  It doesn’t take long to recognize that things have come a long way. Agreeably today’s reel are not built to last a life time but in comparison to the old ones they are a pleasure to use. Tangle free, smooth winding, lightweight and packed with features.

We stock a lot of different brands and models but when asked to make a recommendation I nearly always go for either Shimano or Okuma. These two brands have for us as retailers been the most hassle free and dependable over the past number of years. That is not to criticise other brands or manufacturers. All I would say is that Shimano and Okuma have kept their eyes on the ball and have led the way in developing some fantastic products. Others have rested on their former reputations and have been left behind. The most popular style of reel in this part of the world is the fixed spool. The various manufacturers produce a range of these which fall into different price brackets. Obviously enough, the more you are willing to pay the more “Reel” you will get. Shimano offer many different features including  G-Free Body, Hagane Gear, Cross Carbon Drag, Waterproof Drag, X-Ship, Aero Wrap II, S A-RB, CI4+,Hagane Body, MGL Rotor, One-Piece Bail, Rigid Support Drag, X-Protect, Quickfire II, CoreProtect, MicroModule Gear II, Silent Drive, Dyna-Balance, Fightin Drag, IPX8 Waterproof BodyLong Str Spool, MicroModule Gear, Platinum Premier Service Plan, Rapid Fire Drag, Varispeed.  (Note to self; memorise this list and become a Good salesman ).

Now, like me you will not know what most of these features are or do but they are what make the difference between a 30 euro reel and an 800 euro reel. Worth looking into if you are considering a larger purchase. The only reason I put this list in is to show the way things have moved on. In the old days anything more that 5 ball bearing was considered top of the range, nowadays the most basic of reel has more features. For the average Salmon angler a less expensive to mid priced reel is going to do most of what’s required of it. The top end of things is really for the Angler who enjoys the extras and for whatever reason can afford it. Regarding size of reel, nearly all the manufacturers follow similar sizing patterns, a size 40 Okuma and a 4000 size Shimano will be similar and will hold similar amounts of line.  2,500 size is nice for trout and in most cases a 4000 size Shimano is ideal for Salmon fishing. Some larger models like the 5000 and 6000 are also fine for Salmon but are getting large, perhaps more suited to dead baiting for Pike or Light saltwater work. Modern reels are not designed with the large spools of the older reels. This is largely due to the fact that lines have become thinner and a lot of anglers are now using braided line which is very fine.

Whatever reel you choose one very import thing to remember is that they all need a little bit of care and attention. Every season I get reels in the shop that are neglected and abused. These reels would have lasted for many years with a little more care. Avoid dropping and banging them, don’t let sand and grit get into them, try to keep them out of the water and definitely keep them away from salt water. The occasional drop of oil on the moving parts also helps.

Between Feb 1st and March 30th anyone who leaves a reel into us for re spooling can avail of a free service (oil and grease)  If you have a reel at home that you would like us to look at, we are more than happy to advise as to whether or not its repairable. This again is something that should be done in the early part of the season as when the shop gets busy getting time to strip down reels can be difficult.

River Moy Updates

Sat 01/02/2020

A wild, wet and windy morning in Foxford. The river is at 1.2m at Ballylahan bridge and will rise more throughout the day. It is big and brown in Foxford . For anyone that is brave enough to face it, the best chance of a fish would either be above the traps in Ballina or Pontoon bridge. I’ve the shop open for a couple of hours and that will be enough punishment for me :).

Here’s a short video clip from the bridge in Foxford 20 minutes ago.

River Moy Updates