He’s the boatman the they all ask for here, we were told. Make sure you talk to Freddie Steele... Forty-eight years fishing a place earns you that kind of reputation. Now a retired fireplace manufacturer, the former Irish captain can focus on his favourite element – water; his love for Lough Melvin measured by the 200mile round trip it involves from his home in County Down, three times a week… “All the boat men said afterwards that the women had done very well in those conditions. The brownies here usually like a bit of wind and a wave but when it’ s that bad, it just sends all the fish down. The best times to fish here, I’ d say, are late March and April for the duck fly, June for may fly and then September. It’ s a drifting lo ugh for boat anglers because most places are just too deep for an anchor. The depth also means that you need to bear in mind the movement of th ed aph ni a out in the middle. It comes up around 11 am to noon and brings the sonaghan with it and it comes up again in early evening. You’ re allowed to keep up to six fish in anyone day but any gill aroo have togo back, which can bet ricky because even I struggle to tell them and brown trout apart sometimes, so be careful. You tend to find brownies in six feet of water or deeper. Don’ t skimp on leader strength, either. Lots of anglers fish no lighter than 10-12 lb and I use 14 lb. These fish hit hard and it’ s not unusual to get two take sat once. I don’ t think line spooks them–we even fish something called the dirty drop per; a drop per with a big bushy fly on, just 6 in from the fly-line. It allows you to dibble[ move across the surface, imitating insects about to take off] two flies, rather than just your top drop per fly, and it still takes fish .”
An approach with a difference to the main body of the lough.