The Boat­man

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Tactics -

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.

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