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Fly Fishing Irish Lough Corrib
During March and April

You have joined me on the adventure of fly fishing Irish Lough Corrib (below) during the very early season.

Lough Corrib that spans counties Galway and Mayo, seen here at Annaghdown.

Now the 'craic' really gets going with buzzers such as duckfly in March and April. This is the first bit of real excitement for fly- fishermen during the fishing season. Read all about the duckfly here!

Duck Fly and Duck Fly Holes

The Duckfly typically hatch during the day when the sun is at it’s warmest.

The hatches occur largely in areas sheltered from the prevailing westerly wind. The flies hatch in huge clouds with the swarms often being mistaken for smoke from a distance.

They are referred to as ‘duck flies’, because they hatch in such abundance that the ducks scoop them up in great mouthfuls from the surface of the water.

Duck fly hatch out from big underwater holes known as ‘duck fly holes'. These are large underwater holes with a muddy bottom and plenty of weed growth. The eggs hatch under the mud and the larval stage of the fly, known as the bloodworm, wriggles about on the bottom. There, it undergoes a transformation to become the swimming pupa which ascend to the surface in great numbers.

Once at the surface, the pupa’s wing case pops open, and is now known to anglers as an ‘emerger’. The adult fly now pops out and flies off for cover in a hedge, returning later to the lake surface to mate and reproduce, starting the cycle again as the eggs drop down to the lake bottom. I’m proud to say my biggest trout so far on the fly was caught on a duck fly ‘emerger’.

At just under five pounds he made my heart sing! I was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. If you are lucky enough to know the location of a ‘duckfly hole’, you’ll have great fishing, especially when imitating the pupa stage of the fly. Access to local knowledge saves a lot of time searching. Spending the day with an experienced Corrib angler or engaging the services of a guide or ghillie is invaluable.

Irish fishing fly- an epoxy buzzer.

Try using an epoxy buzzer for fly fishing Irish lake Lough Corrib during March and April.

The practice of fishing imitations of the pupa stage of the fly has become popular in recent years, with patterns called skinny buzzers suspended stationery over a duck fly hole. These imitations look uncannily like the real thing. The invention of the epoxy buzzer has revolutionized buzzer fishing. These modestly tied flies are finished off with a covering of epoxy resin which gives them a durable slick coating which resembles the exoskeleton, making for an excellent imitation of the real thing. The smooth epoxy covering also helps them to penetrate the surface film and gives that little bit of extra weight, helping them to sink faster.

The duck fly hatch allows for  a wide range of fly fishing methods. Bloodworms, Pupas, emergers, adults and egg-laying females provide varied choice for the fly fishing enthusiast.

Irish fishing fly- a wet duckfly.

Small, thin and sparsely dressed  black wet fly patterns such as this wet duckfly shown above work well at this time for fly-fishing Irish Lough Corrib, for example Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Peter Ross, Black and Blue, Sooty Olive among others are also successful, with the flies being retrieved very slowly. One can also use a small black dry fly to imitate the egg-laying female. It works well to keep this dry fly moving.

I recently tried and had success fishing with the ‘balling buzzer’ pattern like the one shown on the photo underneath. This is a large fuzzy looking pattern which is used to imitate a mass of male flies which have surrounded a single female in an attempt to mate with her. The ball of flies bounces enticingly on the surface triggering an enthusiastic response from the trout.

More On Fishing In Ireland

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Fishing fly for Ireland- a balling buzzer.

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