Fly Of The Issue

Murphy's Law

Sometimes in life things just don't run smoothly - we all suffer ups and downs of fortune both good and bad in our day-to-day lives. If you're a fly fisher occasionally your luck can change from minute to minute. Let me give you a few examples...

I am sure most of you have experienced a hard day on the bank when the fish just aren't playing and I know many of you like me have tried all your favourite flies in desperation and some days they just don't work. Then as a last hope you find a fly in a remote corner of your fly box - maybe it's a pattern that you used many years ago and decide to give it a swim again Eureka! It still works! This almost forgotten pattern lands you a fish but it's the only one you have and moments latter you lose it with an imprecise cast or something just as idiotic. That's called Murphy's Law or occasionally Sod's Law whatever can go wrong will go wrong - we are being mocked by fate and believe me it will happen to you all no matter how competent an angler you think you are.

In this article I want to share with you a couple of flies that I never run out of - I have great faith in them and I know they will bring good luck. These wonderful flies are patterns that will catch Salmon Sea Trout and most important of all for me Dollaghan - the mighty Brown Trout that live in Lough Neagh and run in my local rivers.

Let me share a little story about luck both good and bad...

The World Police and Fire Games 2013 had just been held in Belfast bringing thousands of people from all over the planet to my part of the Island. As fate would have it I was in England a few weeks before the games working for Hardy at The CLA Game Fair as part of the new Hardy ProTeam. I was to give fly casting demonstrations in the main fishing grandstand in front of huge crowds. After one of these demos three English gentlemen approached and told me that they were going to Belfast to attend the games and were interested in fishing for the Dollaghan Trout I had talked about in my act. We chatted and I gave them my card they told me after the games they were going to stay an extra week or two for a little holiday and hoped they could fit in a day's fishing with me.

Weeks later I got a text from them looking to hire me to guide them. At the time of the text I was angling on one of my favourite throws in the river at night it was raining heavily pitch dark and I was wading. I read the first part of the message holding my fly rod in one hand - it said; Stevie we would like to book you tomorrow! Great I thought to myself. Then at that very moment my iPhone turned into a slippery bar of soap and shot from my wet hand which was also lubricated by the rather fine Trout I had happily returned just moments before. PLOP! Into the pool it went and after many swear words stumbling and looking for my torch I found my phone maybe five to ten minutes later resting on the bottom of the riverbed. I submerged my arm fully into the cold water to rescue the device soaking myself even more in doing so only to find the mobile phone had sadly died. So what's the good news I hear you say? Well apart from the beautiful Trout I can now tell you what to do if this happens to you! After looking on the internet and typing in my predicament I attached the phone with a hair dryer before embedding it into a bag of white uncooked rice. I then then left it for many tedious hours before it came miraculously back to life. By then however my clients had made other arrangements though they did enjoy my story about why I didn't get back to them quicker and have said they will book again next year! Moral of the story - store your phone in a waterproof cover whenever you're fishing!

Here are some patterns to try. I hope you have some. Tight lines.

The Fox Fly (R. Bryans)

Hook: I have used the new Partridge Patriot Salmon double 8 - 12
Body: Silver or pearl flat tinsel
Rib: Silver wire
Hackle: Guinea Fowl
Wing: Golden Pheasant red breast feather black Squirrel Temple Dog or buck tail golden Pheasant topping and a couple of strands of pearl twinkle (optional)

This Bobby Bryans pattern has been taking both Dollaghan and Salmon on the Lough Neagh system for years. A great pattern I must state is one of my all time favourites. Normally I fish this pattern on the dropper though Bobby I know likes it as a point fly. That said I have seen him do well on just a cast of fox flies. This is a fantastic fly and if I have it in my box it goes on my cast first while looking for Dollaghan.

Black & Blue Jam (S. Munn)

Hook: I have used the new Partridge Patriot Salmon double 8 - 12
Body: Gold or silver holographic tinsel
Rib: Silver or gold wire
Hackle: Orange cock
Wing: Blue Arctic Fox with black Arctic Fox Squirrel or bucktail with a couple of strands of twinkle or mara flash.

This has been my best Dollaghan fly over the last few years and is very good on the point as a night fly. I have given a few of these to some of my friends that fish in Wales for Sea Trout and they tell me that the black and blue jam has worked well on their rivers also taking many big fish. I have great faith in this little hair wing it has worked well on many occasions and has taken its fair share of Salmon. It's a very good all-rounder and if I'm after Salmon or Dollaghan in low water conditions it's often the first fly I reach for.

Hardy ProTeam member Stevie Munn is from Co. Antrim and is a full time professional casting instructor and guide. Stevie has extensive experience in guiding for Dollaghan Trout Salmon and Wild Trout in both the North and South of Ireland. Stevie also hosts fishing trips worldwide and can help you if you want to fish many places in the world and hosts trips to fish in Iceland Canada Argentina and Norway.