I recently tagged along on a specimen hunting trip with Sidney Kennedy and Bill Brazier, two good buddies from County Cork. We would try an over-night session on Rahan’s Lake. Situated in the mid-eastern counties of Ireland, Rahan’s is famous for specimen Bream and Tench, having consistently produced some of the largest Tench specimens over recent years.
On arrival, the whole place was in flood, and we knew instantly that our chances were slim to non-existent. Even the purpose built jetties were submerged under a foot of water! Having travelled so far, we went through the motions regardless of conditions and ended the session with a bite-less night, such are the ups and downs of the specimen hunter. The cold influx of fresh water almost always kills any chances of success on these small loughs.
Luckily on this occasion, I had brought my lough boat with me. Being too lazy (or un-fit) to carry the mountain of gear to the peg, the boat doubles up nicely as a tackle barrow. I happen to carry a pike-fly kit in the boat for such disasters and suggested we have a bit of fun looking for a few jacks. If nothing else, it would ease the pain somewhat, of a wasted trip.
There were plenty of small fish about, but with only one fly rod between us, it was a constant battle to hang onto it! My home-tied pike flies proved a winner, attracting plenty of action. Bill had never tried fly-fishing for pike, and until now had rarely picked up a fly rod. A crash course in fly casting from yours truly soon had him putting a fly into the killing zone, where he hooked and landed his first ever fly-caught pike. Nice one Bill.
Sid later picked up the largest fish, around the twelve pound mark. It put up an extremely spirited fight on balanced gear, which nicely rounded off the end to a couple of hour’s fun. It goes to show that even a poor, potentially wasted angling session can be turned around with a contingency plan to fall back on! This isn’t the first time a travel rod stored in the back of the motor, or hidden in the boat cuddy has pulled me out of a hole, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!