A slow day on The Corrib

My experience of fishing Lough Corrib has not been great, at least in terms of catching fish. Lough Corrib, for those who don’t know, is a 176 square kilometre lough in Ireland, famous for its Brown Trout and particularly its Mayfly hatch, as well as its more elusive residents the cannibal Ferox Trout. The Corrib is deeply embedded in Irish culture. Boats dating back to the Bronze and Iron Age have been uncovered there, as well as medieval craft.

I fished the Corrib first in 2000 (or thereabouts) and completely blanked. It was a very unusual day for Ireland as it was 28 degrees with a burning sun, and not a breath of wind. These are the worst possible conditions for Irish lough style fishing, which needs a good wave on the water to deliver results. Well, that is my excuse anyway, and I am sticking to it.

This summer I set out again to try and improve on my dismal record. The Corrib is enormous and I could not imagine fishing it alone, or without local knowledge. My guide for the day was Tom “Doc” Sullivan, who was excellent: great company, full of local stories and needless to say very familiar with the lough he grew up on and the most productive fishing techniques. He is also a superb maker of tea. I had a fantastic day out with Tom, as we drifted many of his most prized stretches.

The fishing was unfortunately slow and I only managed to hook two rather small brownies, but could not fault Tom’s guidance. Tom felt more of a wave might have been necessary, and at times my rather laidback retrieval style needed some speeding up. Tom gave me a demo of a faster retrieve and managed to hit a good fish, which managed to escape just before the boat.

That all said, it was a good day out and absolutely gorgeous scenery-wise. I will return hopefully next year for the Mayfly. Third time lucky.

The video below captures some of the essence of the wonderful day.