On loughs and streams


ANGLING NOTES:ONE of the most enjoyable and informative books to arrive on our shelves this Christmas is Irish Rise – Reflections by Lough and Streamby Dennis Moss.

Now retired and living in Co Galway, overlooking Lough Corrib, Moss has penned a magnificent reflection on a life devoted to family and fishing.

What intrigued me most about the book was his ability to chronicle and set the scene before, during and after each angling trip (and there are many trips) in this 286-page publication.

Moss is a fine writer. He is also a brilliant angler. One can see from his 2007 book, Trout from a Boat, that his speciality is wild brown trout fishing with a fly rod.

“My love is sight-fishing and if I’m using dry fly in a light ripple or calm conditions, I rarely fish the water blind. I much prefer to hunt the water until some moving fish are located,” he says.

I see a reflection of myself in his childhood recollections – those coarse fishing days on the Thames and deep reservoirs for big rainbows. His opening line captures the moment: “There has to be a beginning, that defining moment when I first picked up a rod and cast a line.” A visit to Ireland in 1972 is memorable. Recently married to Cathy, the couple set off for the Glengarriff River in west Cork. Dennis has never caught a salmon and try as he might with the worm, his efforts fail.

In desperation he hands the rod to Cathy while searching for a spinner in his rucksack. “Dennis, there is something pulling on the rod.” Sure enough, a short time later a good-sized salmon is safely netted.

“Cathy, you have caught a salmon before me, and you don’t even fish. That was the best moment we ever shared together on a fishing trip,” Dennis says.

There is no doubt that dry fly-fishing on his beloved Corrib is where Moss now finds tranquillity and his greatest enjoyment. Today, he finds nothing better than targeting big trout in the bays.

Take Dad’s Bay, for example, a named derived to protect it from the ravages of over-fishing. It’s mid-June and in two short sessions he lands three trout for 14lb in the morning and two for more than 12lb the previous evening.

“There can be no finer feeling for the dry-fly angler than when a fish is first deceived. It is the defining moment, but the sound of a singing reel crowns the moment with joy,” he says.

This book is a must for all anglers, experienced or otherwise. It’s a gem to treasure.

Irish Rise: Reflections by Lough and Streamis published by Quiller Publishing. Price £25 (hardback). Available from most bookshops and fishing tackle retailers or countrybooksdirect.com

* SetantaIreland will televise the fourth of a six-part series on fly-fishing tomorrow evening at 10pm and again on Wednesday. The series is produced by Loosehorse (loosehorse.ie).

Chef Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivain restaurant) heads to Waterville, Co Kerry, to try his hand at fly-fishing for sea bass. Recent restrictions on catching sea bass have helped increase stocks off the Irish coast.

Bass angling guide John Quinlan, said: “I tried to focus on the conservation element as much as possible, so I’m hoping this is shown in the programme.”

* JohnMcLaughlin of Donegal Angling Centre is offering 10 best-selling Spring Tube Flies, tastefully supplied in a free fly-box, post-free, to anywhere in Ireland and Britain for only €34.99.

Details at jmclswillyflies@ eircom.net or call 00353 87292 9888.