The mayfly is up at the moment and everybody in Ireland with half a brain will be out chasing trout. It just has to be done. The best advice for any fisherman at this time of the year is this: divorce your wife if you need to and, if it comes to it, be prepared to abandon your kids. If things are busy at work consider pulling a sickie or, if you have a little business of your own, just stick the “Gone Fishing” sign and get the hell out of there.

My oldest fishing buddies are my brother Sean and Mark McCann Guys like this don´t need to be told any of this, and they don´t need reminding that when the mayfly is one the water, the trout lose their usual reticence and are prepared to play ball. And among the journeymen there will be some big boys who are unlikely to look up any other times of the year.

About a week ago our two heroes made a pact with the devil and headed over to Lough Arrow. They pitched tents on Dodd´s shore and headed out in one of Finny Dodd´s boats. This seems to becoming a little tradition for them and I feel mighty jealous. It just so happens that the mayfly hatch during exam season and, for me at least, a fishing trip to Lough Arrow is as realistic a proposition as a journey to the moon.

I asked Sean to fill me in on how they got on and he did so in an email. And then Mark sent me on some photos. I have to say the photos are lovely. I didn´t get any photographs of the trout but let me tell you what the trout look like in case you´re curious.

They have brown spots and look as though they were hand-crafted by God himself.

Here is an unabridged version of Sean´s report and some photos of the trip……..


Eventually an update on the mayfly adventure:

1.       Mayfly hatch poor this year – thought to be related to very cold spring in 2015. Same story throughout the land. 

2.       We caught 14 or 15 fish – biggest 2.5 lbs (admittedly it is did slip the hook just as I was trying to land it but we are counting it anyway).

3.       Average size small enough – ¾ lb. 

4.       Weather all over the place. Vicious squalls followed by flat calms…warm for a bit before getting drenched, hailstones, the whole shooting match.

5.       Wind only came good on the last day when we had a good wave – we moved about 15 fish, many came short or came off, boated six. 

6.       Dry buzzer fishing was an interesting new development. Saturday night flat calm, last light, big hatch of buzzers, trout went mad, rising all around the boat, very hard to see if fish were rising to our flies, didn’t catch any but excellent craic. I had one on a  dry buzzer (which wasn’t a fluke Mark!) the following evening but the hatch wasn’t as good (wind/weather shite).

7.       Challenging overall but most enjoyable indeed. Pints, pot noodles, a close-up encounter with a mink…good craic overall. 

8.       Role on the next one!

9.       Finny sends his regards and apologises for being crap at sending emails. 


Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 21.45.24

Arrow at dusk. Sean took this one.


Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.18.04

Let the good time roll! Here is Sean living it up.


Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.25.43

I don´t think these guys fish at all. The just tie up the boat and eat pot noodles.


Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.24.38.png

Arrow is just beautiful.


Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.24.19

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.23.30.png

Finny Dodd´s shore

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.20.10

Noodle Man!


Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 23.13.19

What more do you want?