I don´t know whether brown trout are dumb or not. There are quite a few fishermen out there who say that our old friend Salmo trutta is actually pretty thick. Others take the opposite view and consider trout to be smart on account of their fussiness and selectivity, the very same traits oddly enough that are cited by their opponents as evidence of their stupidity. I will leave this debate to anyone whose flies have been refused all day and are seeking solace over a beer or something stronger. My own take on the matter is that trout are smart and dumb at the same time, an attribute, if you think about it, that is not uncommon in human beings. I would go a little further in suggesting that our native brown trout are the intellectual superiors of the rainbow trout, although I´m sure many will disagree. In either case we´re not talking about organisms pushing their way into the higher range of IQ scores.

My brother Sean and our old comrade Mark McCann spent a few days fishing fishing Lough Arrow from one of Finny Dodd´s boats about three months ago and details of their expedition have been reported previously. There were a couple of things that were interesting. The first is that those Arrow trout decided they were pretty much exclusively in the market for dry flies. The second was that among the patterns that were given the nod of approval there was one that stood out. Sean tied it and it turned out to that the trout would slurp it down happily while others were treated with suspicion or simply ignored.

About a week ago Leo and I joined Sean and other family members in Valentia, in the west of Ireland and Sean showed me his magic fly and I so I took a couple of snaps of this and of some of his other mayfly patterns. I don´t have the recipe in case you want to tie up a few of these yourself but at least you can see what the thing looks like.

So maybe next year, when Sean and Mark reconvene for their now annual excursion to Arrow Sean might have a few duplicates up and ready. But then again, those fickle trout might have changed their minds. Whose to say?

You know what these things are like.

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 09.56.03

Sean´s killer mayfly. I should mention that Sean, being a man of principle, released the trout that he caught with this fly and so “killer” in this context means no more than “yummy” in the eyes of Arrow trout swimming around feasting on the annual bonanza of Ephemera danica.