The Nore runs up past the village of Inistioge in County Kilkenny and has a good reputation as a trout and salmon river. I have not yet caught a salmon or had the chance to fish for one but I do have a soft spot for our old pal Salmo trutta and was keen to see if I could catch a few.

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Johnny O´Donnell in O´Donnell´s pub sorted me out with a fishing licence from my stay at Inistioge and gave me the lowdown on the fishing. The stretch of the river covered by by licence lead from a little way downstream of the famous ten arch bridge on upwards to some indeterminate point beyond which I would be trespassing on the territory of some other angling association. The association maintains a path and some styles so it is a simple matter of walking upstream along the bank on the village side of the river.

The first trout I caught had no spots and was so silver in colour that it looked like it was cut out from a sheet of aluminium cooking foil. The reason it didn´t look like a trout was simple: it wasn´t a trout. It was a dace! It turns out that the dace Leuciscus leuciscus were introduced to the Nore by a pike fishermen who emptied a bucket of unwanted live dace from the River Barrow. Both dace and roach are introduced species that arrived from the UK at the end of the 19th century and were initially confined to the Blackwater and its tributaries. Since then both species have had their ranges extended, again at the hands of fishermen although the distribution of roach is far more extensive than that of the dace.

In the Nore the dace are not welcome. This is hardly surprising. The local trout fishermen consider them to compete with the native trout for food, which seems certain to be true. I was asked to knock any dace I caught on the head but I am not in the habit of doing this and returned all my fish, whether trout or dace, back into the river. The truth is that when a fish becomes established in a river, as the dace seem to be in the Nore, the genie is truly out of the bottle. Whether “my” dace were returned or not would make no significant difference and so I slipped out the barbless hook and sent them on their way.

The trout on this stretch of the Nore seem to be abundant but small. A local told me that in the failing light of the evening a better fish can be taken but they weren´t taken by me! When I quizzed him he told me to look for the water where fast water was emptying into slow and I made a point of doing this. During my few short sorties to the river I had a good number of both trout and dace and my own experience seemed to confirm that the last hour of light is worth all the others put together. An elusive large trout would have been a bonus but there will be no complaints from me. The Nore is beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there.


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Dace are well established on the Nore and take a small dry fly or nymph readily.


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The trout are plentiful and though there are good fish around most of them, like this little fella, are unlikely to end up in a trophy cabinet!


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At Inistioge the Nore stops being tidal. It is said to be tidal up to the bridge. It is slow flowing for the most part and so a bit of leg work is needed for “trouty” sections like this. Interestingly, I foul-hooked and released a little flounder upstream of the bridge and many miles from the sea.


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I had both trout and dace on both small dries and nymphs but the nymph fishing was more consistent. This modest team of nymphs accounted for quite a few fish on my final evening. Interestingly even though they are small nymphs I “got away” with relatively strong fluorocarbon leader (0.18mm – 6.6lbs). I add this as a little footnote to myself because it is worth remembering for the future!


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