Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Salinger !

The air in my artist studio was filled with chat and anticipation, finally I hung up the phone. After a few days of amateur meteorology and a game of "How's the water clarity?" I was off the following morning to fish a new venue. I packed some lures and flies and then fell into a hazy slumber dreaming of prehistoric Esox monsters.
To be honest this is a water I've been meaning to fish for a long time now, a year or two at least!
Finally the Barrow Piker was on tour. The term AWOL comes to mind too...

The remaining overnight dew glistened on the manicured lawns, I rolled to a stop, threw on the handbreak, lit a smoke and contemplated, slowly but surely the water revealed itself as the early morning mist retreated. This place just screamed Big Pike and it has been known not to disappoint.

There was a sharp rap on my drivers side window, I resisted for a moment but eventually pulled focus from the water and there beside me was my guide for the day Rob Love of lovefishingireland.com Rob is fishery consultant and head guide at the incredible County Kildare venue Carton House. Yes! The Barrow Piker had finally arrived at the famous Rye water.

The Rye lake is a spring fed back up water on the Liffey system. A Small enough body of water but having said that its got more nooks and crannies than your granny's scullery. First records of a house at Carton date back to the 17th century, however today it is a world renowned  golf, spa, leisure and adventure resort. The type of place you could as easily run in to an A - list celeb as a good double figure Pike.
The Rye Water At Carton House.
A few pounds of thrust from the electric outboard propelled us silently along the margin, we were in stealth mode. I was having difficulties taking my eyes off the water, this bottle neck section of the Rye had a seemingly infinite amount of potential big pike lairs, swim after swim they were countless, no matter where I looked the Rye quietly whispered "fish me".

We continued to glide by not making a sound, we were on our way to deeper open water this is where some of the Rye's larger residents have been know to frequent. As we rounded the final corner the famous shell cottage lay before us. It looked like we had stumbled upon a Tim Burton movie set. There was no sign of its old tenant Marianne Faithful, she was long gone. Rob recounted stories about the heady crazy days at the shell cottage, famous visitors and wild parties.  In my minds eye, I had visions of Bowie sitting near my swim, guitar in hand, smoking a cigarette strumming the cords to Queen bitch.
There was quite a rock star air about the place, it was surreal. All of a sudden a brightly coloured figure walked by, holding a nine iron... There was a splash - my lure hit the water.

Expertly guided by Rob I placed my lure as close to each target area as possible, this was far more than the usual over hangs and margins routine. Rob knew equally well  what was happening under the water as above. Every drop off, shelf,  hole and submerged feature was covered. I could feel my adrenaline starting to ratchet up with each swim we covered, cast for cast my anticipation grew. Its amazing how a private water thats lightly fished can focus the mind.
Rob Love of Love Fishing Ireland.
Rob's rod took on a deep bend as a good fish made a take - it was gone as quick. We drifted on through the channel. He stripped the line back bringing his home tied perch fly to life - a Rye double moved in but the take was shy. We stared in awe, as the water boiled, the large fish turned, showed its tail and dismissed us.

We fished on discussing tactics, strategies, sharing ideas and solving world problems. It was a super day! Then I had one of those pike fishing moments. You know the type well. When you least expect it and you just happen to be paying no attention whatsoever... yeah you guessed it - you get a take! A beautifully formed Rye jack came to visit the Barrow Piker. A stunning hard fighting little fish went back strongly to its watery domain. Shortly after, tight to the margin another jack ambushed my lure, the braid cut through the water as he made a run for it but it was too late he had been duped. I put him back in the margin to sulk.
A Rye jack meets The Barrow Piker near the shell cottage.
Swim after swim. Take your pick!
I think its fair to say that Rob had one of those wonderful pike fishing moments also! But I'll let him tell you about that one himself, lets just say it was a superb fish...

Carton House is a wonderful world class venue, Rosie and the staff were so helpful.
My guide for the day was Rob Love, a true gentleman, highly skilled professional angler, informed, helpful and most importantly a good sport and great "great" company.......
The Rye... I believe could produce the fish of a lifetime. I have no doubt that a mammoth pike will come from this water sooner or later.

What a day out !

Post script

Carton House Fishery
Further details in relation to fishing at Carton House contact Guest Relations on (01) 5052000  You can also see the other activities on offer at Carton House by checking the Carton House website www.cartonhouse.com
Rob Love
Love Fishing Ireland have a small team of experienced guides available for tailor made fishing excursions for both wild brown trout and pike. While the standard days guiding on the River Liffey or Rye Water will appeal to many, for the more adventurous they offer guided trips by Canadian canoe along what are considered to be the best fishing beats of the River Liffey.
Tel: +353 (0)87 1947811 / +353 (0)1 6270353

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