Val & Roger Baker's Freshwater & Saltwater Fly Fishing
SALTWATER FLY FISHING FOR BASS - SETTING THE SCENE
The first rays of orange light burn into a wondrous backdrop of granite cliff. Surf is up, tide is flooding and white water is breaking on rocks in front and all around you. You false-cast your line high above colliding rips and waves while your eyes read the water and search for a ‘window’ into which to drop the big streamer fly. The ‘window’ is ephemeral, a patch of neutral water which exists for only a few seconds before the next wave mixes it into the maelstrom. Bass, as if unleashed from a harness, shoot from their rocky cover to intercept a confusion of sand eel thrown off balance by currents coming from all directions. Bristling dorsal fins show through the foam as you strip the fly and throw violent mends into the running line. Suddenly you are ‘in’, and amongst the heady rushes of adrenalin and panic, you clamber down from the rocks to play and beach one of the most beautiful fish you have ever seen.
Following huge and growing popularity in America, saltwater fly fishing is undergoing a ‘renaissance’ in Britain, Ireland and other parts of Europe. Without doubt, Kerry’s golden strands and rocky reefs offer the lure and fly fishing guide the best chance of managing his anglers’ expectations. Irish bass stocks are in good shape and with enlightened fisheries management policies in place, will hopefully remain that way.
Law and public opinion in Ireland
better protect bass than in any other European state. The strong
1989 year class of bass (currently 6-8lb) have not yet peaked and in our
opinion, over the next 2-3 years, Kerry will offer today’s saltwater fly
fishers their best chance of a ten-pound-plus trophy bass from the shore.
The 1996 abundant year class of bass is now featuring strongly in anglers
South-Western Fisheries Board, fishing
clubs, anglers and hoteliers are doing a good job in helping to make
politicians and the general public aware of the socio-eco importance of
fish stocks and their value to isolated communities through tourism.
In Southern Ireland
(Eire), a Protection Order for bass encompasses a size limit, a two fish
bag limits, a close season and a ban on the sale of bass. Like the
signs around the southwestern shoreline say, ‘Let’s protect our
bass’, and continue to enjoy and expect great fishing.
In surroundings of natural beauty, difficult to equal, North Kerry’s Dingle peninsula and South Kerry’s Iveragh peninsula offer the best shore fishing for bass in Europe. Period.