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Finally….spring has sprung!! Well, kind of. I mean it’s warm enough to get the kayak out again with light enough winds too. Back to Sweethope lough fly fishing for rainbow trout.
This trip was the first time out on my kilroy! A maiden voyage. I loaded the kayak with what I needed, but left all electronics at home to just enjoy my fishing and give the new kayak a test. I planned to just get back to basics on this trip and rely on good old water craft to put me on the fish.
Within minutes of being on the water I noticed a few things. 1) the kayak paddles and tracks brilliantly. 2)the height of the seat and position is perfect for casting a long line with ease. 3) compared to some of my other kayaks this one is much better for fly fishing as the open deck is snag free and basically one big line tray! I could tell it was even better than expected for this style of fishing.
I spent the first hour testing the kayak and having a few casts in various spots to try and locate the fish. Nothing was rising so persevered with lures.  I decided to try a more shallow bay to see if they may be in there where the water had a chance to be slightly warmer. Within a few minutes I was into my first fish. Always a good feeling, and even better when it’s in the net and you have escaped the dreaded ‘blank’. I was fishing a catch and release ticket, so I unhooked the fish, a quick photo, and back he/she went. I say he/she as these trout are triploids, bred specifically to grow, and are neither male nor female fish- and boy do they fight well. I continued to follow the same drift in the shallow bay. It was only about 1 meter deep and I fished it on a slow drift with my drogue deployed. Most drifts either resulted in a fish, or at least an enquiry. Really enjoyable fishing- I’m happy just to feel that aggressive pull on the fly line, it adds to the build up when you miss a few takes as the fish pulls on the tail of the fly.  
By the end of the short session I had brought 6 fish to the net and missed several more. A really enjoyable session on a new kayak. And review of the first outing is that I was extremely happy with how the Jackson kayak Kilroy had performed. Next test was to rig it with my electronics and see how I get on with it. But can’t wait to find out!