Irish Sport Fishing

Irish Sport Fishing – Fishing in Ireland

River Dodder – Opening Day 2012

The River Dodder is where I spent countless hours fishing when I was younger, often leaving the house as the sun rose and only returning home when it wasn’t possible to see where I was going any longer! I hadn’t fished it in over fifteen years until the opening day on St. Patricks Day, 17th March, and although much of the river has changed over the years it is great to see this fantastic amenity in the middle of Dublin still holds fish.

I had the idea a few weeks ago to give the opening day a shot with the ultra-light gear normally used for LRF’ing (Light Rock Fishing). While I generally prefer the fly, the fact that the river was recently stocked with a good number of decent sized trout meant that there was the opportunity to try something a bit different, with a good chance of landing something a bit bigger.

I was joined by Sam Roche and Dave Fitzpatrick – both keen lure anglers – and we encountered several good sized fish throughout the day. There were plenty of others out fishing, and it was great to see that the majority of fish we saw being caught were released. We fished the stretch at Milltown all the way up to Lower Dodder Road, and then back down again.

Sam gets the runaround from the first good fish of the day! Dave doing the honors with the net.

The line we were using was as light as 3lb fluorocarbon fished straight through, or 0.3PE braid. The most effective lure was a tiny jig-head from Wapsi (1/80 oz) with a 2″ soft plastic lure on the end. Something along the lines of the Illex Jacoknuckle or a Maria Worm-Actioned Fish. These tiny lures swung around beautifully with the flow, and they seemed to work best when fished as slow as possible.

Tiny lures fished as slow as possible worked best

The river gets good hatches of olives during the summer, and some great sport can be had in the evening time. Having said that, it is not an easy river to fly-fish by any means. The best flies I have found are small and sparsely tied – a Grey Duster on a size 20 being my favourite. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a good sized fish slowly rise through the water towards your fly, only to turn away and let it pass at the last second. Similarly, there is nothing more satisfying than spotting a fish, having fly after fly refused, only to eventually fool him into taking.

Sam had never fished here before, and was delighted with his first decent trout on his ultra-light gear.

Dave's first fish of the day.

The Dodder is a great river to learn to fish. Being so local means the time-restricted angler can get out for a couple of hours here and there, and still be home in time for their dinner. The license is only €10 for the season, and this also allows the holder to fish the reservoir at Bohernabreena. I’ll definitely be back down more often this year!

Back he goes, hopefully to provide someone else with similar sport.

5 comments on “River Dodder – Opening Day 2012

  1. Dave
    April 2, 2012

    Great report and some cracking photos there Stephen

    • willie purcell
      February 24, 2015

      Please note the dodder is a fly only river.
      W Purcell

      • steve
        February 24, 2015

        Hi Willie, the Dodder is not a fly only river. The reservoir at the top of the system is fly only. Regards.

  2. Dave Docherty
    February 15, 2013

    Hi lads. Great pics. I’m part of the Dodder Action Group, we are organizing a dodder clean up day on 23 March 2013 and would like to get as many people as we can to take part and clean the at least from the M50 to Ringsend. Could any of you help us or give us some good contacts in the fishing community to hep spread the word. You can find our group on Facebook.

    • steve
      February 19, 2013

      Hi Dave,

      Apologies for the late reply.

      I’ll put the link to your Facebook page on my page for a start. Also, the Dodder Anglers Association AGM is on Monday 25th Feb @ 7.30pm in De La Salle School Hall in Churchtown. I’m sure you’d be welcome to attend and try gather some bodies for the clean-up. The secretary’s name is Redmond O’Hanlon and his number is 2982112 if you’d like to contact him.


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