The duckfly is the first proper fly to appear on Corrib every season. It is a member of the chironomid family and is actually a buzzer. It usually hatches in the middle of March and normally lasts for approx one month. This can vary from area to area, on Lough Corrib. The size of the imitation flys and buzzers can range from Sz 8 to Sz 14. The duckfly (buzzers)rise from the silt and weeds, on the lake bed, and make their way, slowly, to the surface. They fly to the shores, they mate and the females go back out on to the water to let their eggs. Many years ago, locals christened these flys “Duckflys”, because of the number of ducks that fed on them.
Methods used are wet flys, buzzers and dry flys. Normally intermediate lines are used for the wet flys, with fluorocarbon leaders, in windy conditions. Floating lines, with fluorocarbon leaders, are used for buzzer fishing and drys and emergers. It is important to use long leaders, approx 16ft. If there is a gentle breeze, a Drogue is recommended, but this is not suitable if the area is shallow or rocky. The drogue slows the forward movement of the boat enabling the angler to fish the buzzers correctly. A figure of 8 retrieves is the best method of working your buzzers. It would be recommended to have buzzers of various colours, regular and epoxy buzzers. One of the most successful buzzers, year after year, would be a black epoxy buzzer with different colour cheeks. For wet fly patterns during the duck fly, the following flys would be advisable to have in your fly box: Peter Ross, silver dabbler, fiery brown, clan chief, zulu, red tag, to name but a few.
During duckfly hatches, it’s important to look and try and see where the gulls are feeding, where the fly hatches, the seagulls gather in their hundreds. A pair of binoculars is a must as you can scan and see where the gulls are feeding in a frenzy. As well as seeing the gulls feeding you could be lucky enough to see kingfishers, otters and if you were really lucky you might even see the White-Tailed Eagle which has taken up residency on Corrib. Tight lines and successful fishing on Lough Corrib.
Jim has fished and guided on Lough Corrib for many years. He has represented Ireland in The European Fly Fishing Championships and won a European Bronze Medal.