Ceri Jones is a respected angling journalist from Wales, he has featured in many Fly fishing publications such as ‘Trout Fisherman’. Ceri first came to Ireland 25 years ago, and fell in love with the mystical Lough Corrib. He has spent a lot of time there and made the record books when he caught the lake record and the biggest trout in Ireland for 118 years!
Me: How did fishing begin for you Ceri?
CJ: I first picked up a fly rod at the age of 12, and caught 3 rainbows on my first visit to Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir, South Wales. Since that day I havent looked back. In the early days the passion was so strong I would walk a total of 12 miles over the Rhigos mountain to fish Llyn Fawr, this I would do 3 to 4 days a week.
Me: You have represented Wales at the highest levels, whats the competition scene like?
CJ: Over the years I have had great success in the competition scene representing Wales at National and International level and gained titles such as Welsh Trials Champion, Benson & Hedges Welsh Champion plus many more. Nowadays apart from the occational competition I prefer to spend my time on Lough Corrib where the only competition is between me and the fish.
Me: When did you first come to Ireland fishing?
CJ: I first came to Ireland in 1989, with friends to fish Lough Conn had a great time and even caught my first salmon. I met two lads there who later introduced me to the Corrib. Havent looked back since and havent missed a year since.
Me: You have fished widely across Europe, where else have you enjoyed the fishing?
CJ: For the past 20 years I have freelanced for many of the uk angling publications notably ‘Trout Fisherman’ uk’s leading trout fishing magazine. I have fished in many countries including Finland, Sweden, Iceland and recently Switzerland but it is the west of Ireland where I prefer to be.
Me: How did ferox grab your attention?
CJ: I think what started me off was the number of cased fish hanging up on the walls in many of the bars around the Corrib. Nothing like looking up at a massive trout over the rim of a creamy pint glass to spark the imagination.
Me: You have caught the Corrib record Trout, can you tell us the events surrounding that catch?
CJ: I have been actively fishing for the record for around 10 years and caught my previous best of 19.5lb a twelve month before. I knew that the big lad wasnt far from coming as I had narrowed down the search with locations and tactics. I have only killed 3 large ferox over the last 5 or 6 years it was only because this fish was an important specimen that I decided to have it cased and mounted on display in Burkes Bar, Clonbur. The catch itself is a lengthy story which can be seen on my website www.thecorrib.com
I hooked the fish at 2pm and landed it in the boat at 3.15 a battle I will never forget. What is good that not only is it the Corrib record also the biggest in all of Ireland for 118 years. An achievement I am proud of. All the hundreds of hours fishing for the fish paid off.
Me: How did you celebrate?
CJ: A few pints in Burkes that night and a steak meal on the house, and the bar was full, an unforgettable night to. We also celebrated the following month with the unveiling of the cased fish with special guests including the mayor of Galway and TV and radio celebrity Derek Davis, another fantastic night.
Me: What is it about the Corrib that makes it so special?
CJ: I have to say for me it is such a special place which you cant put into words. Many anglers I am sure feel the same. I have been out in a storm force ten and hail through to a baking heatwave experienced it all. No matter what conditions its always a place you want to be. The view from the summit of mount gable at evening time is the eighth wonder of the world and has to be experienced.
Me: There is excellent sea trout fishing in Wales, do you get to do much of that?
CJ: I do get to fish for the sea trout in Wales but it hasnt really grabbed me like it has with some friends of mine. I’ve had them up to 10lb which is great sport but to be honest you get a lot more blank nights than successful ones. It’s bad enough fishing for days without catching but doing it in the dark isnt much fun.
Me: Finally Ceri, what are your fishing plans for 2014?
CJ: I am going to enjoy more of my fly fishing this year and also concentrate on my guiding on the lake. Also, I will be spending some of my spare time photographing the changing moods of the West generally and adding to my portfolio of images which can be seen at:www.savageireland.com
Me: Thanks for talking to us Ceri and best of luck for this years season
CJ: Anytime lads…