September crowned a great season on the Erriff, with 165 salmon landed, bringing the season total to 528, the best season since 2001 and a great testament to the hard work done by fishery manager Jim Stafford and his staff, as well as the fishery protection staff over the last few years. Catch-and-release was a huge feature on the Erriff this season, with 267 salmon released again, or just over 50% of the catch, meaning an additional 500,000 eggs will be deposited in the river during this winter’s spawning season.

The last week of the season featured some big floods, making the river unfishable at times, but 35 salmon were landed, including 6 for Dr. H. Gordon from Galway over 2 days on Beat 7. David Fleming, Australia landed 3 fish in 2 days fishing – best fish estimated at 10lbs, all sportingly released. Regular visitor Stuart Woodhead, from Scarborough, N. Yorkshire had 3 fish – best a fresh run fish of 6.5lbs caught in the Holly Pool, while Juigo Tellache, Spain fishing the Erriff for the first time, caught his first ever salmon at 6.25lbs in the Colonel’s Run on Beat 6, and went on to catch another two which were released.

Albert Caffery, Athy and Liam Maloney from Dublin caught the last two salmon of the season on the last day of the month and Norbert Meier, Luxembourg caught the last sea trout of the season in the Coronation Pool on Beat 8.

With the massive improvement in catches on the Erriff this year, anglers and staff alike are already looking forward to next season. The removal of the driftnets seems to have had a big impact on salmon runs here, as this year was the first full life cycle following their removal, and the benefits were clear to be seen. Hopefully this upwards trend will continue over the next few years, and already the Erriff is on its way back to being the premier spate salmon fishery in the west of Ireland.

The lodge remains open for non-fishing guests for the next month or so, with excellent rates on offer. To book accommodation, contact Jim at Aasleagh Lodge on 095 42252, or email [email protected]