Water levels on the Erriff were extremely high at the start of the week, with a spate of 2.5 metres recorded at Aasleagh Gauge on Sunday the 11th. The river was unfishable and levels had dropped marginally to just 2.2 metres on Monday. After dinner on Monday saw the first anglers throw a line. Levels dropped to perfect conditions for fly fishing and maintained so throughout the week averaging 1.4 to 1.6 metres. In total 79 salmon were caught for the week with 20 of those caught on Saturday the 17th. There were 19 sea trout also caught for the week.
A number of anglers caught their first salmon ever on the Erriff this week, including Alberto Gavigan who caught a fresh grilse on the Falls Pool, Beat 9 to a shrimp pattern fly. On 18th September Sean Hayde, England caught his first salmon to an Erriff pattern on Beat 8 which weighed 4 lbs. Mr. Bernard Vedrines caught his first salmon on 15th September at the Black Banks on Beat 6 which weighed just under 4 lbs. Marc Parinot, France caught his first salmon on the 12th September on Beat 4 which weighed 5 lbs.
The Muckian and Duffy party from Dundalk, Co. Louth had 10 salmon for 3 days angling during the week. The Winthrop party from France caught 7 salmon for 5 days angling while at Erriff Fishery, best fish weighing 12 lbs. The Chambers party had a very successful weeks angling with 22 salmon caught ranging from 4 to 7 lbs. Most of these salmon were released alive. The level of catch and release on the Erriff has become more popular of late with anglers more interested in conservation of salmon stocks.
The Lynas party N.Ireland, had 9 salmon for just 1 day angling, the heaviest fish being 11lbs, likewise all fish were released. Enda Kenny and his father Pat from Enfield had 10 salmon between them for 2 days angling, heaviest fish weighing 9 lbs caught at the Quarry Pool on Beat 2. Most of the salmon were released. Mr. F Hompesch from Germany caught 3 salmon on Munroe Killer and Kylie Shrimp for 6 days angling. Another fine example of catch and release angling was displayed by Galway man Neil Spellacy who caught 4 salmon at the Tawnyard Pots Beat 3 on an Allys Shrimp and released all fish alive. Tom Gillen from Ballymena had four fish for three days over the weekend all released with the best fish 7.5lbs on a shrimp fly in the Coronation pool.
Local Erriff Anglers fished Beats 9 and 2 on Sunday 18th with a water level of 1.7 metres. Michael Coyne, Leenane landed 1 salmon just under 5 lbs to an Ally’s Shrimp on Beat 9.
The river is, to put it mildly, fishing its head off at the moment, and with frequent rainfall water levels are perfect for the fly. Fishing could be really good over the last 10 days of the season, so book a rod now if you can! Call the lodge on 095 42252 to inquire about availability.
See www.aasleaghlodge.ie for more info on the fishery and accommodation.