Friday 13th April: It is amazing how many anglers are doing overnight sessions this early in the year. Each night there is someone different. Last night there were three on the hot water stretch and one near the duckpond. Clive from Dublin (I think) caught his first Tench at around 07.15 this morning after a long period of nothingness. It was a huge fish but only weighed 5lb 7oz. Opposite the lillies near Ryans gate, Seamus Moorhouse was plagued by Rudd and, on this occasion, was frustrated in the Tinca department. On the gusher, Dessie O’Connor and friend Dan caught a mixed bag. Although their catch rate was not as prolific as others had experienced on previous nights, Dessie did have the excitement of a very good looking Bream of 5lb 5oz.

Dessie O'Connor with his 5lb 5oz Bream caught near the gusher
Dessie O'Connor with his 5lb 5oz Bream caught near the gusher

By mid afternoon the stretch saw many anglers and probably the best catch was by Steven Pascoe who had a very large Roach of 1lb 14oz. It was hard to say whether it had spawned or not. He also had a Rudd of a pound with a lot of smaller fish. On the disabled swims there were two Tench caught and a Bream of nearly 4lbs. I suffered my first completely blank day of the year, in fact I never had a bite at all. I think it’s time to take up sky diving ‘cos the anti depressants simply ain’t working. I wonder if the village of Muff in Co. Roscommon has a diving club?

Sat 14th April: Only a fool gets up to go fishing in sub zero temperatures, but as anglers, this is what we do. On this occassion, I resisted the temptaion of bagging up by remaining in a warm bed until 07.30. I believe I made the right choice as there were 6 anglers below the bridge who caught just a solitary Tench between them. Two of them were still in their bivvies when I walked along, such was their enthusiasm! There were a couple of overnight anglers above the bush near Ryans gate and I’m told did very well but had left before 07.00. With very little cloud cover forecast for today, I believe it will be quite hard. I hope I’m proved wrong?

Sunday 15th April: Not the best of afternoons with the sunshine revealing few visible fish. Daniel Hoare fished the pole to record around 25lbs of the usual suspects. Shane and Rory Wrightson were above the bush which performed poorly but still managed to catch about 15lbs. For the first time in what seems an eternity, I had the river to myself this evening, and that included the fish which had also decided not to show as I blanked again!

Monday 16th April: There was only one angler on the entire river this morning at 8.00 and it would appear that Paul McCloughlin was doing very well on the pole at this years most prolific swim above the bush. Why he packed up by midday I do not know? Six others arrived but had gone by 5pm. Unfortunately, I have no idea how they got on as I confined to indoors for the day.
I went out early evening and found Robert Sloan arriving. I tried two swims, firstly near the bush and then at the gusher without a fish. There were plenty of good sized fish rolling all along the stretch. By the time I raised the white flag at 9.15, Robert had a Bream in excess of 6lb and a number of smaller fish. 
We are forecast high winds and rain for the next few days and the barometer is dropping, so possibly things may improve by Thursday? 
Tuesday 17th April:   Just because the alarm goes off at 5.45 it’s written in law that I have to get up! It rained very heavy overnight but Robert was rewarded with a good bag of fish. He had left just before I had my early walk to find “The Tuesday Club” a group of Dublin taxi drivers that take each Tuesday off to go fishing somewhere.  They witnessed his catch and said there were two good Bream in his net and a Tench. I couldn’t help but wonder if the driver charged by the mile and expected a tip!
The rain persisted throughout the day between the sun breaking through every now and then and for the first time in three weeks, I haven’t wet a line. In the evening, the bank was deserted, not surprising looking outside. Time for bed !

Reported by

Paul Waghorne