Fishery manager Jim Stafford reports on fishing last week. Water levels on the Erriff were recorded at 0.86 meters on the 15th and 16th. Heavy rains increased water levels to 1.9m on the 17th. Thereafter levels fell slowly to 0.7m by the 21st. With ideal water conditions fresh-run salmon and sea trout continued to enter the river. Enda O’ Connell, Newcastle upon Tyne, grassed 3 fish in the one day – best fish 7lbs. Enda was unlucky to lose 2 bigger fish – all fish were taken on a Cascade of his own tying. Andrew Beattie, on an annual week-long visit to the fishery, had 8 salmon and 6 sea trout – all were returned to the river – Andrew also lost another 8 fish – most fish were taken on Cascades of various sizes. Stephen Ward’s party, all from the U.K. on an annual visit to Aasleagh Cottage and the Erriff, had 13 salmon and 13 sea trout including fish for Stephen, Tony Uttley, and Fred Mitchenson, with best fish going to Derek Bailey at 7.5lbs.
Hervé Rodrigue, France caught 3 fish – best fish 7 lbs was caught in the Cottage Pool on Beat 4. Desmond Edwards, Lisburn, N.I. caught one in the Holly Poll and lost another in the General’s Reach at the top of Beat 8. Mount Falcon rods also had 2 salmon from the Island Rock and Coronation Pool Beat 8. The Coronation Pool on Beat 8 produced a salmon of 7.75lbs for Michael Adamson, Dublin – his first Erriff salmon. Fishing with Michael, Rory McCullagh, Dublin caught his first ever salmon of 5lbs in the Black Banks on Beat 6 on a Willie Gunn tube fly.
It was another successful annual visit to the Erriff for Gerard Garnier and Paul Fariney both from France. Their combined catch was 17 for their first of two weeks fishing on the Erriff – this was Paul’s first time salmon fishing and he accounted for 7 fish. Gael Kerschbaumer, also from France, had 4 fish for his first week – catching 3 fish on the one day on a Cascade on Beat 9. Fish of the week, a fresh run 12.25-pounder, was caught on a Cascade in Poleen on Beat 4 by Ian Keating, Partry, Co. Mayo, who having weighed the fish sportingly released it again.
Total catch for the week was 51 salmon and 40 sea trout – ALL fish were taken on fly. A total of 34 salmon and all sea trout were sportingly released back to the river – several of the salmon retained were identifiable as part of a smolt release into the lower section of the river during April 2011.
At the time of writing the report (23rd) heavy rain has resulted in another spate of 1.5 meters – so given favourable weather conditions prospects look good for the coming week.
To book fishing on the Erriff or accommodation in Aasleagh Lodge, contact fishery manager Jim Stafford on 095 42252, or visit www.aasleaghlodge.ie for details. The lodge and fishery also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AasleaghLodge.