Fishery manager Jim Stafford reports on good conditions and good fishing for the first couple of weeks in June. Several spates resulted in good fishing conditions for much of the period, and also encourage fish to run the river in good numbers. Among those to land fish were Deirdre Herbert, Dublin, who landed her first ever salmon. Deirdre was also the first lady angler to catch a salmon on the river this season – the fish weighed 6lbs 6oz and was taken on a shrimp fly in Doyle’s Pool on Beat 6. William Sullivan, Boston U.S.A., also fishing the river for the first time, released a sea-liced grilse taken in the Upper Garden Pool on Beat 9.
Prolonged heavy rain resulted in a massive spate of 2.7 meters on the 8th, which rendered the river unfishable, but brought a run of both springers and grilse into the river. The following morning levels had dropped to 1.6 meters and angling conditions were good. A Yabbie was the successful fly for Dr. Eoin Bresnihan, Oughterard who caught a sparkling fresh fish of 9.25lbs in the Garden Pool on Beat 9. Mr. Robert Devriese, the Belgian ambassador to Ireland, released a grilse taken on a Hairy Mary in the Glenacally Pool at the top of Beat 5. Michael Parry, UK, on his annual visit to the lodge and fishery, had a red letter day on the Erriff catching 3 salmon in the one day – one each from the Top Square Pool and the Garden Pool on Beat 9, and another estimated at 9.5 lbs which was released in Doyle’s Pool on Beat 6. A Red Shrimp Pattern produced 6 fish for the week for Selby Knox, also a regular visitor from the UK. Selby also caught 3 fish in the one day with water levels at 0.8 meters on the gauge on the 13th of the month.
Donal Chambers, Athy, Co Kildare, took a 6.75lbs fish from the Black Banks on a Cascade on the 14th. With heavy rain, water levels reached 1.8 meters on the 15th. Terence Miley, Cong, had 2 grilse from Nee’s run on a Vambeck. James Keogh, Dublin, caught one of 8.75lbs on a Cascade in the Twin Rocks. Urgan Mantle, Clonbur, caught a fish of 8lbs on a Shrimp Fly in the Broken Bridge Pool on Beat 5. John Lyons, also from Clonbur, released a fish of 7lbs taken on a Cascade in the Glenacally Pool on Beat 5. John Dardis, Kildare, had a sea-liced grilse of 5lbs taken from the Bridge Pool and lost another estimated at 10lbs in the Sea Pool. A Black Shrimp fly produced a fresh run fish of 9lbs from the Garden Pool for Peter Hunt, Clonbur. The last fish of the week, a 10lbs springer, was caught in the Falls Pool on an Erriff Green & Gold.
On Monday, at the time of writing this report, another run of spring salmon and grilse could be seen coming in on the tide and showing in the Garden Pool and Falls Pool before passing up through the fish counter. The first of the sea trout run were also observed in excellent condition passing through the fish counter. With good water levels these fish will be able to reach the higher beats.
The total catch for the period was 22 salmon and 10 sea trout
There are still places available for a casting and flyfishing course for ladies, which will take place from Thursday the 5th to Sunday the 8th of July, led by qualified casting instructor mark Corps. All accommodation and meals are included, as well as tuition in all aspects of flyfishing and salmon fishing, and plenty of time on the river to practise the skills acquired. The cost for 3 nights B&B, lunch and dinner, and fishing tuition is €500 per participant. Partners can stay for €300, and may fish the river on the other beats for free. Contact Aasleagh Lodge for information and booking.
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.