Ronan Cusack reports on plenty of good fishing on Lough Mask again this week, despite the cold north/easterly winds and icy showers. The majority of anglers reported to be having most success in shallow water on wetfly patterns.

The Partry Anglers were the host club for the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland (T.A.F.I.) Connaught Cup held on Lough Mask on Saturday last. This event was run on a 12-inch limit catch-and-release basis (all fish over 12 inches measured and released), and competitors enjoyed spectacular fishing, with 149 trout caught by 31 anglers from 7 clubs, which gives a rod average of 4.8! First place went to Eugene Nolan (Annaghdown) with a staggering 18 trout for 629cm. In second place was Martin Feerick, Partry, with 13 trout for 454 cm. Third position went to Aidan Hodgins, Loughrea, with 10 trout for 341cm. The winning team was Loughrea, followed in close second by Partry. Longest trout on the day went to Tony Tighe, Moycullen, measuring 45cm.

Also fishing Mask this week was Gerry O’Brien, Ballinrobe. Gerry fished with his son John over the weekend and they had 12 good fish and numerous undersize trout over the 2 days (best fish 2.25lbs-all released). Christy Crotty and a friend from Waterford also fished Mask over the weekend and they had 13 trout over the limit and again several undersize (best fish 2lbs-all released). Richie Yang and boat partner Harold Schmitt fished on Saturday last and they had 4 fish for their day (best fish 3lbs). Sean Maloney, Ballinrobe, had 6 trout for 3 outings last week (best fish 3lbs). Kevin Sheridan fished from Cushlough on 4 occasions last week and he had 9 fish in total (best fish 3lbs).

Ronan says the sheer abundance of well-fed small trout anglers are encountering on a daily basis this year gives a clear indication of the volume of natural recruitment of juvenile trout, there is to Lough Mask from feeder rivers and streams. The two main contributing factors for this are water quality and the volume of high quality trout spawning and nursery streams there are around Lough Mask. Thankfully much of the negative impacts of arterial drainage along rivers such as the Robe are being reversed by Inland Fisheries Ireland in conjunction with the Office of Public Works (O.P.W.). A number of local angling clubs have also contributed generously to the development of sections of river and streams in their local area and are seeing the fruits of their work. Partry Angling Club is indeed a prime example of this. Also the mild winter we experienced this year accelerated the availability of food in the lake, ensuring that young trout fed well through the winter months. It is great to see both fisheries and angling clubs working closely together for a common interest, and continuing to ensure that fish stocks are conserved and exploited in a sustainable manner for future generations.

Ronan also guides on Mask and can be contacted at [email protected] or on 087 2869487.

Margaret Gorman from Isham Self Catering and Angling Centre at Dringeen Bay on Lough Mask, reports that on Sunday, 22nd April, Adrian Gorman had a good day’s fishing from Dringeen Bay where he caught 3 trout and a number of small fish. All fish were returned to the water to fight another day. All of his fish were caught on a Pearly Dabbler and Cock Robin flies. French Anglers, Denis Martin and his family Gaston, Noelie, Emile and Jules had 15 trout over a week’s fishing from Dringeen Bay with their best fish weighing over 3½lbs. Best flies were Green Peter and Bibio. All fish caught were returned to the water. For boat hire, angling information and self-catering accommodation check their website at or phone Margaret on 087 7908107.