At the Ballsiodare Fishery the season kicked off on the 1st April and due to the poor conditions the first fish was not caught until the 3rd, taken by Gabriel McKeon on a worm. This was followed by catches on the 5th and 7th and on the 8th the first fly caught salmon was landed by John Murray, a fine 11.5lbs springer. Since then conditions and catches have improved immensely, culminating in 40 salmon recorded for the week ending 21st April. For information on angling at Ballisodare Fishery please email [email protected] or contact +353 (0)862515064. Details of all catches during the first three weeks at the Fishery are provided below, courtesy of Luke O’Connell, Ballisodare Fishing Club.


Week 1 (1st April – 7th April)

Due to very low water conditions and cold weather, Ballisodare River had a slow opening day and no fish caught, although many anglers turned up for opening day and withstood the harsh conditions. The first salmon of the season was caught on the 3rd of April by Mr. Gabriel McKeon on the worm, a fine sea liced springer of approximately 8lbs. Anthony McCann also had one on the worm on the 5th of April, followed my Michael Mullaney who had one on the 7th of April on the worm weighing 8.5lbs, despite unfavorable conditions.

Week 2 (8th April – 14th April)

John Murray had the first salmon of the season caught on fly, a fresh salmon weighing 11.5lbs, caught on his own tying of a Willie Gunn tube, the salmon was caught on the 8th of April, the first day when conditions were slightly favorable. John also won a trophy for the first salmon of the season on fly, which was kindly sponsored by Mr. Ken Tucker of Douglas Jewellers, 5 Tullow Street, Carlow. Two others were also caught on the fly that day, by Denis Crawley and Vincent Henry, both weighing 10lbs. There were three salmon caught on the 9th of April on fly as conditions progressively improved, two of which were released, David Crawley had a fish of 5lbs while Dermot Glennon had two of 6lbs and 7lbs respectively, both of which were released. Two more salmon were caught on the fly on the 11th, weighing 5lbs and 6lbs, both of which were released. Denis Crawley had a nice springer on the fly on the 12th weighing 9lbs, while Dermot Glennon had one on the 13th weighing 5lbs, both of which were released. Sunday the 14th produced two nice salmon, both caught on the fly, by Paul Colreavy and Andrew Pearson (visiting angler, U.K.) weighing 9lbs and 11lbs respectively.

Week 3 (15th April – 21st April)

After a drop of fresh water,  rising the river slightly, conditions were looking much more promising. Monday the 15th produced eight salmon, ranging from 7lbs to 12.5lbs in weight, the majority of the fish taken on the fly with three released. Fish were caught by Frankie Kerins (8lbs), Vincent Henry (12.5lbs), Fechin McMorrow Senior (7lbs), Michael Martin (7lbs), Stephen Cassols (10lbs), Denis Crawley (10lbs), John Murray (7lbs) and Jerry McHugh (10.5lbs).  On the following day four salmon were recorded in the range of 7lbs to 10lbs, one of these was caught on fly and released. Fish were caught by Paddy Loughlin, Damian and Mark Crawford (visiting anglers) and Vincent Henry. Wednesday the 17th also produced four salmon, ranging from 5lbs to 10lbs, two of these were released by Vincent Henry and John Murray. Flood waters hit the river the following day and with levels very high, conditions were not favorable. However, despite this local angler Paul McMahon managed to get a salmon of 12lbs. The river started to fall the next morning, with the water level coming right in the afternoon. Six fish were then caught as the water dropped, with the majority caught on fly, ranging from 7lbs to 14lbs. David Marron caught a lovely fish of 14lbs, taken on fly, while Hugo Marron had one of 9lbs and Sean Gallagher also had one of 7lbs (both on the fly). Fechin McMorrow had one 10lbs and John Connolly had one 7lbs both on the worm.

Saturday April 20th produced four salmon ranging 6lbs – 9lbs, all fell to the fly, with fish caught by Trevor Goulden, John Murray, Noel Barbour and Paul Colreavy. Conditions were perfect on Sunday April 21st, these conditions were reflected in the fishing as 13 salmon were taken, ranging of 5lbs to 13lbs with the majority caught on fly and many of these fish released. Noel Barbour had a fine salmon of 13lbs which fell to fly and was released, other fly anglers that caught fish were Paul McGrory (8lbs), Jimmy Cuffe had a bar of silver weighing 13lbs along with Dermot Glennon (7lbs), John Murray released two weighing 9lbs and 7lbs, John Connolly released one of 4lbs and Trevor Goulden released one of 7lbs. A fine fish of 10lb was also caught at the falls on the prawn.