The cool, broken weather continued for the most part last week, though the rains did not lift many of the drought stricken rivers by much. Many fisheries were quiet, but overall there were still plenty that produced the goods for those who had time to be on the water. In the last couple of days the winds have built up which have had a bit of an effect on sea anglers and others going afloat in pursuit of their quarry.

Ger Roche’s big salmon, estimated at 25lb, caught and released on the River Suir wins Catch of the Week

Some good fishing was reported on the River Fane last week with salmon to 15lb landed. The River Suir is seeing more grilse than big fish running the river but Ger Roche still managed to catch and release a lovely hen fish of about 25lb which wins him Catch of the Week. The Blackwater Lodge saw fortunes improve last week and a number of fish were taken on all methods. The River Bandon has remained very low all summer but adapting tactics to conditions has seen the odd (very odd) salmon landed including a lovely 17lb fish earlier in the month. Sea trout fishing is going well but a flood is badly needed. There was some reasonable fishing on Lough Currane in the last seven days. There was a good bit of rain on the lake and it rose 5 inches on Tuesday. Unfortunately the rain that fell on the Laune catchment did not improve the fishing there, though a Red Francis in the right hands seems to be capable of great things. The Owenemore Fishery, only up the road, was out of order due to floods at the start of this week but prior to that was fishing well. At Ballynahinch rain last week brought a welcome rise in water levels, which has seen a big improvement in the fishing, with good numbers of fresh grilse in the river. At Delphi some anglers had as many as 4 salmon in a day, though the river levels were a bit up and down. Sea trout fishing is expected to pick up again when the Daddy Long Legs hatch. Fishing was slow last week at Burrishoole and only 6 salmon were reported. Water levels and angling effort were low on the Moy too and, as a consequence, only 139 salmon were recorded. Fishing was better at the Ballisodare Fishery and 71 salmon were landed, mostly on worm and fly. In Donegal there was good sea trout fishing reported from The Erne Estuary. The Owenea did not get much rain and fished better in the earlier part of last week.

Specimen pollack, good cod and rays made up the catches of anglers fishing from Red Bay last week.   On Thursday the Kiwi Girl fishing Donegal Bay landed 20 blue sharks and the next day had 11 more. 19 of these were estimated at specimen weight. The bay is full of mackerel which made for good fishing at the Carty’s Ulster closed gold medal boat league which was won by Gavin Dorrian. In Galway Bay anglers charter fishing are getting plenty of spur dogs and tope, though the species is count is good too – one angler had 14 species in a day. At little further south charter fishing from the Shannon Estuary is also going well with a good mix of species including a first for the Clare Dragoon – a stone bass caught during a shark trip. Staying with charter fishing, anglers fishing around Valentia Island also enjoyed good sport with a good mix of species and some good conger landed. Not far from there at Waterville some good bass are being caught by shore anglers. Moving around the coast to Courtmacsherry the reports from charter boat and small boat anglers are all positive and shore anglers at Timoleague are enjoying good bass fishing on Ragworm. Courtmacsherry is beginning to see an improvement in bass fishing following a long lull in catches. Bass fishing at Cork Harbour is going well though the wind in the last couple of days has curtailed the sport for small boat anglers. On the east coast, charter fishing for tope, bullhuss and even black bream continues to provide reliable sport.

The Kells Blackwater fished very well last week with anglers landing up to 2 dozen trout in a session. Both nymphs and dry fly were fishing equally well. By contrast it was a quiet week on Lough Sheelin in the cool conditions. Small flies can be the undoing of big trout and at least one 18 inch beauty fell to a size 18 dry last week no the Anner. Lough Corrib is low and warm and hatches are sparse leading to light angling pressure and few reports of fish caught and it is much the same at Lough Conn. 266 anglers fished Lough Melvin Open Trout Angling Competition which was won by Jimmy Cahill and John Moroney with 8 fish.

Erne Anglers Club angling coaches had a busy but enjoyable week with a great bunch of youngsters participating in their annual Angling Summer Scheme. 26 youths travelled daily from Enniskillen to Tooman’s Fishery in County Leitrim where they could develop their angling skills. The kids had a great time with some fine individual catches in excess of 20 and even 30lb bagged. Congratulations to all involved. Good perch fishing was reported from a Carrick on Shannon venue where float fished maggot caught some good sized strippies. A number of venues in Co. Cavan fished well last week with the Killykeen and the north shore of Gowna seeing bags of 40lb put together by visiting anglers.

Finally pike anglers fishing for a German TV programme had some good sport on fly and lure at a Co. Mayo lake. Although the trophy fish eluded them they did manage pike to 85cm.

National policies for the management of trout, pike and bass were launched by IFI last Friday. The recommendations will now be brought forward and put into practice by IFI. Where required IFI will seek legislative changes to underpin and support the policies, which will be reviewed after a period of three years.

The main recommendations put forward include:

  • For Bass: a reduction in the daily angling bag limit from two to one fish in any 24 hour period; an increase in the minimum landing size; and a review of the closed season.
  • For Pike: in designated, managed wild brown trout fisheries, the current bye-law is recommended to be amended to prohibit the killing of any pike greater than or equal to 85 cm in length; all larger rod-caught pike should be returned to the water alive; in all other waters of the State an angler will be permitted to take and kill one pike of less than or equal to 50 cm in length (as per the existing bye-law); additionally, the policy calls for further research into pike movement and transfer programmes.
  • For Trout: a national minimum size limit; national bag limits; designation of a number of lakes and rivers sections as wild brown trout fisheries; in addition to other measures.
  • For full details see:

The broken breezy conditions are likely to continue for the weekend but it looks like we’ll see a return to dry settled weather next week.

Tight lines,

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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Kilnahard, Lough Sheelin
Kilnahard, Lough Sheelin