Jason Nash of www.savagefishingblogspot.ie reports from the River Bandon where the pace is picking up:
A week into the month of May and the spring salmon fishing on the Bandon has picked up tremendously! Up until the beginning of the month it is fair to say fishing was fairly slow. Just a couple of fish were grassed in March and fishing gained more momentum in April but all in all, given the great water, numbers of fish caught were modest.
However, with the arrival of swallows from South Africa came springers from the Atlantic in better numbers. Over the last few days catches have increased considerably and I was lucky enough to land my first fresh salmon of the season on May 7th weighing 7.5lbs . Having fished through a couple of pools with the fly and spinner unsuccessfully I finally found myself at the right place at the right time!
With the overcast conditions and a tint of colour in the water I opted for the ever reliable black and copper flying c. This fish must have only just come into the pool as the fight wasn’t exactly electrifying, a sure sign of a hard running fish. It’s an observation that has been echoed by others recently, with everything caught being mint fresh. Sure is nice to get the first proper fish of the season under the belt!
April wasn’t totally devoid of sport for me either though. My heart skipped a beat for a moment mid month as I thought I had hooked a decent fish but when netting it I realised I had indeed caught a very well mended baggot .
While salmon were thin on the ground a foray around some local estuaries was called for to see if there were some early bass or sea trout knocking about. Fishing with small metal lures, slob trout and sea trout found it hard to resist!
As can be seen from the photos all the trout, bar one sea trout which I din’t take a photo of, were in great condition and at times fed ravenously. Retrieving the lure straight attracted no interest whatsoever, but jerking the rod tip and moving the lure erratically, trying to mimic injured baitfish, did the trick. All trout were returned and hopefully we can catch them on the fly during a warm summers night.
To end this post, the following is a video of the once famous and world renowned salmon fishery on the River Shannon at Castleconnell. Filmed back in 1995, it demonstrates how successful this fishery was even in more recent times when proper fishery management was applied. The fishery manager, Michael Murtagh, was clearly a very knowledgeable man and really brought this place to life again after the ill effects endured post installation of the hydro electric dam in the 1930’s. Just look at the calibre and quantity of fish that were caught! He has since retired and the fishery is now derelict, although glimpses of the past are sometimes still seen today. I lived in Killaloe for a year and was lucky enough to fish it and land a couple of fish on the fly. Even though it is a shadow of its former self, the fishery possesses incredible fly water that instills you with confidence in every cast. More information for permits to fish the Shannon and Mulcair rivers can be found on the Limerick and District Anglers Association website.