From empty rivers to crowded seas, fishing this week, as ever, was very reliant on the weather. And the weather threw everything at us. It had more twists than a rattle snake with a hernia. Flooding affected many areas badly with rivers discoloured and many roads impassable. Sunny weather did keep spirits high in the north west of the country as all eyes were on Donegal Bay with 14 nations taking place in the prestigious World Boat Angling Championships. A fantastic showcase of the best sea fishing in Ireland…..

Heavy rain and floods impacted badly on the salmon fishing this week making many rivers unfishable. The Laune saw water levels rise to a massive 2.3 M at the Bridge and about 5 feet at Johnston’s. Currane was likewise with 36 mm of rainfall on Monday. All the locals headed to the River Inny and Commeragh. There was a good 9lb salmon caught before the flood by a German angler and a number of smaller sea trout. Over at Owenea fishery the bottom four pools were blue with seatrout, probably the tide that drove them in. The river should fish well in coming days. West Cork Rivers Ilen, Coomhola and Ouvane didn’t fare too badly, with the Ilen doing best with 14 fish reported, the best being 12lbs on worms. The Bandon and the Lee were unfishable. The Munster Blackwater changed it’s colour to beige this week but not before Fort William had a cracking fish of 8lbs at Glenmore on fly bringing it to 10 fish in 5 days.

Delphi downpours fought back anglers but the courageous were rewarded with salmon upto 12lbs 11ozs. Unfortunately Delphi lost one of their dear friends this week, Mr. John Mill who was featured recently as he caught his 200th Delphi salmon. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Erriff reported a nice 4lb grilse for a French angler on a small black fly from the Middle Garden Pool, which he returned plus a few nice sea trout averaging 1½lbs. Massive flooding at Kylemore put an end to anyone venturing out fishing.

Patrick Releasing His Salmon Back to the Waters of the River Boyne
Patrick Releasing His Salmon Back to the Waters of the River Boyne is our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner

Patrick Jones from New Caledonia fished on the River Boyne over the weekend. Guided by Peter Cunningham, Patrick was delighted to land and release his first Wild Atlantic Irish Salmon was estimated to be around 14lbs in weigh. This super fish wins our ‘Catch of the Week’.

The Moy like its neighbouring Galway Rivers had extremely high water levels. One classy German angler did catch a 6 lb fish on Gannon’s on the worm. 130 salmon were reported for the Moy system this week. The Drowes dropped back to 0.49m and could actually do with some rain. 3 salmon on prawn were caught while the Owenea was very quiet.

Lough Corrib saw some great late season fishing. The Oughterard area has some excellent weights, Galway father and son team Harry and Kevin O’Toole caught 10 trout for an estimated 15lbs on wet flies and 9 trout with an estimated weight of 30lbs on a mixture of wets and dries respectively. Many other anglers had trout ranging in the 11 to 12 inch bracket. Again Loughs Mask and Carra enjoyed late season sport with some outstanding dry-fly fishing. The Vintners Federation Trout Fishing Competition on Lough Mask was won by well known competition angler, Basil Shields from Oughterard, with 5 fish for 4.255kg over the 2 days.

There was tough conditions on Emy Lough Sunday for  the Pillar House Cup, the winner was Martin McKenna,  Emy Anglers PRO with a fish weighing 1¾ lbs. A 6.5lb Sheelin beauty caught on a minkie was the pride of Brian McAvinney and on Lough Melvin H.F. McCloy reported 14 good Sonaghan to the boat in one day. Lough Derg was lonely and without the anglers the trout enjoyed a feast of a local black fly – reed smuts – which are hatched.

The Final of the Southside Angling Junior National Pike Championships was held recently on 2 adjoining lakes near Shercock in County Cavan. IFPAC are doing great work to encourage young anglers into pike fishing. In all 33 boys and girls qualified to fish in the Final. There were 3 sections Under 8, Under 13 and Under 18. Super fun and great fishing was had with Cliodhna McKenna winning in U8, Jack McQuaid in U13 and Jake Fisher in U18. The Ardee A team came first in the All Ireland Inter Club Team event.

Sea fishing was the highlight of the week with the World Boat Angling Championship making headlines. Donegal Bay was a hive of activity as 14 nations descended on Bundoran. A huge céad míle Fáilte awaited them. Ireland, Belgium, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain and Wales are taking place. Day 1 saw big Bluefin Tuna breaching the surface of the water welcoming their guests. A variety of wrasse, pollack, dogfish, ling, coalfish, and an odd conger, to name a few, were landed by the 70 anglers fishing from 9 charter boats. All angling is done at anchor and is bait only. Today, Thursday saw sunny skies with England out in front at present and Italy following closely. We wish the best to our Boys in Green and all competitors. RTE sent Teresa Mannion to cover the event and viewers got a chance to see the stunning scenes around the North West Coast and get a glimpse of the anglers at work. Irish team manager Kit Dunne spoke to Teresa about the 30 varieties of species available in Donegal Bay while Bundoran Tourist Officer Shane Smith is delighted with the attention this brings to Ireland and how much it means to the economy.

In other sea fishing news Kerry took on the blues and conquered them catching a 7ft+ shark. Eugene Farrelly was fishing the waters 20 miles off the Kerry coast onboard Des Sugrue boat. Carrigaholt skipper Luke Aston had some cracking blues also and topped the week off with cod and tope. Further up the coast in Galway the Brazen Hussy 2 had similar catches and Kayak angler Gary Robinson had pollock, ballan wrasse, mackerel and scad while out in Connemara. Fellow kayaker and blogger Steven Neely, who is back from his travels had some fine fat wrasse and pollack around Donegal and over on the far coast Red Bay skipper Hamish Currie boated a couple of nice porbeagle sharks with his Dutch clients.

A very successful World Pairs ended on Friday. Rain at Brackley Lake didn’t stop anglers putting in an excellent performance. Brothers Phil and Steve Ringer won the Team event and Phil took the individual event too. Well done to them both as it had been a hard week with an unfortunate car accident on the way to one of the events. Phil’s individual score was 68.330kg and the Leading Pairs result for Phil and Steve was 123.055kg. The World Pairs is one of the most exciting fixtures in the world of coarse angling.

Melview Lodge guest had some super catches of roach; bream to 252lb in one session and some cracking hybrids. It’s no wonder they return year after year. East Clare Lakes also report a good number roach but small in size.  The annual Arva Festival took place last week with 73 anglers fishing Rockfield, Glasshouse, Tesses shore, Kevins Shore, Corfree, Dernaferst and Gulladoo Steps. Kevin Johnson was the winner with 55.03kgs.

Notification of a temporary closure of part of the River Suck fishery near Ballymoe, County Galway. The section of the River Suck fishery from Cloonroughan to Cloondacarra Bridge, through Cloontrask Townland is temporarily closed from 16/09/2015 to 30/09/2015, to facilitate necessary maintenance on the Suck Valley Way.

Tonight, there will be some further scattered showers at first, but they’ll become confined mainly to coastal areas of the southwest, west and north overnight, with clear spells developing.
Friday night will be dry with clear spells and slackening winds; it will be rather cool with fog patches forming inland. Saturday will be a dry day with sunny spells in all areas. Temperatures well up to normal for the time of year as light, variable breezes become moderate, southerly during the day. However, a band of rain will come into western counties from the Atlantic on Saturday night and southerly winds will increase fresh to strong by Sunday morning. This rain band will spread eastwards across the country during Sunday and it will remain quite breezy. The rain will continue in many places early on Sunday night but will clear eastwards later in the night; winds veering southwest will slacken as this occurs.

The early days of next week are likely to be unsettled with rain or showers affecting all areas. It is not likely to be too windy but temperatures will dip below normal yet again.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Nancy Hearne

Catch, Photo, Release

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Photo of the World Boat Angling  Championships
Photo of the World Boat Angling Championships