Valentine’s day last Saturday stirred the hearts of anglers and to the love of their lives they went – fishing of course! A few may have taken a small detour first to see the Irish welcome ‘Les Bleus’ in style but to the lakes and rivers was their focus. Some excellent fishing reports this week with good sized doubles for pike anger Roly Byrne on the Barrow and fine salmon at Delphi.

Local angler Nigel Lackey caught the first salmon of the season on the worm at the Moy. The fish weighed 6.6lbs and was caught on the Ballina Salmon Anglers Association waters. Michael Wade used a Delphi Collie to land his 10lb 14oz valentine beauty from the Whin Pool on the Bundorragha River.

Things have improved on the Drowes and Shane Gallagher reports a couple of fish lost on Sunday evening but Monday proved better. Paul Mc Causland released a fish estimated at 6lbs. Tuesday saw Marty King with a 10lbs fish on prawn from the Money Hole and a visiting German angler with a 10lbs fish on Rapala just above the Crooked Hole.

Saturday proved fruitful for the Currane also, Noel Clancy from Dublin had a cracking 13 ½ lbs salmon. Gillie Terence Wharton Snr. caught another weighing 9 lbs. Strong SW winds blowing down the lake yesterday kept anglers quiet but I’m sure they will be back soon enough.

Opening day on Lough Corrib saw some beautifully marked brown trout caught. Despite bad weather conditions fishing guides Jacek Gorny and Tomi Kurman boated some fine fish. Marty Smity and Michael Flanagan had 9 hits on trout-coloured lures and boated 4 lovely brown trout. Kevin and Jerry Molloy had 3 trout with the best fish of the day at 12lbs taken on the troll at Oughterard. Kevin and Harold O’Toole were also trolling and landed 7 trout for 12.75lbs. Staying on Corrib the traditional opening day competition for Collinamuck and District Angling Club was on Sunday. The winners of the Langan Cup for the fifth year in a row were John and Frank Butler with 6 trout for 20lbs 1oz.

Cushlough on Lough Mask saw a good turnout for its first day of the season. Regular visitors to the lake, Kieran Newman and John Brennan from Longford finished their day with an impressive 7 trout pulling wet-flies (best fish 2lbs, all returned). Ronan Cusack tells us that water levels are low and the fish are in fighting form.

Rathcon Fishery in Wicklow also had its final qualifier with 51 trout being caught. Winner was Paul Kay with 11 fish.

Fishmaniak club held their pike competition on Sunday on Lough Egish. A drizzly evening saw 20 contestants only catch 4 pike. The lads conducted a litter pick along the shoreline after the event, then off to the pub for a barbeque.
Pike angler Roly Byrne fell in love with the majestic Barrow in Carlow all over again. Roly had a string of doubles from the river in recent days and these great ‘wild prehistoric beasts ‘ keep him on his toes.

It was a case of déjà vu for French angler Hervé as he went fly fishing for Pike on the Rye Lake at Carton House with friend David and lost 3-1. Guide Rob Love gives an amusing simile as to how the rugby match and the fishing went. I wonder did Hervé pay him for that day’s fishing ?

Gary Robinson with a fine double
Kayak angler Gary Robinson with a fine double which wins our ‘Catch of the Week’

Kayak fisherman Gary Robinson spent Saturday on dry land and avoided a massacre on Valentine’s Day. Sunday was a different matter. Rain and strong winds greeted him but Gary stayed closer to home and sheltered areas. The thrill, freedom and pure joy of kayaking that he feels meant a bit of rain couldn’t defeat him. Gary played and caught a fine double pike and made him our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner.

Naas and District Winter League’s fourth round took place in Carlow recently. Freezing fog made the day difficult for fishing. There were several blanks and fish were hard to come by. Alan Doyle with 12lbs came 1st in Section 1.
Lough Cloondoorney, Tulla, Co. Clare was the venue for The Munster CAC Winter League match 7. 11 anglers managed a net of around 50 small roach and skimmers. Ballybay Angling Association remind us that Annaghierin Lake, Shercock is booked this Sunday 22nd February for the final of the Dromore Winter League.

A cold Lough Ennell kept the perch low in the water. Midlands guide Michael Flanagan tells us there were perch to be had at 45-50 feet deep even though there was quite a bit of fly life on the surface.

Lots of other news too with opening day offers in the Midlands, great deals from Delphi plus the opportunity to a River Trout fishing day on the Munster Blackwater with Jason O’Riordan and Maurice Cahill.

Well done to Craigavon Lakes in County Armagh who will be hosting the 13th FIPS-ed World Championships Predator Bank Fishing with Lures 2015.

Safe fishing to all of you and tight line especially here in Ireland.

Nancy Hearne
Catch, Photo, Release

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River Anner, Co. Tipperary Photo: John Flynn IFI
River Anner, Co. Tipperary Photo: John Flynn IFI