It’s best to look forward rather than look back. This week threw everything at us, starting with snow and freezing temperatures, to bitter winds and rain. Saturday 17th saw the opening day on the Laune. The OPW gauge saw the river over 2½ metres high and at Johnston’s the car park was under 6 inches of water. The much anticipated opening day was also on the Currane and Killarney Lakes and anglers took to the water in search of the elusive salmon.
Experienced angler Gerry Looney was out early on opening day on the Long Range in Killarney. Gerry sent us a photo of his first salmon caught which was 10lbs in weight. Poor Gerry’s unphotogenic fish drew many comments and lively debate. It was a bit like turning up to a Tipperary dinner dance in a Kilkenny jersey ! Billy O’Connor was out on the Killarney lakes on Sunday and caught an 11lb springer at 11am. While a smiling Alan Cassidy, from Cork city was very pleased to land his 8.5lb spring salmon yesterday on the lower River Flesk, on Lough Leine Anglers Assoc. waters. Alan is a great believer in C & R but unfortunately he had no option this time but to take the fish as it was bleeding quite badly on release.
The Drowes, which claimed last year’s first salmon of 2014 is still waiting for its prize fish but anglers persist. Hopefully this weekend’s weather will be more agreeable.
Kayak angler Ian Burton and his father chose their own method to fish the Currane. With the freedom of his kayak, Ian managed 2 sea trout and a returning kelt. Also on kayaks were angling pals Roy Cuthbertson from Edenderry, and Kenny Corcoran from Clonbullogue as they lashed lure across Lough Iron. A fantastic way to explore the rivers and lakes, especially in places where it’s not possible to bank fish, or launch your traditional 19ft lake boat.

Marty Smith with super pike
Marty Smith with a super Inny pike 22lbs 1oz which is our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner

The Shannon District Fly Fishing crew weren’t the slightest bit put off by the cold weather as they fished at the Laois Angling Centre. Paul Flee and Seamus McMahon were among some of the gang to catch cracking rainbows.
A frosty Fermanagh saw Steven Neely nailing 7lb + pike on a perch kit. Marty Smith and angling guide Mick Flanagan headed to the Inny on Sunday. Marty was in for the shock of his life as he hauled in the River Inny monster. This excellent pike weighed in at 22lbs 1oz and measured 95cm, with a girth of 40cm. This is our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner.

The Erne system was where Rookie bass angler caught some January perch but difficult angling conditions on Ennel made it was next to impossible to locate the fish. The lake is quite high at the moment after recent storms. Ballybay Angling Association held their Winter League on Sunday on Lough Muckno. First place went to Dave Worsnup followed by Seamie Winters and Liam O’Brien.

Sea angling was very quiet this week with only one report in.  Kevin Brain was the man, as he went in search of Codling in Kerry.  His catch was made up of fish around 2 to 3 lb with a few touching the 4lb mark.  He tells us it’s back to bass for him now.

The outlook is for rain in most places tomorrow, followed by a clearance to cooler, drier and brighter conditions with some showers. Milder than the beginning of the week. Saturday will be dry and bright in most areas with sunny spells and with frost gradually clearing. Scattered showers will continue in coastal counties of Connacht and Ulster in the morning. But they’ll die out in the afternoon. Highest temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees with moderate to fresh west to southwest winds gradually easing.

Again all anglers are reminded that life jackets are there to be worn; it may save your life.

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Nancy Hearne
Catch, Photo, Release

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River Inny photo compliments of Michael Flanagan, Midlands Angling
River Inny photo compliments of Michael Flanagan, Midlands Angling