Tom Bourke was in touch from Westport with the first report from the Owenwee this season. It’s been a slow start to the 2015 season so far, but things have improved a lot in the last week.

The first fish hooked in 2015 was on Feb 1st in Killenacoff around 2.30 pm, another was hooked on Easter Sunday approx 7 in the evening by Tom Bourke, fishery owner but nothing much had happened since. Two springers are supposed to have been caught in April but this cannot be confirmed.

11 fish have been hooked and lost since Thursday, with 4 landed.

The first fish of the season officially recorded was caught on Friday by Michael O Toole, Lecanvey, Westport. Michael caught the fish on an Allys Shrimp in the second bridge pool and the fish weighed in at 3.5 lbs. As is our tradition in recent years the first fish is always released and so Mick put the fish back after photos were taken. Mick also lost 3 more fish, using an Ally’s Shrimp on the tip and Bann Shrimp pattern on the dropper, which seemed to be very effective.

On Saturday Mick lost a fish exceeding 10lbs and was looking for him when he hooked a salmon down river in Toby’s Pool, above the falls. The fish fought well and Mick had to push branches and bushes out of his way to eventually land a nice fish of 8lbs. On the day Mick also lost 2 other fish.

Mick O Toole with a nice Owenwee salmon of 8lbs
Mick O Toole with a nice Owenwee salmon of 8lbs

Another fish was caught that evening by Ray Bourke, Springfield, Westport on a red and white Bann Shrimp pattern, this fish was Ray’s first ever on fly and was released from the net on landing, the fish was taken off the Boulder Pool about 200m from Belclare Bridge.

On Saturday afternoon another good fish was hooked by Sam Birch, Westport, on a Garry Dog pattern whilst casting downriver from under the bridge. This was a very good fish and Sam played it for 5 minutes before the casting line snapped above the loop, must have been cracked or weakened over time but the line looked perfect when checked.

On Sunday Ray Bourke caught and landed his second, a fish of 2.75lbs, in the first bridge pool once again, after a good fight the fish was landed and tagged.

Later that evening another large fish was temporarily hooked by Jim Reidy from Connecticut, USA, on a size 16 dry daddy pattern. On several occasions after this two other fish swirled at tiny dry and wet patterns but with no luck. However Jim promised he would be back in August/Sept on another business venture and will fit in time to try once more.

On Monday Michael Kingdom from Carnacon hooked a large grilse of 6/7 lb in the second bridge pool but the fish threw the fly after a few minutes. Finally on Tuesday Ray Bourke lost another good fish in the top pool again.

No fresh fish have run since Saturday but signs are reasonable for a good run in July and August and we are all looking forward to trying upriver after some badly needed fresh water.


To book fishing on the Owenwee, contact Tom Bourke on 0868331586.