Ronan Cusack reports on fishing on Lough Mask. The sun shone bright across Lough Mask over the past week, yet the fly fishing remains surprisingly good. Mayfly continue to hatch in fair numbers, coupled with good hatches of sedge all across the lake, giving trout good reason to focus their attention on the surface.
Despite the tropical conditions, Tourmakeady anglers Peter Gosson and Liam Conroy had an excellent day on Sunday last, with 7 keepable trout and several undersize (best fish 2.5lbs). An Garda Síochána held a club event on Mask on Friday, fishing from both Tourmakeady and Cushlough. There was a small turnout with just 10 competitors on the day. A total of 22 trout were weighed in, with first prize going to Declan Conlon from Kildare. Declan had 4 trout weighing 5.10lbs. Second place went to John Donohue from Dublin, with 4 trout weighing 4.12lbs. In third place was Paul Corcoran from Tuam, with 3 trout weighing 3.15lbs.
Kevin Beattie and Tommy Foley, Ballinrobe, fished on Wednesday last and they had 5 fish for the day to wetfly (best fish 4.2lbs). Kevin fished again on Sunday with Christy Crotty from Waterford and they had 4 on dries (best fish 4.2lbs). Christy fished alone on Saturday and he had 8 over the size limit (best fish 1.5lbs all returned).
Wet flies have again this week been the most productive method of catching trout, with any of the mayfly and sedge patterns working well.  Anglers have also begun to experiment in the deep over the past week, with some success.
The forecast for the next few days is for more settled weather, so angling predictions for Lough Mask is anyone’s guess!
With the settled weather, Caenis hatches are also good on Mask. Larry McCarthy from Corrib View Lodge and Angling Services (www.corribangling.com, 093 31718) fished Ballinchalla Bay from 5.30am one morning this week and had 10 trout to 3lbs, all released. While Corrib is more renowned for the Caenis hatch, I have also seen huge numbers on Mask and Carra, so there is no reason for local anglers not to get out and try it more on these lakes.