It was a magic week for anglers in Ireland. Not everyone got to enjoy the wow factor of what was on offer and some probably felt like they were mugs to some sleight of hand, but the reports we have this week are no illusion. Coarse anglers had catches to over 160lb of bream. Sea anglers had just about all the sharks and some of those on fly gear. Trout anglers reported fish to 8lb on the dapp, pike anglers broke the meter mark and salmon anglers managed to eke out a few fish despite low water at most fisheries…

Stories of big ocean going fish on fly gear may seem like something you’re more likely to read about in the foreign angling press – maybe somewhere around the Bahamas or off an island in the Indian Ocean. Well, West Cork may be the next destination for jet setting anglers following the efforts of an international team of fly anglers who looked to test what sport is available from Ireland’s Atlantic waters. Dutch, German, Italian and Irish anglers fishing with Tom Collins from Union Hall set out to catch blue shark on fly. Double hook ups, broken rods and exceeded expectations were the result of their weekend’s endeavours. The team’s feats were crowned with the historic achievement by Christin Breuker of being the first woman angler to catch a blue shark on fly in Irish waters.

Rudy's 2nd blue
Rudy van Duijnhoven and skipper Tom Collins pose with a fly caught blue. Charter boat Loch an Iasc is winner of Catch of the Week

The whole coast is alive with sharks at the moment. Anglers from Cork to Donegal are getting blues, almost at will. With a little more work other species are possible and last week porbeagles, tope, smoothhounds and spurdogs were also reported. Big sharks also made an appearance and Luke Aston’s Clare Dragoon had an absolutely enormous shark  – a 4.6m sixgill shark estimated to weigh in the region of 1300lb. In other sea fishing news small boat anglers fishing the Martin O’Brien Festival in Cork Harbour had 32 species and a charter boat in Killala Bay had 23 species over 2 days. Good fishing was also reported from Wicklow, Courtmacsherry, Kerry, Galway Bay and by shore anglers in Donegal.

There are plenty of salmon at Ballisodare but they are proving difficult to catch. Nonetheless 116 salmon were caught last week, 46 of which were returned. Fishing on the River Moy slowed down somewhat during the week, while fluctuating water levels resulted in more difficult conditions. However, the Moy system produced a reported catch of 266 fish for the week bringing the yearly total to 4,681. Delphi continues to be a little quiet and July was finished with anglers still waiting to see real run of grilse. The Erriff fishery fared little better. At Costello and Fermoyle the salmon kept their heads down for the most part over the last week but not so the sea trout with some very notable catches recorded – up to 24 in a day. Inagh had good water levels but thundery conditions probably prevented more fish being caught. In Co. Kerry the Laune remained slow, a few salmon were caught towards the end of last week but in general the river is not performing well. It was much the same on Lough Currane where only a handful of fish were reported. Anglers on the Ballyduff Bridge beats of the Munster Blackwater were getting amongst the grilse and though the river was in flood on Tuesday it should be quite fishable now.

Congratulations to fly fishing guide and casting instructor Eamonn Conway for winning the ITFFA national and provincial championships held recently on the River Liffey. Staying on the east coast the Boyne is reported to be in good shape following recent rains and is fishing well.  Trout anglers on Derg are finding it hard to catch on fly as the fish feed firmly on fry. Anglers on Sheelin are getting great fishing in the evening, particularly on Green Peter.  Some anglers reported a continuous showing of bigger fish i.e in the 4lbs upward bracket but more reported great sport and catches around the 2 -3 lb mark and below. Daytime fishing has been exciting on Lough Corrib with great catches recorded, particularly on the dapp. While fish are coming to mayfly and sedges it was a dapped grasshopper that accounted to an 8lb trout last week. Finally in trout news we give congratulations to the winner of the World Cup on Lough Mask. From a field of 460 anglers Thomas O’Loughlin emerged as champion with a massive catch of 12 trout.

The East Clare lakes and Lough Derg are producing good coarse fishing in the last few days. At the other end of the country good hybrids to 5.5lb made a night fishing expedition for one angler. The Clones Festival proved to be a cracking event and on the first day John Potters got stuck into a shoal of bream landing 36 fish for 163lb. Fishing to his left was English angler Mick Hare who had 146lb, a personal best. John Potters’ first day catch was invaluable to his victory. His final tally in the 4 day competition was 201lb 2oz. Good bream fishing is also being reported in the Longford area where pleasure anglers young and old are getting some really fine fish.

Despite conditions that were sometimes difficult and challenging pike anglers in the north east had some enjoyable fishing.  Good piking was also reported from the Mullingar area and Derravaragh was also fishing well at times. Belgian anglers in the Longford area had 41 pike to 104cm. Some good perch were also encountered by the lucky tourists. River anglers are also getting some decent fishing and good pike and perch are being got on the Inny.

Friday will bring sunny spells with a few passing light showers, according to Met Eireann.  On Saturday a strengthening southerly wind will bring very warm and humid, but dry, weather over the country. However, Saturday night will see a band of rain crossing the country from the west, with southerly winds veering westerly by Sunday morning.  These westerly breezes will bring fresher but mainly dry and bright conditions for Sunday. The early days of next week will see a return to changeable weather.

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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Sea angling reports

Salmon fishing reports

Trout angling reports

Coarse angling reports

Pike fishing reports

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Blue shark
Blue shark on fly! No faking it – real, honest to goodness fly fishing…