They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, it’s a bit early to say whether or not the month will close meekly, but certainly there was a lot of blustery, unpleasant weather last week. Now there seems to be a small change, and it is certainly feeling more Spring-like with a real sense of the new season stretching ahead, full of opportunity and hope…

Trout anglers will welcome the return of our regular Sheelin reports which are crafted every Sunday evening by Brenda Montgomery. Louh Sheelin opened on March 1st and there were 25 trout to over 3lb reported. The best of the fishing was along the north shore of the lake from Chambers Bay to Crover into Merry Point – picking out the most rocky shores, shallows and exposed points. We also have news from Lough Corrib where good trout were got on the fly around Cornamona. In addition to these fly caught fish some really good trout were caught and released by anglers fishing with Jacek Gorny and his hand made lures.

Yvonne Zirngibl with 20lbs 6oz salmon on International Ladies day
Yvonne Zirngibl wins Catch of the Week with her 20lbs 6oz salmon caught on International Ladies day

We have a couple of firsts to report from some of our salmon fisheries this week. Eric Fuller had the Bandon’s first salmon of the year; 11.5lb, on fly. Stephen Moroney had the first River Feale fish of the year. His 8lb springer was caught on spinner. The river opened on March 1st with a flood but any days it has been possible to fish since then have seen a fish caught including a lovely 16lb salmon. On Lough Currane poor weather has had a huge impact on the fishing so last Friday’s 11lb springer was warmly welcomed on a cold day on the lake. At the Delphi Fishery on International Women’s Day, Yvonne Zirngibl being the only woman in a party of five, landed what is surely the biggest fly caught salmon in the country so far this year – a super 20lb multi sea winter fish. For anglers looking to wet a line in the south of the country the prospects look good on the Munster Blackwater and there are some good offers from some of the fisheries there. The Erriff fishery also has some great offers for anglers and will open early this year on 17 March.

Only a few of ounces separated the the winners of the Ballybay knock up fished at Annaghierin Lake on Sunday. The newly formed Tubertini UK LTD club fished their first knock-up at Tooman Fisheries at the weekend providing Youth International James O’Doherty with a match win of 31.8kg.

Steven Neely was back on the water in Co. Fermanagh where he had a selection of pike and perch on soft plastics. The Irish Kayak Angling Club reports that some of its members had a memorable pike fishing expedition where fish to 28lb were landed. The last leg of the Fishmaniak Pike Winter League was held on Lough Skeagh on Sunday. The biggest pike, 76cm, was caught by Mateusz Bak who was the overall winner with 3 fish. Rumors of pike to over 30lb and a number of “20”s have been reported from Lough Muckno recently. Encouraged by these tales Peter Cunningham took to the lake yesterday and was rewarded with a 17lb pike on a popped up smelt.

The outlook is for generally dry and mild weather with light southerly breezes for the rest of the week, and for the early days of next week too. Met Eireann tells us it will be feeling pleasant in and around any sunshine and that the conditions should be pretty settled until next Friday. With that, get on to the boss and book a few days off!

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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Fishing guide Jacek Gorny with a fine Corrib trout caught on a handmade lure, March 2016
Fishing guide Jacek Gorny with a fine Corrib trout caught on a handmade lure, March 2016