Paul Waghorne,, reports from Lanesborough where roach are spawning…

ial Finnegan from Tuam caught this Bream during the night an ounce shy of 6lb. Connor's Roach was 1lb 10oz. Both caught after dark on maggot.
Niall Finnegan from Tuam caught this Bream during the night an ounce shy of 6lb. Connor’s Roach was 1lb 10oz. Both caught after dark on maggot.

14 April: Niall Finnegan from Tuam stayed on an extra night after the relative success of the previous night and was rewarded with a 5lbs 15oz Bream but as all anglers were plagued with liners, I can presume they were not in the mood for feeding. In addition, I believe the hot water temperature dropped overnight. I just hope yesterdays theory of the station going off-line is not going to happen.

15 April:  A very mixed report this morning, during the night there was a lot of commotion as the Roach continued to spawn. Most anglers struggled, so much so that you’d be forgiven there were no fish present. One angler however, claimed about 50 hybrids with several Roach. I don’t know what he did differently, whilst not in a particularly favoured swim below Ryan’s Gate, opposite the gap being a wee bit shallower, but the result speaks for itself.

At 08:00 about 16 anglers arrived from Dublin. The sunshine will probably hamper their returns although I’m sure those who can, will catch a few. The weekend campers are now losing some zeds in preparation for tonights assault. With the lake temperature only just reaching the magical 51f (10.3c) I’d hope for a lot more fresh fish coming into the stretch for the next few evenings.

14:00 With nearly 20 anglers present, I was surprised at how much has been caught. some are doing very well considering they are so close together. There is a fierce wind and float presentation is not as easy as in previous days.

22:00 Overall, the group from Dublin fished quite well today with a top weight of 31lbs. The best Roach was 1lbs 10oz but most worrying were that some pegs actually blanked. This evening, as last night, the river was alive with fish topping everywhere. I had a better session catching about 20 fish for an estimated 10-12lb. There were far more female Roach on the Roscommon side this evening, so spawning must be imminent.

Flano and Miro have been joined by Chris Ganley, so I hope between them they have a half decent catch. On the lower disabled pegs, the first (recorded) Tench has been caught by Brian Furey, although just a baby, you can see from the picture it was a much loved catch.

The first of many? Brian Furey had this wee tinca this evening
The first of many? Brian Furey had this wee tinca this evening

16 April: I cannot believe how quiet the stretch was this afternoon, just a group of children and odd Piker. I suppose the mid day rain put off most of the casual danglers? Only Miro and Flano remain on the final night of their three day visit. When I spoke to Miro just before 9, he was just starting to catch some hybrids.

I had 48 Roach this evening and came away very disappointed. Why? you may ask, I ran out of ground bait at 20:25 and couldn’t get to 50 with just loose fed pinkies. With many fish nudging a pound, I suppose I had well over 20lb and possibly more. They were much easier to catch and I seldom had to run through my swim to get a bite.

17 April: There is still much surface activity on the navigation channel indicating that the Roach are in vast numbers again. Why there aren’t more in the hot stretch is beyond me. Perhaps if it was brighter, the shoal which annually sits under the bridge has already arrived and we simply can’t see them? Two experienced match anglers armed with long poles fished the stretch near the gap with both having equal amounts of success. An estimated 25lbs each with a lot of Roach topping a pound, but averaging 3-4 oz as far as I could see.

On the navigation channel, Nigel Jelly from Leicestershire fished with a stick float to amass an estimated 40lb bag which like my previous catches, was made up almost exclusively of male fish. He was just packing up as I arrived, so I carried on to get 48 fish again. Unlike yesterday, I did not run out of ground bait, but the last 30 minutes or so, really struggled. I can only guess that the fish came up in the water as dusk beckoned and my bait simply sailed by under them?

On the disabled swims, Aiden and Phillip are fishing into darkness trying to tempt a Tench. Aiden has had a 3lb Male, so there is every chance he may increase his tally.

18 April:  Geoff Wood arrived early and fished upstream on the Roscommon side but noticed as the sun rose, the fish dropped back under the bridge. Arnie from Roosky was there mid morning and was catching steadily. By evening it seemed like it had been a slow day. I presume Arnie didn’t fare too well as he was gone by the time I walked over to see him. For the evening session, there were quite a lot of bodies around, but very few fish caught. Phillip had two Perch which took worm intended for Tench.

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Due to the biosecurity risks posed by the Asian Clam populations anglers can only use the specially provided keep-nets, available both sides of the bridge – from the Daybreak Filling Station, Ballyleague and Bridie Holmes Fishing Tackle Shop, Lanesborough.