Well the grilse really arrived in big numbers over the last couple of weeks, with 255 salmon recorded for the fortnight. Water levels have been perfect for fly fishing, with most fish taken on the fly, averaging 4.5-5lbs with a good few fish in the 6-7lbs range also. This week’s heatwave has increased water temperatures substantially, with air temps hitting 29C in Galway and water temps over 20C now. Very small lightly-dressed flies seem to be working best, with size 14s a good choice.
Among those to record fish were Jim Ryan, who landed 3 grilse on fly to 5.5lbs, Michael Cosgrove home on holiday from Dubai, who had 3 on fly to 6.5lbs, and German visitor Louis Falke who took a 6lbs fish on fly. Long-time visitor and well-known lady angler Margaret Downes caught 2 grilse to 5.5lbs on the fly, and Cillian Garvey had 3 fish to 6lbs on fly. Father and son Mick and Barry Brown had 5 fish, with Micj taking fish of 6 and 8lbs, and Barry landing 3 grilse to 6lbs, all on fly and shrimp. John Anderson landed 3 fish on a morning when he met 11 in total, great sport!
Michael Hegarty had a fine 8.5lbs fish on shrimp, and 99 year old Ned Cusack again proved age is no barrier, taking a 6.5lbs fish on shrimp. Sean MacManmon landed 2 fish on fly, while Kerry fan Dave Lenihan warmed up for the Munster Final with 2 fish to 7.5lbs on shrimp. Mick Rogers landed 2 fish to 6.5lbs on fly, son Gary had 2 to 5.5lbs, and Andy Smyth had a nice 6.5lbs fish on shrimp.
Liam Gilsenan fished fly and had 3 fish to 5lbs, Tony Kavanagh had 3 fish to 6.5lbs on fly, and also engaged with a couple more, while Northern angler Dexter Lynas fished very small flies that caught 4 fish to 6lbs. Martin Kiely landed 3 fish to 7lbs on fly and shrimp, and German regular Werner Meckle had 3 grilse to 5lbs on fly. Top banjo player and international jet-setting musician Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3 (check them out!) had a morning on the weir before heading off on tour and landed 3 fish to 6.5lbs, all on fly.
Paul Whelan and Eamon Power were up visiting from the Blackwater and had 2 grilse each on fly, no doubt celebrated with a liberal helping of “Barrys Tea” in local hostelries. Michael Dix landed 4 grilse to 5.5lbs on fly, while Fergus Glynn had 2 fish on fly. Jake Ruane landed 3 grilse on fly and shrimp; Paul Wymes had 3 fish to 7lbs on fly and shrimp, while James Barry and Denis Heffernan both caught 3 fish to 5lbs.
The river in Galway is well-stocked with fish at the moment, and the view from Salmon Weir Bridge is quite something, with ranks of silver salmon swaying in the current below. Although the heatwave and bright sunshine is making for tough conditions, fishing is excellent at the moment and will hopefully continue so for the next few weeks.