Tope fishing in Galway Bay

There’s been lots of weather recently, all sorts of it. We’re still shaking off the last of Hurricane Lorenzo’s remnants but even before that became the focus of our weather experts we had plenty of wind and rain. Rainfall was particularly high; two and half to three times the norm for the time of year, more than enough to flood many rivers and lakes. Meanwhile the unsettled sea conditions made getting out on the water a difficult proposition…

Rod bent at the but and fish nearly in the net!! Photo by James Barry
Rod bent at the butt and fish nearly in the net!! Photo by James Barry on the Bandon

With the end of September most of the salmon rivers close. A few in the Kerry and the north east will remain open for sea trout to October 12th, but most game anglers see the end of the September as the end of the season for another year. We don’t have all the figures in but it’s fair to say it’s not been an easy season. While there were a few rivers that experienced some great days and provide plenty of hope for next season, some of the bigger fisheries did not match the expectations many had of them. In general the last week of September was not great, too much water in most rivers and not many fresh fish making a late run.

With the season over for most salmon anglers we’d like to remind you to return your logbook and unused tags to Inland Fisheries Ireland using the business reply envelope supplied with your licence, or you can drop them into any of our offices around the country.

Andrew McFarlane, Finea resting up with the weight of the week a 12lb 5oz specimen
Andrew McFarlane, with a 12lb 5oz beauty from Lough Sheelin

As with salmon fishing, trout fishing finishes for many on September 30th as most of the rivers and lakes close. You can fish on at some of the midlands venues like Sheelin for another few days, as the closing date there is October 12th. And it could be well worth a visit. Just ask Catch of the Week winner Andrew McFarlane who caught a super trout of 12lb 5oz. Corrib saw some fine fish caught in the last week of the season there. Conditions were tough at times and the trout were coming to wets. It was a good year for the rivers.  We have a couple of final reports from the Nore and the Bandon which both reported some great trout fishing through the season.

The 10th Irish Fly Fair and International Angling Show 2019

Ireland’s biggest fly-fishing extravaganza will again feature the largest group of fly tyers and game angling stands under one roof. A host of the greatest fly dressers, fly casters and angling celebrities from all over the globe will once again gather at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill, to participate in the 10th Irish Fly Fair and International Angling Show. On the 9th and 10thof November, visitors will come from all over the world to this celebrated event. They will have the opportunity to see some of the finest fly dressers from around the world practice their art, while champion fly casters will be available to demonstrate and advise on fly casting techniques and fishing tactics. Find out more at: The 10th Irish Fly Fair and International Angling Show 2019.

Lough Muckno
Levels were up on Muckno

Coarse anglers found that many venues were quite high in the last couple of weeks. Lakes as well as rivers. Muckno was the scene for the NADA Intermediate Teams competition. Fishing was mixed with those getting the tactics right and fishing for the larger fish receiving their rewards at the scales. Bream to 5lb were dotted around the sections along with quantities of small roach for those that persisted on the short lines. At the Cootehill Festival high water levels prevailed as did the wind and the rain but that did not deter the enthusiasm of the competitors, the top 4 anglers weighed in 279.7kg between them! Staying in Cavan, Lough Gowna was chosen for an all perch boat competition. There were some fine stripeys to nearly 30cm caught and overall the club felt it was a big success.

Jim Murray
Jim Murray with his 39lb tope from Wicklow

On the sea angling front, days at sea were grabbed when and where they could be. We have reports in from Wicklow, Cork and Galway. The story is similar in each update, lots of wind recently, few opportunities to fish but some good fish to be caught when they’re out there.

In other angling related news Inland Fisheries Ireland today placed a request on the e-tenders website for a programme to increase participation in the sport of angling. For more information see: Novice Angling Activation Programme

And now the weather…

It’s going to stay windy over the weekend and into next week. While it won’t be wet there will be showers at times, particularly on Sunday when there is a risk of spot flooding. Temperatures will be up though, highs of 19C expected at the weekend and 20C in the early part of next week. Sea conditions will be rough, so don’t take chances to fish the rocks. Rivers will be swollen with flood waters if they’re not out in the fields, again don’t take risks for the sake of a fish.

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

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected].


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