This past week has seen more unsettled weather, with very heavy rain in some parts and coldness in a wind that never eased. May was a dry month overall, with persistent easterly winds keeping average rainfall below what could normally be expected. For those of us who believe that the summer begins in June, it may yet begin in June but it won’t be this week coming; indeed, we have already had more rainfall in parts of the south and east in this first week of June than for the whole of June in 2018.

Salmon don’t mind a bit of rain and a badly needed rise in water levels along with some good tides saw a fresh run of fish enter many rivers. The Suir fished well for a brief period in the first few inches of a flood; some good fish in the 10-14lb bracket were reported caught fresh off the tide before the flood took hold. In the west, the fresh flush saw a big increase in both effort from the anglers and catches of fish with over 350 reported on the Moy over the weekend alone. Both the river Erriff and the Bundorragha at Delphi saw an improvement in numbers of fish coming through, while in the south west a small number of sea trout were caught and released on Currane despite difficult conditions.

Micheal Bothwell ready to release a fish on the Ridge Pool

The week’s weather lent itself to good wet fly fishing on some of the trout loughs; Lough Mask anglers reported decent catches while on Corrib some late hatching mayfly produced good sport. Those anglers who burn the candle at both ends reported the first Caenis hatches and catches of the year, though we will need some warm settled weather to really kick things off. You don’t have to set your alarm early to catch fish on Corrib at the moment though, fish have been taken on a variety of different flies, both wet and dry, this last week; mayflies and chironomids accounted for most with some fish also caught on the troll and the dap.

A happy Daragh Browne with a ‘Browne’ trout

Over on Sheelin, the mixed weather hasn’t helped the spent mayfly fishing although the fish are seeking out whatever spent fly are on the water despite the conditions. Sedges are starting to show in numbers now, although the fish are unlikely to turn their attention to them until the spent are all but gone. Conditions had been excellent on many of the rivers also with low, clear water perfect for targeting trout on the dry fly. We have good reports from the Annalee in Cavan and also the north east where visiting anglers had some success with dry fly fishing.

Des Johnston (83) wins our Catch of the Week for showing the younger generation how to catch a Sheelin trout

A number of coarse fishing festivals were held in the last week; the Lanesborough International Coarse Angling Festival was held over three days last weekend and it was incredible to see the festival record weight being broken no fewer than 5 times. Excellent fishing led to weights of 72lb, 79lb, 87lb, 88lb, and 100lb 8oz being recorded – all of which exceeded the festival’s previous best. Over in Ballinamore, 39 anglers competed in difficult conditions in the Ballinamore Angling Festival while 27 and 29 competitors fished the Ottewill Trophy and O’Callaghan’s Cup on Inniscarra respectively. CM Lakelands held their feeder festival in Cavan and on the Grand Canal in the midlands, the Edenderry 3 Day Festival is drawing to a close this Friday, June 7th, with 54 anglers having returned to compete in one of Ireland’s longest running events.

In Northern Ireland, the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland are proud to announce that the FIPSed 25th European Coarse Angling Championships will be held on the lower River Bann at the end of this month. Over 100 international anglers will descend on the Bann between Monday 24th and Friday 28th for practice while the competition itself will be held over the weekend of Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th. It will be the first time that Northern Ireland will host an event of this calibre since the World Championships were held on the River Erne in 1992 and the Newry Canal in 1982 so congratulations to them. Volunteers are needed to assist with the stewarding of the event, if you are interested please visit to apply.

Partners and sponsors unite on Mid Ulster Councils coarse angling facility at Portglenone ahead of the world-renowned coarse fishing championships set to take place on the Lower River Bann in less than a months’ time. Pictured are Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, Stephen Douglas, Waterways Ireland, Councillors Ian Milne and Sean McPeake, Edward Montgomery, Honorable Irish Society and Oliver McGauley, Hon. President of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland.
The launch of the FIPSed European Coarse Angling Championships, Lower River Bann

Pike fishing has been slow this week with only one report from Belgian anglers Ivo and Jos in Longford; the pair fished out of Melview Lodge for the week and had some great sport to both lures and dead baits.

Ivo from Belgium

To the salt and we have had some reports of excellent bass fishing around the south coast with some very large fish falling to soft plastics. Good numbers of schoolies have also shown up in other parts which bodes well for the future. On the east coast, some specimen smooth hounds are turning up off the Wicklow coast while further south the Dunmore East Small Boats Festival saw 45 anglers compete in their species hunt which was eventually won by Team Rinnashark with 21 species. Charter boats in the west report good fishing for a variety of species and in Donegal large numbers of mackerel are showing up – more than we’ve seen for a number of years. Fishing for pollack, cod, coalfish has been good around the coast and anglers targeting skate and ray are getting good results.

Nice triple from Mulroy Bay
Dirk with a nice triple from Mulroy Bay

Fishy Fun at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History for International Year of the Salmon

The fisheries resource will come to life at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History this summer as a free event called Fishy Fun will bring a range of interactive activities suitable for all the family. Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History are partnering on a one day event (Saturday, 20th of July) as part of International Year of the Salmon (IYS) which aims to engage the public around the challenges facing salmon today.

And now the weather…

For Friday night, most areas will become dry with clear spells but scattered showers will continue in west Munster and west Connacht, mainly in coastal areas. More persistent rain and drizzle will move in across the northeast and patchy rain and drizzle will occur along the east coast. Minimum temperatures 5°C to 8°C, in light to moderate, west to northwest breezes.

Tomorrow, Saturday, will be dry to start in many areas, with sunny spells. The northeast will be dull, with patchy rain, turning showery during the day with a few bright spells later. Scattered showers in west Munster and west Connacht will become more widespread in the afternoon with some heavy. Cool, especially in Atlantic coastal areas, in moderate westerly breezes. Maximum temperatures 13°C to 16°C.

Sunday will be another cool day with a varied mix of good sunny spells and occasional showers. While the morning will be mostly dry, the showers will be widespread during the afternoon with some isolated heavy showers inland that will die out again in the evening. Highest temperatures 13°C to 16°C, winds light and variable.

Monday will be a similar day, and mix of pleasant sunny breaks but with heavy or even thundery showers. Winds will be from the north and temperatures typically in the mid teens. Tuesday and Wednesday look like being mainly dry days with variable cloud and sunny spells. Any showers will be isolated and light with most areas staying dry. North or northwest breezes will be fresh generally, and staying on the cool side.

The further outlook is uncertain, but most likely staying unsettled.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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