Bringing up a good one…

A wet and windy May fills the barn with corn and hay; a wet May and fine June makes the farmer whistle a merry tune……

We’ve had a cool start to May with slightly below average temperatures in many areas and cool winds from the north and east at times that would skin you if you didn’t prepare for them. The good news is that from Sunday onwards we will see an increase in temperatures in all parts with good sunshine in places; not exactly good fishing weather later in the week, with mainly dry and gentle northerlies and easterlies dominant from Wednesday, but we won’t complain (though we might not fill that barn with corn and hay……)

On the loughs there have been good hatches of fly and trout fishing has been pretty good, Lough Mask has trout feeding on olives, campto buzzer and mayfly while Derg has been producing fish to mayfly patterns. Sheelin has been good at times; fish there have been caught on both wet and dry buzzer patterns and mayfly are starting to show in the usual areas. On Corrib, spells of sunny and calm weather this week meant the mighty buzzer accounted for many fish. Mayfly fishing is improving by the day and the slight increase in temperatures, along with cloud and gentle southerlies forecast from Sunday through Tuesday, should see good mayfly fishing before easterlies and clear skies take over again for the rest of the week.

On the rivers and as the saying goes ‘first floods in May, smolts away’ and if you are fishing small wet flies or nymphs you are likely to catch small, silvery salmon smolts as they begin their long journey to the rich feeding grounds off of Greenland, the Norwegian Sea and the greater expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean. If you happen to catch one, make sure to unhook it gently with wet hands and return it safely to continue its difficult journey to sea and beyond in this International Year of the Salmon. Even better still – use barbless hooks and let you’ll find they wriggle off by themselves most of the time. Back to trout and there are reports of good trout fishing from rivers around the country, like the Nore, with an increase in fish feeding at the surface and more abundant fly life to encourage them.


Fly caught pike Italian style in Mullingar

On the predator scene, pike fishing has been good this week with pike feeding hard after spawning season. The midlands, Erne and upper Shannon loughs are all producing great fishing for visiting anglers and one group of four Dutch anglers had a pike bonanza with over 200 fish for their stay. Some nice pike are also coming off the big loughs in the west as are some fine ferox trout.

Marie Christine
Marie Christine of France with one of 48 pike caught and released on the Erne system by her group

To coarse fishing and the NCFFI All Ireland Feeder Club Championships were fished at Inniscarra over the bank holiday weekend with five teams of five competing for the title; CM Lakelands Green came out on top and an average bag of 10kg per angler per day across all competitors really highlighted the quality of the venue. Some fine specimen sized bream and tench are being caught by pleasure anglers further up the country in Cavan.

On the salmon front, we would like to give special mention in this International Year of the Salmon to the Salmon Protection Programme being headed up by Ballyduff Bridge Salmon Fishery; anglers who provide a video of themselves safely releasing a salmon back to the river will have their names drawn from a hat for the chance to win an array of prizes including fishing tackle, one year’s fishing on the Ballyduff beat and fishing day tickets on some of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s salmon fisheries. Other fishery owners are encouraged to take part; for more information see

Salmon fishing has been quiet this week, the lack of a good, wet south westerly wind keeping levels low in many areas. The bigger rivers that hold water for longer like the Munster Blackwater and the Moy have had a steady trickle of fish; a few grilse are also starting to turn up as the season pushes on. In the south west, there are reports of occasional fish but rain is badly needed to kick things off. Lough Currane produced a few fine salmon after a quiet spell and our Catch of the Week goes to Judge David Burton’s released 7lb fish #CPRsavesfish.


Judge David Burton and the first C&R salmon of Currane for 2019 – this rare occurrence wins our Catch of the Week

In the salt, one or two tope are being landed in the east and lots of spurdog are getting caught in the west. Bass are showing up in Cork harbour and for charter boats heading a little further from the south coast, the offshore reefs have provided great angling for pollack, coalies, cod, ling and conger with a few wrasse and others thrown in for good measure.

Eoin Griffin and Sam Collins with a lovely pair of pollack

And now the weather……..

On Friday night showers will die out and clear spells will develop with lows of 2 to 5C in a light northerly wind.

Saturday will begin dry with good sunshine. Cloud will increase in the afternoon bringing a few light showers. Highs of 10 to 14C, mildest in the south in a light northerly breeze. Dry with clear spells on Saturday night. Cold with lows of 0 to 2C in the north with some frost forming, 3 to 5C elsewhere. Light winds veering southerly overnight.

Sunday will be a dry day with hazy sunny spells. The west will see the best temperatures with highs of 15 to 17C. Elsewhere, highest temperatures will generally fall between 14 and 16C though the light southeast breeze will keep temperatures a few degrees cooler in along eastern and southern coasts.

Monday to Wednesday will continue dry and settled. Highs of 14 to 19C, best in the west. Winds will be mainly from a southeast direction keeping temperatures cooler along eastern and southern coasts.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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