A July sunset in Killary fjord

St. Swithin’s Day (July 15th) is a day on which, according to English folklore, the weather for the subsequent period is dictated. In popular belief, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day, it will rain for 40 days; if it is fair, 40 days of fair weather will follow. Well, St. Swithin’s day here in Ireland saw temperatures of up to 24°C with low water, cloudless skies, bright sunshine and, charter boats apart, not many fish getting caught!

The good news for the fish is that, this being Ireland, St. Swithin’s day doesn’t apply here. The weather since Monday has been quite sunny – but it has been cloudy, windy and rainy as well. We have heavy thundery showers forecast for Friday and at times over the weekend, with cooler temperatures overall. Back to normal summer fare really.

The rain we have had in the last few days has been enough to water the flowers but not enough to get things moving on the salmon fishing scene. Rivers are very low at the moment and anglers need to adapt to the conditions if they want to be in with the chance of a fish. On the Moy, this means concentrating on deeper sections of water and 47 fish were reported from the deeper water around Rinnaney in the Foxford area for the week.

Over in Leenane there are fish to be had in both the Bundorragha and the Erriff; lighter single handed tactics and even nymphing are doing the damage there. If you’d like to see how it’s done, regular visitor Andrew Beattie shot a video of his week’s work (below) and he didn’t do too badly. The word locally is that there are plenty of fish in the fjord waiting for this weekend’s rain to encourage them in. Lough Currane is also desperately in need of freshening up; some grilse have been caught this week, mainly to the troll, but the going is tough.


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River trout anglers have been doing a little bit better this week – the river Nore taking this week’s honours for highest quality fishing in freshwater. That accolade may have something to do with the fact that 42 of Ireland’s elite trout anglers fished every nook and cranny of it over last weekend during the All Ireland River Championships. Thomastown Anglers Association played host to the event and over one thousand trout were caught and released over two days, pretty impressive to say the least. Many of our rivers are dead low right now with crystal clear water and heavy weed growth affecting the fishing, this should all change over the weekend though.

A fine Nore trout goes back

Fishing on the loughs has been quiet again; the midland lakes are just waiting for the best of the green peter fishing to happen and the Corrib is waiting for a second hatch of mayfly to get things going.

The weather this last week or two has been fine for some coarse anglers – especially those who prefer to fish by torchlight rather than daylight. Some big bags have been landed too – even in the daylight. At Oaklands Fishery in New Ross a new record weight was set for a five hour match, a staggering 286lbs of carp and other assorted species. Ballyshunnock reservoir in Waterford has also produced some good nets of fish in the last week and Edenderry hosted an open match at the weekend where reasonable weights were caught by the 21 anglers taking part despite the sunshine. Coarse fishing summer camps for schoolchildren are also well underway in many places with a lot of youngsters catching their very first fish in the last week or two.

Mixed bag at Ballyshunnock

Some really good sized pike have been landed this week on both rivers and lakes. As with most freshwater fishing this time of year, anglers fishing early or late are doing best; we even have one report of a very large fish caught to a very large lure well into darkness. Some of the best pike fishing can be had to lure and fly anglers when the sun isn’t too high in the sky and water temperatures are relatively cool, the fish being willing to chase their prey and strike repeatedly.

Nice pike for Ania fishing with Jacek Gorny

The very best of this week’s fishing has been reserved for those who went offshore; off the east coast a lot of tope were caught, including a number of specimens, as were some fine smooth hound. In the south, blue shark are beginning to turn up in numbers, some good sized skate have been landed and boats targeting wreck fish are getting good sized ling and pollock as well as bluemouth. The Irish Kayaking Club fished out of Culdaff on the north coast and even though conditions weren’t great for the fishing, they were great for the barbecue afterwards.

Blue shark tagged and ready to go back

The most notable catch this week goes to Mike Sherwood who, fishing by sight, managed to catch a sunfish on a jelly worm. That’s right, sight fishing for sunfish with a jelly worm. Mike wins our catch of the week for this bizarre capture which was quickly and safely released after photographic evidence was collected.

The lure caught sunfish – our catch of the week

A reminder that Irish youngsters are invited to come along to the National Museum of Ireland this Saturday July 20th to learn about the fantastic collection of fish on display there and about how Ireland’s most iconic fish species, the Atlantic salmon, is facing its biggest challenge yet. Fisheries staff will be on hand to help young fisheries enthusiasts examine the creepy crawlies which live in Ireland’s rivers and lakes via microscopes while novice anglers can try their hand at fishing through a virtual fishing simulator! In addition to the collection within the museum, aquariums will also showcase some of the freshwater fish which live in waters across Ireland.

And now the weather……

Showers dying out Thursday evening in most areas. Rain will increase from the southwest overnight with the rain pushing in over Munster and spreading to Leinster and Connacht by dawn, heavy at times. Lowest temperatures of 10°C to 15°C

Rain will become widespread Friday morning, sometimes heavy, with thunderstorms developing in many areas leading to localized flooding. Top temperatures of 18°C to 22°C generally. Moderate southeasterly winds will veer southwesterly increasing to strong and gusty over Munster and Leinster during the afternoon.

Saturday is looking mainly dry with sunny spells, 18°C to 22°C in light to moderate southwest breezes. Saturday night will start mainly dry; however, rain is likely in the west later and it will become breezy there with freshening southerly winds. Lowest temperatures of 11°C to 14°C

Sunday will be a breezy day with outbreaks of rain, possibly turning heavy in the west and north with the best chance of dry and bright weather in the east. Highest temperatures of 19°C to 23°C in fresh southerly winds. A humid night will follow with temperatures not lower than 17°C or 18°C. Rain will affect many areas during the night, again heaviest in the west. The warm, humid and breezy weather is set to continue on Monday with further spells of rain, possibly heavy.

Paul O’Reilly

Catch, Photo, Release

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