Traditionally the month of March came in like a lion and out like a lamb; well the lamb came first in 2019, then the lion and now we’re back to the lamb, with very mild conditions over most of the country in the last few days. The forecast remains cool but calm for the week ahead in most areas, although strong winds will affect the Atlantic coast in the next 24 hours.

In the west, the trout fishing is picking up with reports of the duckfly coming off in numbers on Corrib with fish feeding well when conditions suit. Fishing should really start to improve in the next couple of weeks.

The first Kylemore salmon of 2019 was landed by Geoffrey Fitzjohn; the fish, at 4lb 9oz, was certainly not the largest first fish in the river but was very welcome all the same. This was the third year in succession that the first Kylemore salmon has been landed on the 15th of March and with other anglers reporting near misses this week, with fish moving to flies, the omens are good for the coming weeks.

David McEvoy reports that conditions were excellent at times over on Delphi where seven fish were landed for the week up to Friday March 15th; Yvonne Zirngibl kicked off her season with when she landed two fish from the Horseshoe Pool in 15 minutes. The first weighed in at 7lbs 14ozs and the second was about 7lbs. Both fish were taken on a Delphi Collie fished on a floating line, the same combination that saw Werner Zirngibl land a sea-liced fish of 7.5lbs from the Stream on Finlough. Ciaran Boland landed a lovely fish of 10lbs 15ozs on the Monday afternoon in the Meadow Pool on a Delphi Collie; Alan Molloy, on his first outing of the year managed to land a fish in the Whin Pool of 7.5lbs on a Black and Yellow copper tube and Steve Jones, also on his first outing of the season, landed a lovely fish of 8lbs in the Waterfall on a Willie Gunn.

A wild salmon being released this week at Delphi, where all wild fish are released as a rule. #CPRsavesfish
A wild salmon being released this week at Delphi, where all wild fish are released as a rule.

St Patrick’s Day saw an upturn in the south west where some fine salmon were landed on Lough Currane. Dermot Sammon of Athlone caught his first salmon of the season – a cracker of 12 ½ lbs on the troll – a feat matched by Noel Clancy who also caught a 12 ½ lbs fish on the troll.

Steven O’Neill of Cork, while fly-fishing with his Gillie Dominic McGillicuddy of caught a fine 8 lbs Salmon on St Patrick’s Day and followed that up on Monday with two fine fish; one of 8lbs on the fly and one of 9lbs on the troll.

Steven O’Neill of Cork releases a salmon on Lough Currane

Staying in the south west, Inniscarra hosted the Munster Open and St Patrick’s Coarse Fishing Festival. Despite high water levels the weather was moderate and the fishing good. Congratulations to the top three Munster Open anglers Stu Blunsom (22.59kg), Martin Bob (20.89kg) and Paul Hallen (15.6kg).

The St Patrick’s festival saw 36 anglers battle a storm, sleet showers and high water levels over three days before Cathal Hughes emerged to take the title with the top weight of 56.32kg. The 2018 Feederfest champion from Co. Galway impressed with some superb angling throughout the three days of the competition, starting with 33.190kg on the Garden Centre on day one, 5.620kg at Turtle Bay on the Greenway on day two and then finishing with 17.510kg at Graveyard on the final day to take the match. Julian Kendrick finished in the runner-up position whilst Lurgan angler Philip Jackson’s 23.130kg on the whip at the Graveyard on day three catapulted him from 9th position to finish in third.

Cathal Hughes was overall winner of Inniscarra’s St Patrick’s Festival

The Munster Coarse Anglers held their final Winter League match at O’Briensbridge where the Shannon was high, coloured and flowing like a train. With the fish coming to the edge of the bank to feed, the whip came to be the method that would win the day. Steve Wright finished in first place (15lb 5oz) followed by Kevin Leahy (12lb 4oz) and Ian Kelsey (10lb 7oz). Kevin Leahy’s second place finish consolidated his lead at the top of the Winter League for 2018/2019.

Further north the St. Patrick’s two day event on the Bann proved to be a difficult match with high water levels affecting the catches, poor conditions meant that only eight anglers took part. Gary Radcliffe took the honours with 7.22kg followed by Ron Jordan (6.82kg) and Johnny Keith (6.72kg).

On the east coast Kit Dunne reports that finally, after a number of weather caused cancellations, he got back out to sea on March 18th and what a time he and his anglers had. Heading out to one of Kit’s favourite spurdog grounds soon had the guys in fish. They finished the day with six specimen spurs, including a 19.5lb fish for Des Chew one of three specimens he landed on the day.

Des Chew with the Big one, 19.5lb, more than 4’long, 47cm girth. #CPRsavesfish

In Donegal, the Killybegs Mariners held the tenth round of their winter league where nineteen hardy anglers took to the shore targeting flounder, turbot and coleys. Longest fish went to Declan McGettigan with a 41cm flounder, 2nd place went to Stefan Martin and the winner, with most points, was John Cunningham.

Finally, Inland Fisheries Ireland is inviting expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals to become or continue to be members of Fishery District Committees in the following Fishery Districts where commercial fisheries exist:

Lismore; Cork; Kerry (SWRBD); Ballinakill; Bangor (WRBD); Ballyshannon and Letterkenny (NWRBD).

The primary purpose of the Fishery District Committees is to recommend the allocation of the available salmon surplus as identified by the Technical Expert Group on Salmon between the commercial and recreational sectors for those fisheries which have a surplus.

Written applications should be sent to: Inland Fisheries Ireland, Fishery District Committees, Sunnyside House, Macroom, Co. Cork, P12 X602 or by email to:  [email protected]. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 12th April 2019. For more information on qualifying criteria or relevant ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ please see the ‘About Us’ section of the Inland Fisheries Ireland website:

And now for the Weather..

The outlook is for colder weather over the weekend, but there will be a lot of dry bright conditions with frosty nights and mostly settled during the early days of next week also.

Cold on Friday night with clear periods and well scattered showers in northern and northwestern counties, dry elsewhere with clear periods. Overnight lows of 0 to 3 degrees Celsius and a sharp frost and some mist or fog patches in southern areas.

A cool, mostly dry and bright day on Saturday with sunny spells and just the very odd shower in northern counties. Winds light and afternoon highs of 8 to 11 degrees Celsius. Cold on Saturday night with widespread sharp to severe frost away from northern areas and patchy mist or fog in light winds. Overnight lows will range from -2 to +2 degrees Celsius (coldest in south midlands). Sunday will be rather cool, dry and bright in most places, with frost, mist and fog clearing during the morning. Cloudier in northern counties with some showery outbreaks of rain developing in these areas during the day. Highs of 8 to 11 degrees Celsius. Some frost in southern counties on Sunday night with temperatures falling to 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, but cloudier skies further north should prevent significant frost, but some patchy mist and fog may form.

A cloudy start to next week in many areas but mostly dry settled weather with light winds and variable cloud, daytime highs of 11 to 13 degrees Celsius, some frost by night when skies are clear.

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

Paul O’Reilly
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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