Ireland has endured a difficult week as the impact of Covid 19 has permeated our daily lives and curtailed our normal activities. This has obviously had an impact on angling as many fisheries across the country have taken the decision to close until further notice and all communal events such as competitions have been cancelled. With all the uncertainty that this virus has caused, many people have been in contact with us to ask us whether they can go fishing at all.

IFI has received input from the Dept. of Health and have drawn up a set of recreational fishing guidelines which are now available online here:

All anglers should read this before participating in angling. As the situation is changing day by day, anglers should monitor this site daily for any future developments.

While Covid 19 has spread a chill across the country this past week, the weather did its best to bring a bit of warmth and most parts of the country experienced some much needed sunshine and higher temperatures. This enabled many to avail of some (albeit restricted) time outdoors. While fishing efforts have understandably been curtailed, a few reports have come in and it should be noted that some of the reports pre-date the current Covid 19 guidelines.

Salmon anglers seem to have been the most active in the past week as the fall in water levels has brought many of our rivers into nice condition. There were reports of salmon from a number of fisheries including Loughs Beltra, Melvin and Currane and the rivers Boyne, Lee, Bandon, Flesk, Blackwater, Drowes and Feale. Photos have been in short supply but this one from the Feale is a beauty and there is a nice movie of the fish being released in the report.

There were a few trout reports in during the week with some nice fish being caught on the King’s River as water levels came good and fly started to hatch and there were reports of trout active on the Bride & Funshion. There are also earlier reports in from Lough Sheelin and Lough Corrib where dabblers seemed to be accounting for fish on both lakes.

And, in a week of bad news, it’s good to report a good news story as young specimen angler Nichola Ward caught a super ferox trout which wins our Catch of the Week prize.

Catch of the Week winner Nichola with her super Ferox trout

Fishing on 20th March with her Dad Nicky and well known angling guide Tomi Kurman, 12 year old Nichola managed to land this cracking trout which weighed in at 13lb 8oz. Well done to Nichola, Tomi and Nicky.

Coarse, Pike and Sea angling reports have been few and far between as matches have been cancelled and social distancing has made charter boat angling difficult. In the Midlands, Mullingar angler and guide Mick Flanagan managed to get out and had some fine fishing for perch on Lough Ennell. There are also some reports in for matches that took place around St. Patrick’s day including a second win in a row for Cathal Hughes at Inniscarra.

A nice perch from Lough Ennell

And, with his restaurant closed down due to Covid 19 restrictions, chef and angling guide Pascal Brissaud took the time to send this message of advice and encouragement to all of us as we hunker down and practice social distancing.

Ireland on the Fly

Daire Whelan writes that his podcast Ireland on the Fly will continue it’s weekly episodes finding out about the people and places of fly fishing in Ireland. On this week’s episode, it’s all about streamer fishing and how and why you should be trying it and not just when the river is in flood. If you can’t get out, listen in…

And now the weather

Dry tonight with variable cloud amounts and some clear spells. Lows of 1°C to 5°C, with a touch of frost in places. Northeasterly winds will increase towards morning. Saturday will be a cold, breezy and mainly dry day with a mix of cloud and sunny spells. Isolated showers are possible near eastern and northern coasts. Top temperatures of 7°C to 12°C, coolest along the north and east, in fresh and gusty northeast winds. Dry countrywide on Sunday after a chilly start with frost in west and north. Good sunshine away from eastern and southern coastal counties, but it will brighten up at times in these parts too. Very cold for the time of year with afternoon highs of just 5°C or 6°C in Ulster and east Leinster, 7°C or 8°C elsewhere.

And a word of thanks

Finally, to echo the sentiment of last night’s countrywide clap in support of frontline workers, we would like to thank all those involved in battling this pandemic around the country. Many of us may rely on their assistance in the coming weeks and we should be thankful for their dedication and commitment. We would urge all anglers to consider the possible impacts of their angling excursions and to refrain from any actions that may increase the burden on our healthcare staff and other frontline workers.

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

Shane 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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