Conditions haven’t been ideal for the Irish angler in the last while with heavy rainfall and high winds a recurring August theme. Storm Ellen paid us a visit last week, and this week Storm Francis dropped by making for a very wet period with much of the country receiving between 2 and 3 times the average weekly rainfall for August. Rainfall amounts of up to 90mm were recorded in the past week in parts of Kerry, whilst elsewhere between 30mm and 60mm has been widely recorded. The coming week will be generally drier than the last 7 days, though some areas will still receive above average rainfall. Across the pond Hurricane Laura made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico overnight on Wednesday with 150 mph winds and 15ft-20ft storm surges; current models have the tail end of this hurricane tracking closer to Iceland than Ireland, so hopefully we will get to wait another while before Storm Gerda comes along.

River anglers will know about the high levels of rainfall we’ve had, with this reflected in the low number of fishing reports we’ve seen. The constant high levels in the rivers has meant that many salmon fisheries in the lower reaches of rivers have been by-passed by the fish; with perfect conditions for river migration, the salmon just shoot through on their journeys upstream without holding or resting up in lower pools. This has been reflected on rivers like the Moy and Munster Blackwater where fisheries far upstream have done well this week.


Michael Kane from Foxford releasing a lovely July grilse on the River Moy

In the south, we have seen the first real signs of life on Lough Currane this year with both salmon and sea trout reported caught by fly anglers from the lough; much of the fishing in the Waterville area has been on the Inny this year, where the levels of rainfall have suited the catch and release anglers there. We have one report of good grilse fishing to unusual methods on the River Lee in Cork, well worth checking out.

To the trout loughs and local anglers on Lough Conn have reported the best trout fishing they have seen in 25 years this season. The fantastic fishing reported at mayfly time got even better from mid-July when a second, prolific hatch of mayfly occurred which brought some excellent fish to the surface and the spent gnat fishing came into its own once again. The good quality fishing has continued since then with dry sedge and daddies still taking nice fish. The same can’t be said for Arrow or Sheelin, where the fish have been sulkier, but over on Corrib anglers are still reporting some fine fish on wet flies and to the dap with one or two even finer fish coming to the ferox hunters.

Angler in boat on lake holding a very large trout.
Paul Byrne with his fantastic Corrib trout, which was sportingly released. #CPRSavesFish

River fishing has been tricky for fly anglers with the high water levels meaning some traditional methods are less effective. One tactic that can bring success is nymphing with bright, heavy beaded nymphs that get down to the trout in strong flows and that remain detectable in poor visibility. High water can make for good worm or spinning conditions, as shown by Emmet Daly from Dublin who caught and released a big brown trout while fishing near Lough Leane in Killarney. If your local river is a complete washout, you can always turn to one of the stocked rainbow fisheries to get your fishing fix, like Dan O’Neill did this week at Southern County Fishing Resort, landing a number of fish in the 2 lbs – 5 lbs size range.

We have little to report from the coarse and pike angling scene this week other than some super perch from a midlands river caught in the most traditional of styles – with a trotted, freelined worm, on a single hook, with only a small split shot added as required.

Perch – when big, they are like the biggest fish of all!

Once again, the cream of the fishing this week comes from the North Atlantic where Ireland’s bluefin boats hit some truly sensational form chasing these speedsters of the oceans. Up to twenty hits in a day were recorded as the tuna smashed the trailing lures at high speed. Good numbers of fish between 300 lbs and 600 lbs were caught in the last seven days, with many happy anglers fulfilling their lifelong dreams. Ireland’s CatchTagRelease bluefin fishery is on a par, if not better, than anywhere else on the planet; the difference being that all of our fish are caught, tagged and released to provide more invaluable data for the Tuna CHART tagging programme.

Tagged and ready to go, this is what it’s all about

Plenty of smaller, but no less significant, sea species were also caught by our saltwater anglers this week. Charters out of Sligo have done really well and Killybegs Mariners recorded an impressive 21 different species on their recent offshore trip, including the mighty megrim, big blonde rays, spotted rays, turbot, thornbacks, all types of gurnards, wrasse, pollack, launce and scad. The very next day the Mariners crew went rock hopping and caught some cracking pollack along with red gurnards, tompot blennies, conger, dogs, pouting, poor cod and coleys. Nothing like it.

A rockhopper pollack

Our final report this week comes from bass and predator expert Marcin Kantor who has some sound advice for anglers looking to hook up with a big bass over mixed ground; don’t charge into the water with your waders on, fish in close, fish all the nooks and crannies and take your time. Marcin caught our Catch of the Week this week with his super 9.9lb C&R bass caught – you’ve guessed it – close in, fishing the nooks and crannies! Marcin has some great advice up on his latest video, well worth checking out.

Our Catch of the Week, Marcin’s 9.9lbs bass ready for release #cprsavesfish

And now the weather….

Friday will be a cool, breezy and showery day, brightening up from the west later in the day; highs 14°C to 17°C in gusty northerly winds, strong at coasts. Lows of 7°C to 10°C overnight with winds moderating.

Mainly dry Saturday with isolated showers, cool for the time of year with moderate northerly winds and highs of just 13°C to 16°C. Dry and clear on Saturday night with lows of 5°C to 9°C in light breezes. Cool and dry with just the odd light shower possible on Sunday; highs of just 14°C to 16°C. light winds. Dry with variable cloud amounts and clear spells on Sunday night. Cloud will thicken overnight, however, as breezes becoming southerly. Lows of 7°C to 11°C.

Dry in most areas to begin on Monday with patchy rain and drizzle becoming fairly widespread in the evening. Still rather cool with highest temperatures of just 14°C to 16°C in light to moderate south to southeast breezes. Outbreaks of rain Tuesday with some heavy bursts possible across the west and north, gradually brightening up with sunny spells developing, milder than previous days with highs of 15°C to 18°C.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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