Ryan O’Hagan enjoyed a great week’s fishing with friends Mark Chidgey, Kieron and Noel Clancy in Ballyhooley Castle. There were a lot of fish showing all week. River conditions were perfect, levels were around 1.34 and it was generally dull and overcast with light winds.

The highlight for Ryan was managing to land, with the help of Mark, a 23-25lb salmon on Beat 2 (Scarriff). Ryan was fishing a size 16 silver stoat with a fast sinking tip. As soon as the line tightened he knew he was into a big fish and shouted shouted at Mark to help!

25lb salmon from Ballyhooley Castle fishery on the Munster Blackwater
25lb salmon from Ballyhooley Castle fishery on the Munster Blackwater

After a fight of around 15 minutes with a lot of head shaking and deep long runs the pair worked the huge hen fish into shallow water. There they gently removed the hook and held her in the water till she had recovered, taking photographs to mark the occasion.   Once she was strong enough Ryan let her go again and with a big shake of her tail she swam back into the run, held there for 2 minutes and she was gone!

It was an incredible salmon and Ryan tells us he felt genuinely privileged to have caught such a fish of a lifetime and gave his  thanks to all at Ballyhooley Castle.

River round up

Eileen Carroll in the Macroom office tells us that conditions remain good on the Munster Blackwater for salmon and trout fishing. Salmon numbers are high throughout the catchment but are being elusive in some stretches and anglers are diversifying to try and outwit them but all in all good reports. Below Lismore fish are taking again and in all the fishing is reported as remaining good.