As is often the case in ‘summer’ in Ireland, this week it has been cool and breezy on one side of the country, yet warm and mild on the other. There is much debate about when the summer actually starts here; Gaelic summer traditionally starts on May 1st and meteorological summer begins on June 1st. If you still feel like the summer hasn’t come yet in whichever corner of the country you live in, don’t worry, summer in the northern hemisphere officially began on June 21st with the solstice, so there’s still time. Thankfully the weather Gods were already aware of this and the weather for the week ahead actually looks ‘summery’ all over the country, with dry and sunny weather everywhere.

The first proper rainfall for quite a while fell on the east coast on Thursday to mark this ‘third’ start of summer; not a moment too soon as St John’s Eve, on June 23rd, is traditionally when the grilse run multiplies into our rivers from the north Atlantic. Once they arrive in the north and west in numbers, they arrive everywhere else soon after. The Galway fishery is a good bellwhether for how things are progressing on the grilse front and from June 15th-22nd the number of fish caught was double that of the previous week, with 91 fish landed. Further west, the Costello and Fermoyle fishery has, like a number of other fisheries, seen a steady inflow of both salmon and sea trout since the start of June. In Mayo, the Moy saw over 300 fish caught, compared with 180 the previous week, with good numbers of sea trout reported in both the Moy estuary and on Carrowmore lake in Bangor Erris.

Keep them wet. The most important thing for successful catch-and-release is to keep the fish in the water

In the south west, the beautiful Owenmore fishery on the Dingle peninsula reported the first salmon of the year and sea trout numbers entering the river are on the rise, but over in Waterville, things are still slow on Currane. The Cork rivers are doing ok though, with good numbers of fish reported from the Ilen and the Blackwater, but with the spring run tapering off on the Bandon, the grilse are yet to arrive there.

This is the time of year that our trout anglers tend to ease off on the loughs, the mayfly hatch has all but ended and the fish are focusing on the big shoals of jelly babies (AKA perch fry) that dominate their menus. On Lough Conn there were still some small hatches of mayfly this week to tempt the trout up to the surface and dry fly fishing with mayfly and olive patterns caught some decent fish there.

Lough Conn at Pontoon

The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) report that competition coarse angling is starting to kick off as more matches are being held around the country. The ERNE Anglers Festival saw 46 anglers fish the Roslea Lake cluster in County Fermanagh. The event was won by Jack Tisdall, 17.110kg with joint runners up Philip Jackson and Simon Huthwaite 11.090kg. CM Lakelands Feeder Club headed to Lough Garadice in Country Leitrim for their two day event won by Cavan angler Richard Pratt with 7.740kg and runner-up Seamus Winters, 6.560kg. On the canals, the Edenderry Coarse Anglers caught some lovely tench during their recent training sessions and both the Belmont Anglers and the Enfield CAC successfully held competitions for their anglers.

It’s been fairly quiet on the pike fishing front, but the Leinster Pike Anglers did get out on the riverbank for their club competition; Mark Kiernan’s persistence paid off with 20 fish landed to win that one.

To the tide and we are finally starting to see some good bass fishing around the coast after a very slow start to the year. Conor Fitzmaurice of Galway had a trip to remember in Cork with uncle David Norman of West Cork Bass; Conor wins our Catch of the Week for any one of the fish he landed during his trip – great going Conor!

Conor Fitzmaurice wins our Catch of the Week

The Killybegs Mariners also caught their share of bass from the Donegal surf this week while, further offshore in Killybegs, the Fiona Tee had good fishing for cod, ling and big pollock. Fuego also got in amongst the big cod while fishing out of Caherciveen and up the coast in Clare, the Clare Dragoon and Lady Gwen caught some specimen huss and some good cod, ling and pollock. Not to be outdone by fellow skippers in the north and west, Kit Dunne and crew got stuck into some excellent tope and smoothies aboard Wicklow Boat Charters!

Beaming like a Cheshire Kit

In other news…

Orlaith Timmons from Tipperary and Aoibhé Kieran from Carlow have scooped the top prizes in this year’s ‘Something Fishing’ national poetry competition, which is organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with the Blackrock Education Centre, congratulations to them!

The World Recreational Fishing Conference takes place next Wednesday 28th and Friday 30th of June. This free event will be held online and will be of interest to angling clubs and federations, professional guides and angling service providers and, of course, any angler with an interest in the issues affecting recreational fishing in the 21st century.

And now the weather…

Scattered showers in the east and south early tonight but dry elsewhere, lows of 6°C to 10 °C. Saturday will be mainly dry with a mix of cloud and sunshine, some isolated afternoon showers in the east and south. Highs of 14°C to 18°C, northeasterly breezes. Dry overnight, lows of 7°C to 10°C, northerly breezes.

Largely dry on Sunday with cloud building up during the morning mixed with some sunshine, showers will likely develop later. Highs of 16°C to 21°C, cooler in the north with northerly breezes. Mainly dry overnight. Lows of 7°C to 11°C, northerly breezes.

Good sunny spells on Monday, some heavy showers in the southeast during the day. Highest temperatures of 17°C to 22 °C. A dry and sunny Tuesday, highest temperatures of 20°C to 24°C.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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