While we had a bit of showery rain over the weekend, amounts were generally small. Here in the west some of the spate rivers got water, and we await reports from there. My local river only came up a few inches and is back down to summer level again – oh well! Conditions have been overcast for the most part, and breezy enough too – enough to keep small boats in port for most of the week.

The rain gave a lift to small spate systems in most places, and Costello and Fermoyle benefited from the first bit of water after a long dry spell, with good catches of salmon and sea trout as fish entered the system in numbers. Rain at the start of last week brought a good rise in the Moy, where 577 salmon were caught. The Inny River and Lough Currane also saw good sport at times, while we had a lovely report from Dan O’Neill at Mount Juliet of a father showing his two enthralled sons what salmon fishing is all about.

Brothers David and Rares look quite proud of Dad Marcel’s sparkling fresh grilse.
Catch Photo Release

The Thomastown Fly Fishing Competition is one of the most hotly contested, and prestigious events on the river trout competition scene. The Tungsten Warriors team of Ciaran Reilly and Sean Dempsey were the overall winners of the two day competition, with a great total of 49 trout. Elsewhere it was a red-letter day for Robbie Thomson, who landed his personal best trout from Lough Corrib, a lovely fish of 5lbs 6.5oz. And trout fishing picked up on Loughs Conn and Cullin, with good wetfly fishing reported.

Robbie Thomson with his PB trout of 5lbs 6.5oz

The coarse fishing festival scene swings into action again over the next few weeks, and the Leinster League anglers warmed up with a match at Garadice, the winning bag of 14lbs 12oz caught by Sean Ward. Superb bream fishing was reported from Carafin Lodge on Lough Oughter, where Jim Baker had some great bags of fish for his week, with many in the 7-9lbs range.

Pike angling is also warming up again, as water temperatures cool after the recent heatwave, and pike start to feed again. Good fishing was reported from Lough Derg, and we’re sure we’ll see more pike reports over the next few weeks as anglers start to target them again.

Shark anglers have noticed a resurgence of porbeagle shark this year, often outnumbering blue shark in many areas, and it is great to see these vulnerable fish making a comeback. Anglers in Clare had good fishing for ‘porgies’ or ‘beagles’ even though they were targeting the much larger sixgill shark, which failed to show. The bluefin tuna numbers continue to build, partifularly in Donegal Bay, where the Kiwi Girl out of Mullaghmore had a spectacular weekend, bringing 10 of these speed merchants to the boat for tagging.

The smile says it all!

Catch of the Week

This week, however, we leave the best ’til last, and it is a fabulous sea trout caught by shore angler Johnny Byrne from Killybegs while lure fishing for bass. A beautiful fish of 70cm, estimated at 7-8lbs, which was sportingly released again and makes our Catch of the Week.

Other News

Yesterday was World Photography Day. To celebrate, we shared some photos our staff have taken on their travels around Ireland. One of the perks of working with IFI is seeing some beautiful places, and we’re sure you’ll agree some of these are stunning. Check them out here.

Today is the closing date to make a submission to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications on the draft Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-Law. The deadline is 5.30pm today (Friday) so there’s still time to make a submission. Find out how here.
This week is Heritage Week, and Sunday is Water Heritage Day. Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to see some content we are sharing to mark the day.

Minister Eamon Ryan announced funding for 17 projects in 11 counties under the ‘Habitats and Conservation Scheme 2021 this week. The funding, administered by IFI, will seeconservation projects in Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow benefit to the tune of €770,000.

Finally, Inland Fisheries Ireland has teamed up with Leave No Trace Ireland to launch a new checklist, highlighting the ten things that every angler should consider when planning a fishing trip. The new checklist includes advice for both novice and advanced anglers and you can find out all about it here.

Angling Checklist
Angling Checklist

And now the weather

As I write, a yellow weather warning is in place for some western counties for heavy rainfall today. Rain becoming widespread, with some heavy and possibly thundery falls in places, leading to localised flooding. An Irish summer, eh! There is also a Small Craft Warning in place from Malin Head to Howth Head to Valentia.

More heavy showers tomorrow, but the weather is set to brighten up as the weekend goes on, with the early days of next week looking much better. Becoming mostly dry and feeling warmer with light winds as high pressure builds near Ireland. That drop of rain will give rivers a lift, and the better weather will provide good fishing conditions for nearly everyone. It could be a god week in store! If you’re heading to sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

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

Kevin Crowley
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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