Slightly milder weather coupled with inter-county travel being permitted brought more anglers out on the water this week. The dry start, however, gave way to heavy rain and strong north to northwest winds from Wednesday night impacting negatively on angling in general.

On the trout lakes this was reflected in a somewhat slower mayfly action than normal for this time of year. Reports from Lough Corrib are of patchy hatches, and patchy fishing. With still a nip in the air, fly life was also slow to take off on Loughs Conn and Cullin. However, some anglers still enjoyed good fishing, mostly in sheltered bays around the lakes.

A beautiful 5lbs. trout caught by Michael Monaghan in Castlehill Bay, Lough Conn before release

Anglers on Lough Arrow, however, experienced excellent spent gnat fishing during the week with many nice trout in the 3 to 5 lbs. range landed.

Gerry Martin with a fine 4.75 lbs. trout caught on spent gnat on Arrow

In river fishing we have reports from the Nore and the Robe. While Dan O’Neill reported excellent fishing from the Nore mainly on nymphs, Ken Whelan enjoyed good dry fly action on the Robe. To break up his journey home, Ken fished Lough Acalla, near Ballinasloe, for a few hours in torrential rain on Saturday evening and landed a superb brown trout of 70cm length and an estimated weight of 8 to 9 lbs.

big trout trout
Ken Whelan’s 8lbs. plus Lough Acalla trout

This unusual fish for Lough Acalla which is typically famed for its exceptional overwintered rainbows makes our Catch of the Week!

Salmon fishing picked up further at the Galway Weir and on the River Moy where the first fish of the season were caught on the famous Ridge Pool.

A nice spring fish for Eamon Power on the Galway Weir
Garrett Ruigrok caught & released this fine springer on the Ridge Pool

Fortunes also improved on the Blackwater last week, especially in the upper reaches of the system with some lovely large fresh salmon caught and released above Mallow.

salmon CPRsavesfish
Yamil Turcuman with a lovely spring fish caught and released last Friday on the Blackwater Trout and Salmon Fishery.

Further south on the Ilen, anglers also experienced good fishing during the week landing salmon up to 15 lbs. weight.

In the far northwest, Carrowmore Lake once again proved its reputation as one of Ireland’s best salmon lough fisheries, while a few salmon and a sea trout were reported from Lough Currane in County Kerry.

Salmon anglers on the River Lee should note that due to Covid restrictions, brown tags for the remainder of the 2021 season will continue to be allocated via lottery. Any angler requesting a brown tag must be in possession of a valid 2021 Salmon Licence and must apply by email only to: corkleebrowntag2021@fisheriesireland.ie before midnight today Friday, 21st May 2021. Further details are availabe here.

Pike reports were rather scarce this week. However, A.M Pike Guiding reported great fishing from the Longford area for their clients during the week with plenty pike to the boat. We also received a report from Paul Sylvester who had a nice pike on Lough Derg, while Leinster Pike Fishing Club held their first competition after the lockdown.

Nice pike from from Lough Derg

It is great to see that coarse angling clubs and federations prepare for the return to competition angling. Nice bags were reported from Lough Muckno where a health and safety audit took place during the week to test the efficacy of protocols with regard to COVID guidelines. Good numbers of hybrids, roach and some bream were caught on Garadice Lough, while Fish Tracker Fishing Guides enjoyed great tench fishing in Ballinamore.

Quality tench from Ballinamore

Sea angling is also picking up further as water temperatures are on the increase. There was good boat fishing reported from Donegal Bay and off the Clare coast.

Big pollack & happy anglers on board Luke Aston’s ” Clare Dragoon”

Bass anglers were out and about too over the past week and achieved some good results.

Chunky Wexford bass

A  night session over high tide produced a number of good bass for Cormack Walsh in Wexford, while Vincent Corrigan from Wild Atlantic Lure Fishing enjoyed some great fishing for bass and pollack in Galway Bay.

A nice spiky-finned school bass for Vincent Corrigan

And now the weather…

The heavy rain and strong north to northwest winds will give way to drier and somewhat calmer conditions this evening and during the night. The weekend will see a dry and sunny start for much of the country with scattered showers mainly affecting the west and northwest later on Saturday evening. Showers will extend elsewhere throughout Sunday, interspersed with some sunny spells.It will remain relatively cool with highest temperatures of just 9 to 13 degrees in mostly moderate westerly breezes. The outlook is for a cool and unsettled start of  next week, but with tentative signs of settled weather from midweek.

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

Markus Müller
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to reports@fisheriesireland.ie.

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