Happy New Year to you all and let’s hope that 2021 brings better fortune than 2020, a year which most of us would prefer to forget but will likely live long in our memories… The beginning of the new year has been a cold one, both in terms of weather and the general mood of the country, as we face into the reality of the third wave of Covid-19. Indeed, it seems the daily decline in temperatures since the start of the year has been in eerie sync with the rise in numbers of positive cases and we can only hope that the latest Level 5 restrictions start to impact those numbers in the coming days.

With the above in mind, it should be no surprise that this will be a short update, as angling has been curtailed by the current restrictions. We are echoing the government advice and urging everyone to stay at home for the foreseeable future and to only venture outside for essential purposes. IFI have published Guidance for Anglers during the current Level 5 restrictions with information and links to the relevant government websites regarding essential working, travel restrictions etc.

After what was, by many accounts, a bumper year for salmon on many of our fisheries in 2020, last week brought the opening of a new salmon season with the welcome news that 83 rivers will be open to fishing in 2021. The list of Open/Closed/C&R rivers is always hotly anticipated, and in some good news, we can be encouraged by reports in from fisheries staff around the country that salmon spawning activity has been frenetic over the Christmas period. With a bit of luck, 2020’s bumper run will have a knock-on effect over the coming years and let’s hope we see a continued improvement in 2021. Anglers looking to buy a licence for 2021 can do so here.

Over the recent lockdowns, we have been lucky enough to have a number of anglers sharing their knowledge with us via social media. It seems most of them took a well-deserved break over Christmas but we are happy to see that things are starting to move on that front again and this Saturday sees the resumption of Peter Driver’s live fly tying sessions. This week he is focusing on the Wet Fly and anybody who has an interest in fly fishing or fly tying will be sure to learn something if they tune in.

Unfortunately, that’s about it for this week’s update and with little prospect of angling news in the foreseeable, there might be a few more fallow weeks to follow. However, we’ll do our best to find some interesting bits and pieces to post here to keep you ticking over until you can get out on the banks again. So, the priority for us all in the coming weeks is to stay indoors as much as possible and stay safe.

And now the weather…

It will remain mostly dry today with winter sunshine giving way to the odd shower but it will remain cold with frost barely lifting and setting in quickly again during the evening. It will be extremely cold overnight with temperatures dropping as low as -7 in some places.

The weekend will bring similar cold but bright days, remaining mostly dry with the odd wintry shower. Temperatures will slowly rise as the weekend progresses and more persistent rain will arrive on Monday with some quite heavy rain expected in some places on Tuesday with the possibility of spot flooding in places.

Shane O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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