Luke Drea got his 2021 angling season off to a great start this May with a weekend that would be a match for many anglers’ season…

Mask trout, Slaney Salmon, Wicklow Trout…

Have had a welcome return to my fishing addiction since lockdown eased and the timing was a bit better than the end of last years lockdown, leaving May still on the menu.

I made the most of my first week back at it hitting Lough mask on the 14th of May. Low temperatures, sporadic mayfly and no wind made it pretty tricky. I saw very few rises except for the odd “oncer” here and there. Just before I threw in the towel at around 3pm a big squall came in from the south bringing a nice wave and a heavy shower.

Lough Mask Trout

Only lasting 25/30 minutes it was still long enough to meet and land two fish among the rocks along Trean shore. Both trout were taken pulling wets on a good old fashioned Invicta, the first  was just under a pound and the other just over a pound.

Heading eastwards towards home, early on Saturday the 15th, traversing heavy thunder showers as I went, I couldn’t help but wonder where a silver springer might be moving.

After checking I made a quick trip to the Slaney around Ardattin on Sunday afternoon. With the rain still falling I found a lightly coloured river that was clearing by the minute.

Salmon about to be released #CPRsavesfish
Slaney Salmon about to be released

Within 30 minutes of starting to fish I hooked a slightly coloured springer in around 15lbs on monkey tube. After a 5 minute scrap it rubbed the line off a boulder and casually swam on its way. Plodding back along the river bank, damp and deflated I noticed a familiar splash form out of the corner of my eye. Two casts later I was into a tide fresh fish of about 10lbs which I managed to get to the net for a quick snap before it continued its journey up river.

Wiclow trout

As is always the case “the tug is the drug” and I was now more in need of my fix than ever. So on the Monday I made a trip to a very secret spot in the Wicklow mountains where I landed a lovely brown trout around 4-5lbs on a size 16 black and silver spider.

If my first three outings of the fishing season were as fruitful every year I would have no complaints.

And so say all of us!