As is often the case in Ireland, over the past seven days there was plenty of rain across the western half of the country (between 20 and 37mm), while in the east, amounts were well below average (4 to 9mm). There was less sunshine than the average too, but it has been slightly milder than usual, with stations recording mean air temperatures up to 1.1°C above normal; there is definitely more of a spring feeling in the air, and that has been reflected with an improvement in some of the fishing reports from around the country.

The low rainfall on the east coast has seen water levels on the Boyne and Kells Blackwater rivers drop to give good conditions for salmon fishing and, while catches have been sporadic at times, there have been periods where the fish have been taking, including a 90 minute spell near Navan where four fish were hooked and lost in quick succession. Fish of 10lbs -17lbs have been reported from the system this week. Further down the east coast, the springer fishing on the Slaney has been consistently good, with a bigger average size of fish reported than the last few years. On the south coast, reports are that the Munster Blackwater has a good spread of fish throughout the system, the lower river fished well before a flood pushed fish through last weekend and, further upstream, some lovely spring fish have been caught on the fly around Mallow.

Slaney silver

In west Cork, conditions were perfect on the Bandon with high clean water, while across in Kerry, the Killarney lakes produced some fish but the small number of anglers on Currane struggled as did those fishing the Laune river. There are reports of some very early running sea trout on the Owenmore system on the Dingle peninsula, hopefully this bodes well for the season ahead. On the north coast, the good tides mixed with the right amount of rain delivered the right conditions for River Finn anglers, with some real bars of silver landed there. In Mayo, things are gathering momentum with over 30 fish reported throughout the Moy catchment this week and some excellent springer fishing on Carrowmore in Bangor Erris.

A Finn bar of silver goes back
The smolt run

We would like to remind all anglers that salmon smolts are running our rivers right now, and they will often take a fly meant for larger fish. The smolts are very delicate and don’t respond well to handling, so make sure to take care if they turn up while you are fishing and try and release them with as little handling as possible. View the video here to see how to best release a smolt.

Trout fishing has been up and down again this week. It was a very slow week on Loughs Corrib, Conn & Cullin with olives hatching off but fishing was difficult due to the persistently cold north-westerly and easterly winds scouring the lakes, though the more persistent anglers did manage to get fish on Conn. On Arrow, forty anglers landed 14 trout for the Martin Carr Perpetual Cup. The buzzer fishing hasn’t really kicked off on Sheelin, where there have also been good hatches of olives that the trout have turned their noses up at, or maybe that should be turned their noses down from.

First cast – fish were caught on Sheelin, but not in numbers

If you find yourself bored in a boat while the trout sulk beneath you, why not listen to a podcast until things pick up; Keith McDonnell of Impact Fly Fishing and well known British fly angler Paul Proctor both feature in podcasts this week. If you are a Sheelin angler, you could complete the FLEKSI survey to be in with a chance of winning €200. Or else just go to the River Nore, where budding young angler Anthony caught his very first trout on the fly (and his second, third, fourth and fifth). Anthony shares our Catch of the Week for beginning his fly fishing adventure in style.

Anthony’s first fly caught trout

Pike anglers love this time of the year – this is the Goldilocks period when the water is not too hot and not too cold, the days are getting longer – mixed with dull and bright periods – and the fish are feeding greedily to recover condition after spawning. Many of our overseas angling visitors value pike above all other species and it is wonderful to see so many tourist anglers fishing our lakes and rivers once again. Melview Lodge has welcomed French and Austrian guests of all ages back this week – where 12-year-old Leo caught a thumping 107cm pike to share our Catch of the Week.

Leo’s big pike

Anglers from France were also visiting Lough Derg last week, with guides Paul Bourke, Cedric Charpentier and TJ’s Angling Centre all putting their French visitors on the fish. Up north, Steven Powell of Lure Guides wasn’t fussy about which predators took his lures, both pike and perch targeted for his week’s fishing.

Perch were feeding up and occasionally some nice ones appeared – technique and lure specific were critical

A number of coarse angling festivals took place over the bank holiday weekend, most notably on Inniscarra, Muckno and Portumna. Cathal Hughes took the O’Callaghan’s Festival on Inniscarra with 69kg+, on Muckno Johnny Keith finished the Easter 3 Day festival strongly to claim top spot, while at Portumna a good head of roach made up the bulk of the many 15kgs+ bags landed at the Curleys Spring Festival. On the Grand Canal, the Edenderry Coarse Anglers found the going tough on their Toberdaly stretch, but some really good tench made up for the lack of silver fish in their nets.

Toberdaly tench

Skippers off the north, south and west coasts all reported decent fishing this week. The Killybegs Mariners had a great variety of species off of Donegal, in Galway Bay the Brazen Hussy II caught good pollock and down south, Fuego found conditions difficult but fishing easy, with plentiful pollock, coalies and ling. Back on terra firma, West Cork Fisher, Jeremy Smith, caught some early bass – schoolies and a fine 8lb fish – but also struck lucky with some gilthead bream; he’s got gilthead fever now and he even bought a new fork for digging their favourite feed – lugs.

Jeremy also met one of our survey staff on the shore and signed up to the IMREC online sea angling diary, where Inland Fisheries Ireland is looking for shore, small boat, or charter anglers to collect and submit information on their sea fishing trips and catches around the coastline.

Donegal wrasse

Other News

Surveys & IMREC Sea Angling Diary

As mentioned above, IFI has launched a new survey that will tap into the knowledge of trout anglers in Lough Sheelin and also a sea angling diary to help understand the health of fish stocks in our coastal waters.

Spotted Success

The Sheelin survey features questions for anglers about their trout catch and about different aspects of the fishery now compared with when they started fishing on the lake. Each participant also has the opportunity to enter into a prize draw for angling tackle, with one €200 voucher and two €100 vouchers to be won. If you fish for trout on Lough Sheelin you can find out more here.

The Sea Angling Diary allows you to create an account and easily submit angling sessions on your phone or other device, providing information which will contribute to the evaluation of our marine fish stocks.

The application also creates a handy personal dashboard for your own use and each logged diary session will be updated here. This gives you the user an opportunity to view when, where and what fish you have caught along with any other notes (tides, rigs etc), that you may have submitted. A summary is also provided to give you an insight into how your season is progressing.

Ireland’s Newest Fly Casting Instructor

Well done to Peter Wadding of Wexford who passed both the single handed and double handed casting instruction GAIA exams on April 20th 2022. Not only did Peter manage the unusual double of passing both exams on the same day, but we also think he is one of the youngest casting instructors to be certified in Ireland. Congrats to Peter, we wish him the best as he sets out on his career as a casting instructor.

Irish Spring Angling Fair

Another reminder about the Irish Spring Angling Fair on the 30th of April and 1st of May. The organisers promise that it’s going to be a fantastic weekend for all anglers, and they are looking forward to welcoming you all to the show. With demos, instruction, workshops and more on fly casting, coarse tactics, fly tying sea angling as well as plenty of shopping to be done there really will be something for all anglers –SeaSalmonTroutPike and Coarse.

spring fair

And now the weather

Mostly dry overnight on Friday with clear spells, lows of 3°C to 7°C, in north easterly breezes. The weekend will be mostly dry with good sunny spells and the odd shower. Highs 12°C to 17°C, mildest away from Irish Sea coasts, with brisk easterly or northeasterly winds. Overnight lows of 4°C to 8°C. Early next week will remain mostly dry with highs of 11°C to 15°C in light easterly breezes, lows of 2°C to 6°C overnight; current indications are that it will get a little cooler and unsettled later in the week though.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland. If you’re heading to the coast, don’t forget to check the tides.

Paul O’Reilly
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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Salmon Fishing Reports

Trout Fishing Reports

Coarse Angling Reports

Pike Fishing Reports

Sea Angling Reports

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