After a prolonged dry spell, the past seven days have been much wetter than average across the country, with stations recording between 160% and 480% of their typical weekly accumulations for the time of year. The wettest parts of the country were the south and east, while the west stayed relatively dry in comparison. Such was the extent of the August dry spell, rivers in parts of the country that saw a large amount of rain this week are only returning to what might be considered ‘normal’ levels for the time of year.

One river that saw a slight rise in water levels was the Moy, where water levels recorded at Ballylahan Bridge were 0.195m rising slightly to 0.352m after the long awaited rain. Fishery managers along the river agree that this is not enough to flush out the river and say more rain is needed to “freshen” up the system. Only sixteen grilse and one sea trout were reported caught on the Moy fisheries during the week. In the south west, the bit of fresh water was just what anglers in Waterville needed and anglers fishing the Inny, the Commeragh river and the Butler pool all caught grilse. On Currane itself, the sea trout fishing has been ok, with anglers reporting decent numbers of juniors and fish up to a couple of pounds on the drift – as well as the odd grilse. The sea trout fishing improved on the Costello and Fermoyle fisheries with the drop of rain, and a further improvement is expected with more rainfall.

Low water everywhere

The low water made for difficult trout fishing conditions on the rivers, but the Maigue was described as ‘refreshed and with more pace’ following the fresh influx and the trout were more obliging for visiting anglers fishing an upstream dry fly. On the topic of fly fishing, this Saturday, September 10th, the third ever International Women’s Fly Fishing Day will be celebrated.

It’s planned that at 11am, in every time-zone across the world, female fly-anglers will post photos or videos of themselves to FaceBook or to Instagram to share their enjoyment of fly fishing. Also following a fly fishing theme – though the purists might disagree – the Ireland on the Fly podcast this week looks at the art of Tenkara in Ireland.

On the predator front, some good sized trout and pike were caught in the southern end of Lough Ree last Sunday, where the Lough Ree Predator Challenge was contested by thirty two boats; launching from the northern end, the 2022 Lough Ree Pike Classic will take place this weekend, as anglers battle it out over two days to become the pike kings (or queens) on the lake of kings; more on that next week. Elsewhere in the midlands, Mick ‘the fish’ has been on the pike hunt on Derravaragh and in east Clare, the drop in water temperatures saw a rise in pike activity for guests of Angler’s Paradise.

September is the hot month for coarse angling festivals in Ireland and there are a number taking place over the next few weeks. The King’s Classic was won by Willem van der Helm in Leitrim last week, while the last three finalists for the Ireland’s Feeder King event rose to the top of the qualifier held on Lough Sillan; the twenty four finalists will battle it out in a couple of weeks’ time for the honour of being crowned Ireland’s Feeder King. The Belturbet Festival will draw to a close today, Friday 9th, but it opened with a whopping 58kg haul in the open match on Sunday last while, not too far away, twenty five anglers fished the River Erne 100 event in Enniskillen.

Willem van der Helm shows a roach from Eonish

Offshore, the charter skippers and bluefin tuna boats are still doing well when the wind allows. There was plenty of action in Donegal bay with tuna to an estimated 600lbs, though no reports yet from the south coast where they usually arrive later in the season. Boats fishing out of both the Clare and Galway sides of Galway Bay have had some fine catches of mixed species – along with some great tope fishing, plenty of good sized blue shark and some lovely pollock.

Thomas Moran was the overall winner of the 56th annual Newport SAC Festival and was presented with the Tom Moran Memorial Cup by members of the Moran family, (Bella, Sorcha and Cian)

We got a slightly late report from Mayo, where Thomas Moran beat all comers to take the title at the Newport SAC annual boat fishing competition, while in Cork, Jim Clohessy timed his boat trip to meet a narrow window of calm and was rewarded with bass in close and pollock further out. From the shore on the Old Head of Kinsale at Garrylucas Beach it was the young heads of West Cork SAC juniors who put the seniors firmly in their place with some great fishing at their first evening match after the summer break.

Public Consultation

Great Western Lakes Management Plan

IFI recently launched the Draft Great Western Lakes Management Plan. Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullin, Arrow and Sheelin are some of the best wild brown trout fisheries in Europe and are collectively known as the Great Western Lakes. Inland Fisheries Ireland wishes to develop a long term management plan for these lakes to address many of the factors currently impacting on the ecological wellbeing of native fish stocks in their catchments.

For more information, including the draft plan, a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, “open evenings” and how to participate in the public consultation and have your voice heard, check out the web page here:  Western Lakes Plan

The final open evening will take place on Tuesday 13th September: Crover House Hotel, Mount Nugent, Co Cavan A82 P2D9

No tickets or registration is required and all open evenings are operating on a ‘drop-in’ basis from 4pm to 8pm.

And now the weather…

Brightening up this evening with some sunny spells. Highs of 18°C to 21°C degrees in light NW breezes. Mainly dry overnight with clear spells, lows of 9°C to 12°C.

Saturday looks set to be a mostly dry day with a mix of cloud and sunshine. The best in the east with a few well-scattered showers elsewhere. Warm with highs of 18°C to 22°C

Outbreaks of overnight rain will extend nationwide on Sunday, turning heavy and persistent with the possibility of localised flooding. Highs of 17°C to 20°C.

Rain will gradually ease and clear on Monday with dry and bright periods developing. Highs of 17°C to 22°C, warmest in the south. Mostly dry on Tuesday with sunny spells, highs of 17°C to 22°C.

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.

IFI Staff

Catch, Photo, Release

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