This week saw a welcome respite from the seemingly never-ending rain of the past few weeks. The sun even made an appearance in some places! The deluge over the past few weeks has affected fishing everywhere, with many rivers and lakes inacessible due to flooding, and even inshore sea angling affected by the influx of fresh water. Reports are hard to come by, and it seems many anglers have bunkered down and not ventured out.

Pike angling has been hampered by high water levels, but some anglers are finding good sport where they can get fishing. When rivers are flooded, canals are often a good fallback option, as Artur below knows too well!

Canal pike

Another angler landing big pike (and a PB) was William Hadley, fishing with guide Bodo Funke from Angling Services Ireland. William landed a 105cm pike on his visit, a great fish considering he is new to pike fishing.

William with his new PB pike measuring 105cm

An incredible 140 anglers turned up for the annual Pat Driscoll Cup, held on Poulaphouca Reservoir by Newbridge & District Anglers last weekend. Fishing was tough but a fine 17lb+ fish was enough for Darren Doyle to take the honours. Elsewhere, regular contributor Mick Flanagan took a break from the shooting season to land some lovely pike to 22lbs, which merits this week’s Catch of the Week.

Incredibly, the new salmon season is only 30 days away now, with several rivers opening on the 1st of January, including the Drowes Fishery. Salmon licences are already on sale, with prices remaining the same as 2022. This week’s Ireland On The Fly podcast looks at the 2022 salmon season, and how IFI assesses salmon stocks for managing catches and quotas.

Drowes river
The Drowes often produces Ireland’s first salmon of the year.

Trout anglers have a bit longer to wait for the new trout season, and many are busy tying flies to refill the box for the year ahead. This week Jackie Mahon shares two of his favourite patterns for the duckfly hatch – the Palomino Midge and the Grey Duster.

Grey Duster
Grey Duster

Coarse anglers are also finding high water affecting sport, with anglers at the Erne Anglers winter league describing fishing as tricky to say the least. Some reasonable catches were made in the conditions, with 7.5kg enough to take the win. Skimmer bream were scarce where they had been caught recently on Garadice, leaving anglers to scratch for other small fish, and Francis McGoldrick taking the win with 2.3kg.


Sea temperatures are cooling fast now, and winter species are appearing more in catches. Johnny Byrne has been catching some very nice codling off the shore in Donegal.

At the other end of the country, West Cork & District SAC found reasonable fishing on Redbarn beach for the penultimate round of their club league. Codling, Bass, Dogfish and Strap Conger were the mainstays with an odd Whiting, Pouting and Rockling also making an appearance. With some high calibre international anglers among the members, it is understandably all to play for coming to the final leg.


A busy scene on the beach in Tunisia

Christmas is coming

Many anglers are looking forward to Christmas, and possibly a fishing-related present or two as well! If you’re looking for a present for the angler in your life, or just treating yourself, why not buy next year’s salmon licence and start planning some fishing trips for 2023. To buy your 2023 Salmon and Sea Trout Licence now, visit our online Salmon licence shop.

In Other News….

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a funding call of up to €1 million, to support vital conservation projects around the country through the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund. From now until December 16th, eligible angling clubs, fishery owners and other stakeholders are invited to express their interest in applying for funding to support fisheries conservation through Inland Fisheries Ireland’s ‘Habitats and Conservation’ scheme. For more details check out the Funding Call Guide here.

Public consultation is now open on the draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2022. These measures provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1st January 2023. If you would like to make a submission, you can email  [email protected].

Inland Fisheries Ireland is working on a new Customer Charter and Action Plan for 2023 to 2025. Customer Charters are short statements, describing the level of service that you can expect from a State agency. We are now conducting a quality assurance review of our existing customer charter and we would welcome your feedback and suggestions – for more info, check out our corporate website.

And now the weather

Turning cooler, with an easterly airflow, bringing some showers, but at least it’s a break from incessant Atlantic depressions!

Today (Friday) is mostly dry, even some hazy sunny spells, and temperatures of 8-11C in a light E/SE breeze. Saturday will be mostly dry, with bright spells in the morning, becoming cloudier later with some drizzle or light showers. Cold with highest temperatures of 6 to 9 degrees in a light easterly breeze.

Sunday will be a cold, breezy day with sunny spells and scattered showers spreading westwards, most frequent over the eastern half of the country. Highest temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees with moderate E/NE breezes.

The outlook is for continuing cool, showery weather in an easterly airflow, becoming colder from Wednesday onwards with a northerly airflow developing and with showers possibly turning more wintry at times. Wrap up warm if you’re going fishing!

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

IFI Staff
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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