The Indian summer is a distant memory and we are back to Orange and Yellow rainfall weather warnings for the southern half of the country up until 6pm on Friday, with small boat warnings for the whole weekend. Southern rivers can expect water gauges to rise to levels not seen since the middle of August and temperatures to drop a degree or two – maybe even bringing on some better fishing for our inland fisheries once the floods subside.

We start with our pike anglers this week, and pikers from the midlands and further afield had their biggest event of the year with the Lough Ree King of the Lake competition. Over 80 boats took to the water there in search of the lough’s big, green fish-guzzlers. Also after pike was well known sea fishing guide, David Norman, who travelled north to hook up with Pike on the Fly Guide and test their skills catching northern pike – on the fly. Lough Derg has also produced the goods for anglers targeting predatory fish, but this time both trout and pike were the species in the crosshairs of trolled lures (and trolled lures were in the crosshairs of one highly predatory, but tiny, trout).

David Norman with a fine pike on the fly

Last week, the Belturbet September Festival fished through all seasons of weather until it came to lines in on Friday. There some good weights from the chosen venues and the early runaway leader became a runaway winner. The fine weekend weather that followed had Edenderry Coarse Anglers donning the hats and sun cream for their final club match of the year, where good canal tench helped to tip the scales further. On Oaklands lake in Wexford, teams of four nationalities battled it out for international honours in a friendly match there; Team Ireland prevailed for the fifth year running. In Monaghan, the Feedermasters’ Final 2023 was held on Lough Muckno, where the top four places were sewn up by the CM Lakelands club members – they seem to know a thing or two about fishing on this great lake. If you want to get involved in a match before September is out, the Belmont Fishing Club are looking for anglers to sign up for the Belmont Open, due to take place on September 24th.

Canal tench and bream from Edenderry

Trout anglers on Lough O’Flynn fished the Maloney/Keady Cup last weekend; fishing was downright tough in the bright sun, but perseverance paid off and good fish were caught. On loughs Conn and Cullin, the fishing was pretty good for the anglers who ventured out, but there were few enough of those. Ceri Jones visited Lough Arrow towards the end of August where he shared a boat with local club secretary Colin Dodd, landing a couple each but rising many more.

Lough Arrow
Ashore on Arrow

On the rivers, fishing was just as tricky for the North Kildare Trout and Salmon Anglers, but in between thunder showers and sunny spells they managed to fish their delayed August competition to a finish. On the River Nore, spiders and sedges tempted late season trout and the odd grilse at Mount Juliet, leaving visiting anglers with very fond memories, while Piscari-Fly have issued their latest newsletter, offering sound advice on fishing the Nore catchment.

nore trout
Nore trout

Following on from International Women’s Fly Fishing Day, which was held last weekend, there is an exciting opportunity for women interested in learning about fly fishing to attend an open day, hosted by the Irish Ladies Fly Fishing Association, which will be happening at Laois Angling Centre on Saturday 23rd September. No experience is necessary, but booking is essential.

Pauline McClenaghan, Lead Instructor for the women’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Day
Pauline McClenaghan, Lead Instructor for the women’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Day

On the salmon fishing front, things were quiet again in Waterville last week as the temperatures increased and the winds fell away. On the Moy, a steady trickle of fish were caught throughout the week, despite low water; the best of the salmon fishing was in the Foxford area. All the way downstream to the tide, the Moy Estuary fished very well for sea trout to a variety of methods. We have reports of salmon waiting to run from estuaries and lower reaches of rivers, like on the Owenmore in Kerry, and the rain and drop in temperatures from the last couple of days might just be enough to get them going and give salmon anglers one last chance to land a fish before the season is out.

Salmon released into water

On the subject of rain and late season fishing, salmon anglers in looking for somewhere to fish in Donegal can buy permits online for the Clady, Crolly, Eany, River Eske and Lough Eske, Gweebarra, Owenea, Owencarrow and the dramatic fishery at Lough Beagh. Those thinking about the Moy can get permits for Ballyvary and Cloongee. In Galway, angling is available on the Clare River at the Claregalway Castle Fishery. Lastly, in Kerry there is fishing available on the Laune and Kerry Blackwater.

One for

Out of the estuaries and into the oceans where our sea anglers have been enjoying great action around our coasts. Bluefin tuna are still ticking over in Donegal Bay, although mixed weather has hampered angling effort there.  In Cork, blue shark and porbeagle have been plentiful for the Courtmac and West Cork charter boats. Off the east coast, Wicklow has been fishing really well for smoothies and tope, with some good fish up to specimen size. In Clare, the Limerick County Pike Anglers were all at sea as they tackled fish of all shapes and sizes and both the Clare Dragoon and the Lady Gwen have had decent numbers of mackerel, nice cod and plentiful pollock. On the other side of the bay, the Brazen Hussy II has been in amongst the tope and reef fish leaving crews happy with their catches.

From our shores, the Menapia SAC in the south east had a smoothie bonanza as anglers fishing their club event landed 65 smooth hounds over the course of an evening’s fishing – winning our Catch of the Week in the process – while also in Wexford, Cormac Walsh has been eking out the bass in slack tides. From the Donegal shore, the Killybegs Mariners SAC had a great turnout as 29 club members fished their first league outing – they report that Donegal Bay is alive with fish (and whales) at the moment – including the odd rod caught trigger fish!

Menapia SAC taking the rough with the smooth – our Catch of the Week

For interested shore anglers, the All Ireland Open Shore (Jimmy Smith) competition is being hosted by Ulster this year, along with the Ladies and Junior All Ireland competitions. Fishing is on Benone Strand, Co. Derry on Saturday, 30th September, with teams of 4.

Listen in…

For those of us blown or rained off the water this weekend, there are a number of podcasts to check out. The Ireland On the Fly team have a triple header, firstly focusing on September river trout fishing with tips from Keith McDonnell, followed by two episodes with updates from the Ireland team from day one and day two at the World Fly Fishing Championships in Slovakia; the guys will keep the daily updates coming for the duration of the event, so be sure to listen in.

For bass anglers, the Lure Fishing Podcast has a feature length episode where host Cormac chats candidly with Henry Gilbey about his recent health scare and all things bass – the Angling Ireland Team wish Henry all the best on his path to recovery.

The Lure Fishing Podcast with Cormac Walsh

Other News…

Salmon Angling Logbook Returns

Inland Fisheries Ireland is encouraging salmon and sea trout anglers to return angling logbooks (setting out their fishing and catch record) and any unused gill tags from 2023 if they have ceased fishing for this year or once the season has closed. These returns provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks into the future.

And now the weather…

Throughout Friday, rain will persist through much of the east, midlands and south causing localised flooding, holding drier in the far west and northwest. Rain will ease overnight. Highs 12°C – 15°C with light to moderate northeast breezes, lows 7°C – 10°C.

Saturday will be drier with some sunshine in the northwest, duller in the east and southeast with lingering rain. Highs of 15°C – 17°C, with freshening northeasterly breezes. Cloudier overnight, with more persistent rain arriving in the south by morning. Lows of 8°C – 12°C with light to moderate northeasterly breezes.

Sunday will see widespread rain, most persistent over the eastern half of the country. Highs of 15°C – 17°C in light to moderate easterly breezes.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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