Following on from our hottest June on record, we are three weeks into what may well be the wettest July on record. Rainfall amounts have once again been well above normal over the past week, with prolonged spells of rain and frequent heavy showers pushing rainfall accumulations to between two to four times the norm for July nationwide. If you believe in folklore, St. Swithin’s day was last Saturday, July 15th, and yes, it rained.
Going hand in hand with high rainfall are low sunshine amounts and low air temperatures, and both have also been below normal over the past seven days. Thankfully, there are Irish fish species that like high rainfall combined with cool air temperatures and absent sunshine, and the Atlantic salmon is chief amongst them…
In the south west, the salmon have been featuring fairly well in our reports, with enough rainfall to keep rivers topped up or to keep the spates coming to get the fish moving through the systems. In Waterville, when conditions came good, both salmon and sea trout came to fly and lure, with sea trout ranging from juniors to fish up to 4lbs or so. The Laune and Killarney lakes fished well for a period, as did the Owenmore River on the Dingle peninsula, where heavy showers should keep the river in good order for sea trout and grilse. In Cork, the Bandon, the Ilen and the Lee all fished consistently, but the Munster Blackwater was more or less unfishable due to very high water levels – which appear to be dropping, so fingers crossed for the coming week. In Mayo, the Moy produced fish throughout the system, with some of the better fishing upstream; the estuary also fished well early in the week for the sea trout.
Well done to Ballina Salmon Anglers who organised a children’s fishing competition that twenty-one children attended; IFI proudly supported the C&R competition through the IFI Sponsorship Programme.
Still in Mayo, the Foxford Angling Club held their ‘Devaney Cup’ trout competition on Lough Conn on Sunday 16th July. Fishing was tough for the 18 competitors, with only nine fish above the minimum size recorded. In Leinster, the ITFFA Leinster Rivers Competition was hosted by the North Kildare club – Donal Monahan finished top of the pile of sixteen expert anglers competing there. Many rivers are in a difficult or unfishable condition for trout fishing at the moment, but if you want some tips on dry/dropper leader set-up while you are off the water, Peter Driver of Piscari Fly has some for you; if you’d prefer to dream of trout fishing a bucket list destination instead, the guys at the Ireland On The Fly podcast have one good suggestion for you…
If you would like to fish for a good cause, the Cast a Line for Autism wetfly/dapping competition will be fished on July 29th on Lough Mask or Lough Corrib – you can choose!
Coarse anglers have done well this week, with festival weights exceeding 100kgs at two different Irish venues. In Longford, Dutch guests at Melview Fishing Lodge had some super hauls of bream, while in the south east twenty six competitors turned out for the All Ireland Method Feeder Championships qualifier at Oaklands. In Offaly, the Tullamore and District Angling Club held their 1st Junior Canal Coarse Fishing Competition for 2023 and three young ladies from the Carroll family finished in the podium positions there. Congratulations to Muireann, Caoimhe and Aoibhinn Carroll – they win our Catch of the Week for this week.
On other coarse fishing news, the Lough Muckno July Festival kicks off on Monday, July 24th, and the Athy Anglers will be running a charity match in aid of Willow Community Counselling Services on Saturday 29th July. All proceeds from the entry fee to the match will be donated to Willow to support their vitally important community work.
We don’t have many reports from pike anglers this week, but one great story came in from Midlands Angling and Hunting, where Mick Flanagan reeled back the years to catch countless canal pike and perch in Mullingar.
To the tides, where tope have featured well in our reports from the east of the country, with Wicklow Boat Charters catching them offshore and Menapia SAC catching them from the shore in Wicklow. In the west, the Clare Dragoon has also had tope, but the main focus for the Dragoon and the Lady Gwen has been other, bigger sharks – as was the case for both the Brazen Hussy II in Galway Bay, where their first blue of the season was landed. From the Clare coast, Lisdoonvarna Fanore SAC held their Jim Blackwell Memorial Cup on Sunday 16th August. The event was well attended and it was a great day out in very good fishing conditions.
Fishing out of Killybegs, anglers aboard the Fiona Tee had to endure a good soaking for some great fishing for mixed species while the Killybegs Mariners reported some super pollock fishing from rock marks locally. In the south, Eire Bass was confined to Cork Harbour thanks to some rough conditions offshore – as the foreboding sky in their photo indicates. They still managed some good pollack in the safety of the harbour.
In other news
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications along with the Ministers for both Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Rural and Community Development are inviting applications from suitably qualified applicants to fill five vacancies on the Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Fisheries owners and other angling businesses will be interested to see that amongst the various essential criteria is the following:
E. Angling Development and Tourism
Demonstrable Knowledge of the tourism product in peripheral areas and rural and coastal economies (in particular, an awareness of angling tourism, angling development, rural development, and employment and marketing potential in these areas where alternative opportunities may be limited based on development of angling tourism and community-based infrastructure.)
The closing date for applications is 15:00 on Wednesday 2nd August 2023
Cork salmon anglers should note that the draw numbers for the 4th and Final 2023 River Lee Brown Tag Draw have been issued. Please check your inbox / spam / junk folders. If you have entered and not received any email please email @Cork Lee Brown Tag Lottery before the draw takes place on Monday morning , 25th July.
And now the weather….
Wet on Friday night with outbreaks of rain. Mild with lows of 12°C to 15°C in light to moderate SW winds.
A wet and cloudy day on Saturday with outbreaks of heavy rain. Humid, with highs of 15°C to 18°C. Strong SW winds along southern coasts, light to moderate elsewhere. More rain overnight, lows of 12°C to 15°C with light to moderate west to NW winds, fresh along coasts.
Wet and cloudy on Sunday, clearing from northern and western counties during the morning, but lingering in the east. Highs of 17°C to 20°C with a moderate to fresh northerly breeze developing.
A mostly dry Monday with sunny spells and just light scattered showers. Highs of 15°C to 18°C with mostly light breezes. Unsettled from Tuesday onwards.
Catch, Photo, Release
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All the angling news
Salmon Fishing Reports
- River Moy Angling Report week ending 16/07/23
- Ilen anglers land 19 more fish for the week
- Numbers drop slightly on the Bandon, but 25 fish landed for the week
- Lee continues to produce fish, with 35 more landed this week
- Decent fishing reported on Laune and Killarney Lakes
- Solid action on Currane when conditions came good
- Owenmore fishing well in Kerry
Trout Fishing Reports
- ITFFA River Leinster Competition
- Conn & Cullin reward those who venture out
- In another episode of their bucket list series Ireland on the Fly talks about brown trout fishing on the Orkneys
- Dry-dropper setup with Piscari Fly
- Cast a Line for Autism
Coarse Angling Reports
- Dutch anglers have a great finish to their holiday at Melview Lodge in Longford
- All Ireland Method Feeder Qualifier – Oaklands
- Festival match weights exceed 100kg at two very different venues
- Clean sweep for the Carrolls at Tullamore Junior match
- Muckno July Festival 2023
- Athy Anglers Charity Match – Saturday July 29th
Pike Fishing Reports
Sea Angling Reports
- Menapia SAC tackle Arklow South Beach
- Tough week, but the EUROS still topple the tope in Wicklow
- Spurs, blues, Porbeagle and tope for the Clare Dragoon
- Plenty porbeagle but also good mixed fishing for the Brazen Hussy II in Galway Bay
- Shark time on the Lady Gwen II
- Successful Jim Blackwell Memorial Cup for Lisdoonvarna Fanore SAC
- Cod, pollack and a nice tope for Donegal Bay charter boats
- Donegal rock mark produces some cracking pollack
- Reach for the stars with Eire Bass in Cork Harbour