So, as September slips silently by after the wilds of our first winter storm, Agnes has surely left her mark on fishing plans for many a game angler hoping to wet a line before the season’s end. It will be no surprise to anyone that rainfall amounts were up to 300% of the norm in some parts of the country, riling rivers into raging torrents and no doubt dashing some angler’s dreams of a fruitful season’s finale. But temperatures and sunshine held up well during the week, and it’s pretty nice looking out my window right now. I’ve a couple of friends who are out fishing Corrib as I write this, and I certainly wouldn’t mind swapping places…

As we won’t be hearing much from them over the next few months, we’ll begin this week’s report with the salmon anglers, and we head first to the far southwest, where the Hampshire Hogs made their annual visit to Lough Currane. They had a decent week of it, with salmon, sea trout and brownies all featuring before Agnes rolled in to whip the lake into a frenzy. Staying in Kerry, Frank Maunsell reports that the Owenmore is looking in good order for the end of the season, and one angler had a nice double on the White Lake during the week, landing a grilse and a sea trout within a couple of casts of each other. And if anyone has a spare €1.5 million, it was announced yesterday that the whole Owenmore fishery is up for sale. I’ll certainly be buying a Euromillions ticket this evening… Up on the River Moy, angling took a bit of an upswing, as 165 fish were reported for the week, with one angler having a red letter spell, getting 7 fish over two days on the fly. And in podcast news, as we wave goodbye to a salmon season most anglers will be quick to forget, the Ireland on the Fly team speaks to Garrett Ruigrok, angling instructor & guide, about how the 2023 season went on the Moy.

Hampshire Hogs celebrating with their Ghillies in the Villa

To trout fishing now, and down on the River Nore, Dan O’Neill found the river running very high, but a pheasant tail nymph suspended below a foam indicator helped him winkle a trout or two from the torrent. Peter Driver from Piscari Fly also reported high water on the Nore, but anglers that travelled up into the headwaters near the Slieve Blooms found some clearer water that produced a few fish. In lough fishing, there was a bit of action on Lough Conn during the week, with one angler catching 15 trout on wets, five above the size limit; all were released. The Irish Ladies Flyfishing Association held a very successful ‘Introduction to Flyfishing for Women’ day last Saturday at Laois Angling Centre. They helped a number of women learn the basics of fly casting and hopefully set them on their way to becoming independent anglers.

Ladies practising their fly casting at the ILFA training day
Ladies practising their casting at the ILFA training day

To coarse angling news now, and the Naas & District Anglers headed to the River Barrow for their John Prescott Memorial competition. It was a match of two halves, as all the fish were caught in the first couple of hours before some wild weather rolled in that put the fish right off the feed. It was a very similar story for the VDE Baggers up on the Newry canal, as things got off to a flyer, with quality roach coming thick and fast. But it all changed when something akin to a hurricane ripped along the canal, throwing anglers and fish into disarray. To wrap up the coarse angling news, we head to Oaklands Fishery, where the Killinarden Angling Initiative held its yearly charity event. With a little help from the Irish Outgoing Pikers, they rounded up a great posse of anglers to compete and managed to raise €3365 for good causes. So this week’s Catch of the Week goes to all those involved in making the event such a success.

Anglers compete at the KAI charity event @ Oaklands

To pike angling now, and the Limerick County Pike Anglers held the latest match of their winter series on a local venue last weekend. They were faced with high water and heavy rain, which put a bit of a dampener on things, and the fish didn’t really play ball either, but Tommy Williams kept the fish coming in at a steady pace and topped the rankings on the day. Up in Monaghan, Peadar O’Brien had a group over from Belgium for their annual pike trip. They managed a handy number of fish, all caught on lures, fishing on a range of lakes in the northeast. To wrap up the pike section, the organisers of the Pike Master Ireland fishing competition would like to remind anglers that there are only days left to enter this year’s event. So, if you fancy your chances at some competition pike angling, you better get your entry in.

Angling guide Peadar O’Brien guiding a happy client

We wrap up this week’s angling report on the saltwater and head to Clare, where anglers fishing on the Clare Dragoon were singing the blues, with a rare triple of blue shark, blue whiting and bluemouth all caught on the same day. Down further south, on beaches around Dingle, the Daiwa Pairs event marked its 40th year. After a week of intense but friendly competition, the pairs competition was won out by Dave Falk and Brett Cotter with a combined score of 22 points. The top individual angler was Kerryman David O’Sullivan, with 6 points and 22 fish for 504 points. And we end with a word of warning, as a nasty sting from a weeverfish prompted Rob Grennell to get in touch to remind all sea anglers to be careful when unhooking these small but potentially painful little fish. Rob’s thumb wasn’t right for two weeks after he got a spine embedded in it while fishing.

James Raymond with a 109cm huss caught at the Daiwa Pairs event

Other News

Finally, as the game angling season draws to a close, anglers will be looking for something to keep them interested over the dark winter months. And so they will be happy to hear that the exhibitor list for the Irish Fly Fair has been announced, giving them something to look forward to this November.

And now the weather

It will remain mostly dry throughout Friday, with just a few well-scattered showers in places. Cloud will thicken overnight, and wet and breezy conditions will spread countrywide on Saturday morning, bringing a risk of spot flooding in Munster and south Leinster. Sunday will bring a mix of bright sunny spells and scattered showers, clearing in the afternoon but becoming more widespread again on Monday. The weather looks like it will stay in this changeable pattern for the rest of next week.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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