We have had a very mixed bag in terms of weather over the past week, with some parts of the country experiencing very different conditions compared to others. There was double the normal amount of rainfall in the north of the country, while parts of the south and east experienced only a third of the normal amount. The southwest saw circa 24 hours of sunshine, while the east of the country saw almost double that. There was also a lot of cloud around, which meant the sun didn’t appear too often, and temperatures remained below the norm for the time of year in most areas.

Reading through this week’s reports, it seems the one aspect of the weather that was almost universal was the wind, which impacted all angling disciplines. We have been scourged with very blowy conditions for a couple of weeks now, which has restricted fishing opportunities for many of us. In Ireland, the wind has long been associated with fairies, and the term Sídhe Gaoithe or ‘Fairy Wind’ was traditionally used for the sudden appearance of a gust of wind, which was believed to mean that fairies were active in the area. Well, judging from the prevalence of wind in this week’s reports, the fairies must have been working overtime…

In Wicklow, strong winds hampered efforts to target the summer tope, which are a feature of fishing in the area. However, on those occasions when the wind softened, tope were there in good numbers, with a few specimens amongst the catches. Meanwhile, down in Courtmacsherry, those same winds meant that Dave Edwards of West Cork Charters couldn’t fish his sharking grounds as planned. However, a switch of target saw some lovely skate brought to the boat, including some estimated at over 200lb. Also in Courtmacsherry, anglers fishing with Courtmacsherry Angling had great skate fishing, including a rare triple hook-up which wins this week’s Catch of the Week.

Triple of Skate wins this week’s COTW

In the Clare area, the wind prevented the Clare Dragoon from venturing out to the open seas, but anglers found the shelter of the Shannon Estuary provided welcome relief from the wind and some good fishing for rays, doggies and tope. Meanwhile, on the shore angling front, Lisdoonvarna & Fanore Sea Angling Club held a competition at Ballyreen last week. They faced some difficult conditions on the day, but all anglers enjoyed the outing.

Over to salmon angling now, and on the Galway Weir, salmon have been slow to take, but there have been 20 fish landed since the start of July, and there are increasing numbers of fish entering the system. Down on Lough Currane, fishing was patchy, but the week saw a couple of salmon and a ‘thruple’ of sea trout landed. Elsewhere in the SW, fishing has also been patchy, but the Laune, Maine & Caragh rivers have all seen decent grilse catches in the past week. To wrap up our salmon angling news, the final draw for brown tags for the River Lee is now open, and anglers can apply to enter the draw by clicking this link.

John Madden with his 5.5lbs grilse from the Galway Weir

In trout angling news, the wind reared its head again for Meath angler Brian Jameson as he fished Lough Sheelin in what he described as ‘North Sea’ conditions. However, he was rewarded for his endurance with a fine 5lb trout. Moving from lake to river, prolific YouTuber Senan Stanley’s latest post shows how effective upstream spinning can be for targeting trout. Staying on the rivers, well-known angler Peter Driver has also been creating videos and has a nice video on using euro nymph tactics to target trout on the River Nore. To wrap up our trout fishing news, the Irish Ladies Fly Fishing Association have announced Lough Conn as the venue for the second trial of their 2023 league. The timing coincides with the Salmon Festival Weekend in Ballina, which should ensure a lively weekend for all.

Upstream spinning with Senan Stanley

Wind had its impact on the coarse angling scene too, as anglers fishing on the Grand Canal at Daingan faced a fierce wind whipping down the canal banks, which made it very difficult for anglers to present baits, but one angler was head and shoulders above the rest of the field as Aiden Devoy took top honours. In Cavan, the CM Lakelands Feeder Club fished a two-day event in the Bailieborough area last week. Fishing was very consistent, and Brenton Sweeney finished top of the listings with two 9kg+ bags. Meanwhile, in Longford, a couple of anglers from the Netherlands had a super start to their week’s holidays with two sessions producing joint bags of 155lb and 196lb. We wrap up this week’s coarse angling reports with the final of the Naas & District AC knockout cup held in Oaklands Fishery. Two anglers went head to head after a six-month competition, and despite Paul McLaughlin landing a very creditable 159lb, his rival and defending champion Aivaras Zymancius was unstoppable on the day with a superb bag of 330lb to make him champ for another year.

Travelling light @ Oaklands…

In pike angling news, the wind was again to the fore, as Dutch angler Ben had to endure some very wet and windy weather on his trip to Melview Lodge. That didn’t stop him from notching up a respectable 47 pike to 96cm during his stay.

Ben with one of his pike

In other pike angling news, UK pike angler Paul Gustafson has made some of his angling videos available on Fishing TV. His videos give tips and tactics on how to fish for pike and include one video focused on fishing in Ireland.

In podcast news, the ‘Ireland on the Fly’ team has just posted the second part of their Feather Thief podcast following on from last week’s episode on the extraordinary story of the theft of rare feathers & their use in salmon fly tying.

And now the weather

Thursday afternoon will be wet and windy with fairly widespread outbreaks of rain, which will continue into tonight. Friday will also see rain with the possibility of thunderstorms in the west. It will become warm and humid, with temperatures reaching 23° C in some places. Friday night will see showers, particularly in the south and west, and Saturday will continue to have blustery, rainy conditions with the possibility of thunderstorms. The weather will remain in this unsettled pattern at least until the middle of next week.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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