ater levels in most parts of the country are still on the high side but the milder weather of late, particularly over the Easter period, should hopefully help to improve angling gradually.

Since the beginning of the season salmon anglers have been struggling with high water levels and unfortunately the last week has not been much different. Anglers on Ireland’s most productive salmon river, the River Moy, are still waiting for the first fish of the season to be caught, while the situation on most West Cork rivers hasn’t been any better with just a few sea trout reported so far.  Fishing in Delphi has also been disappointing for most of March, picking up just slightly towards the end of the month. High water has impacted fishing across most of Kerry too and, as a consequence, just a few salmon were reported from the Rivers Laune and Flesk. Nevertheless, there was finally a bit of news from the Munster Blackwater on Monday, when the first salmon of the season was landed at the Blackwater Valley Fishery.

Blackwater Valley salmon

In Waterville, Lough Currane anglers were struggling again as no salmon were reported for the past week. On a more positive note, Carrowmore Lake is off the mark since Easter Monday when the first salmon of 2024 was caught on this prolific North Mayo lough fishery.

Concluding our salmon segment for this week, we would like to draw your attention to the latest episode of the Ireland on the Fly podcast. This week Daire & Tom speak to Nicholas Grubb who grew up in south Tipperary beside the Rivers Suir and Tar and he tells them about the incredible catches of salmon that were to be had growing up.

Over to trout angling, where we received our first report of the year from Mayo’s twin lakes Conn and Cullin telling us that duckfly hatches have been sparse so far this season. From Lough Owel, however, Peter Driver reports good duckfly fishing and some early olive hatches in the current issue of his Piscari Fly Newsletter, which also features a number of other interesting topics.

Chunky Owel brown

In river trout fishing, Eamonn Conway of Táin Flyfishing reveals the content of his chest pack and the most important kit to bring when river fishing in his latest YouTube clip, while Dan O’Neill, fishery manager at Mount Juliet, sent in a report explaining his preferred setup for streamer fishing for brown trout, which provided him and his clients with some fine trout when fishing a high Kings River in Co. Kilkenny.

Dan was in touch with another great report on his and young Anthony’s latest fishing adventures. Check out how the father and son team got on float fishing for roach and fly fishing for pike on the River Barrow.

Young Anthony with his fly-caught pike before release

The fly has also been productive for pike anglers on Lough Derg as Paul Bourke of Irish Fishing Tours reports. Other methods were successful as well, producing several pike over the magic one meter mark including some fine fish between 104cm and 102cm plus a couple at 92cm and 91cm, and a few 80s. Paul also reported some chunky perch up to 37cm, which makes this predator fishing experience our Catch of the Week.

derg pike
Lough Derg producing quality pike

Two Belgian pike anglers who were repeat guests of Melview Fishing Lodge in Co. Longford were equally successful, catching a total of 57 pike to 97cm during their fishing week in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands area.

Elsewhere, Whitewood Pike Angling Club had their first outing of 2024 last weekend, as 21 members dusted off their rods to head to Cavan for the day. They didn’t catch any trophy pike but managed to land a respectable 143 pike on the day, with a couple of doubles, including a 14lb 2oz Esox.

Finally, over to sea angling where it was tough fishing at Black Head for Galway Bay SAC during the second leg of their winter league due to gusty westerly winds and heavy rain. Down south, at Ferrypoint in Youghal the situation wasn’t much different for West Cork and District SAC, as anglers struggled at the second leg of their midweek league Wednesday last.

Staying in the south, Keith Barker enjoyed some good sea bass action lately along the Waterford coast. Improving water clarity combined with calmer sea conditions resulted in 7 decent bass over one evening and a night session.

Reports from charter skippers weren’t plentiful so far this year, so it was great to see skipper Sean Maguire back in action this week with a trip offshore and some good mixed fishing from West Clare.

Happy sea anglers in Clare

In other news…

The NCFFI invites young anglers, from complete novices to the more competent ones, to join a series of sessions covering a range of float fishing techniques. The programme will start with a weekend on Oaklands Lake and Ballyshunnock on 13th & 14th April where pole techniques will be covered. Further on the sessions will move around the island of Ireland. To find out more and how to become involved check out this link.

youth angling
NCFFI youth angling sessions

On Thursday 4th, a draw took place to allocate the second distribution of 55 Brown Tags for the taking of salmon on the Lower Lee, Co. Cork. The Brown Tags will be issued by post and anglers are asked to acknowledge receipt of their Brown Tag by email including the tag number to  [email protected]

And now the weather…

Tonight will remaining unsettled with spells of rain and strong winds at times. The weekend will stay very windy with strong, gusty southerly winds reaching storm force at times and widespread showers, some heavy. Winds will ease somewhat on Sunday afternoon, but will continue fresh to strong and gusty. Highest temperatures of 12°C to 15°C. Current indications suggest that the weather will continue unsettled for the rest of next week with spells of rain or showers spreading eastwards across the country.

Make sure to check the forecast before going afloat and if you’re going to sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

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] and don’t forget that all of our fishing reports are available on our dedicated Angling Ireland Facebook page.

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