eather conditions improved somewhat this past week with snow, ground frost and sub-zero temperatures gradually fading away. However, fresh to strong easterly winds persisted for most of the time resulting in awkward and challenging angling conditions, mostly for sea anglers though game, pike and coarse anglers were also struggling with the largely unfavorable conditions.

Starting with salmon angling, we received a report from the Delphi Fishery for the month of February. With four salmon landed, the monthly total was just slightly below the fishery’s 10-year average for February, but fishing should improve in the coming weeks with more salmon expected to run the Delphi system.

In Donegal, the first salmon of the season was reported from the Glenmore Rivers Estate Fishery on the River Finn, which, according to fishery manager Jarlath Winters, could, in fact, be the first salmon on the Foyle system this year.

First salmon from the Finn

Down south, anglers on Lough Currane reported another springer after last week’s catch, which was again caught on the troll. Those who have an interest in angling history might like to tune into this week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast, which is another book club episode. Returning author Dan O’Donovan speaks about his popular monograph on the life of Sidney Spencer, who was a renowned lough-style salmon and sea trout angler. On a similar point, we would like to remind our readers that Ireland on the Fly’s first Masterclass webinar will take place next Thursday March 14th.

Over to trout fishing, where fly anglers are still struggling with the harsh conditions and sparse fly life on lakes and rivers. Trolling, however, produced plenty of trout on Lough Corrib again, while next week should see fly anglers starting to go out in bigger numbers, with the main duckfly hatch imminent.

Eagerly awaited by fly anglers on Lough Corrib – the Duckfly

Among other interesting pieces, Peter Driver’s Piscar-Fly Newsletter includes an early season report from Lough Sheelin, which opened its doors last Friday, while Eamonn Conway of Táin Fly Fishing uploaded an informative video covering early season nymphing tactics on the River Fane.

In pike fishing, the three anglers we reported on in last week’s Angling Update, had the expected great finish to their stay at Melview Fishing Lodge with two personal bests and a combined weight of 352 lbs. over their four-day fishing trip to Co. Longford.

One of the pike PBs caught in Longford

Though pike didn’t really play ball for Ger Power who was back fishing a County Cavan venue last weekend, fishing a jig-head shad-tail did the trick and earned him a number of fine perch including a new personal best at 3lbs. which wins our Catch of the Week.

Well-fed perch

Staying with perch and new PBs, Dan O’Neill sent in another great story starring his son Anthony having a super time on the River Barrow. Read the full story here.

While last week’s update saw a lot of action on the coarse angling front, we’ve just one coarse report featuring in today’s e-zine. VDE Baggers AC fished an interesting competition on Lough Creeve during the week. Smaller than average sized fish made for some super competitive angling as speed became the name of the game when trying to build up a bag of small silvers.

Aaron Hutchman with his winning bag at the VDE Baggers event

As mentioned already, sea angling was probably affected the most by the harsh and unfavorable weather conditions of late. As a consequence, charter boat fishing wasn’t really suitable and reports from shore anglers were also on the scarce side. Nonetheless, angling guide, David Norman, found himself in front of surface feeding mullet lately when he realized that these could be targeted using a fly rod. Anyone who has tried to flyfish for mullet will probably agree that these fish can be extremely spooky, moody and difficult to catch. But once hooked it is obvious why they are often called the “Irish Bonefish”! Check out David’s report on how he managed to hook, play and land one of these marine powerhouses on light flyfishing gear.

Mullet on the fly for David Norman

Elsewhere, Stevon O’Donovan won the first round of the West Cork & District SAC Midweek League which is a new type of competition whereby each angler is supplied with a limited amount of bait.

Finally, the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers have announced the upcoming official launch of the World Shore Angling Championships 2024 which will be held in Wexford later this year.

Other News

Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to remind all salmon anglers that the next draw for brown tags for the River Roughty, Co. Kerry (24 tags) will open for entries on 24 March with the draw taking place on 17 April.

And now the weather…

Tonight will be rather cloudy with some light rain or drizzle at times for southern areas. Lowest temperatures ranging from 1 to 3 degrees in the north and west, with the best of the clear spells, to 5 or 6 degrees in the south. Moderate to fresh east to northeast winds, strong on coasts.

It will stay breezy at times over the weekend with outbreaks of rain developing before becoming drier early next week. There will be unusually high tides over the weekend with the possibility of coastal flooding.

Further Outlook: Some uncertainty for midweek with current indications suggesting a good deal of dry weather though some rain may push into Atlantic areas at times.

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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