ave we finally seen an end to the incessant rain of the last 6 (9?) months? Is this bit of dry weather the start of some decent weather, or just a tease of what a good Spring would be like? Regardless, we’l enjoy these few dry days while they last. Water levels remain high everywhere, but a few days with no rain will start to dry the ground out somewhat, and hopefully water levels in our lakes and rivers recede soon.


The spawning season is pretty much over now, and pike anglers are starting to enjoy good sport again. Late spring can be a great time to target pike, before the water warms up too much, and some Swiss visitors had a fantastic week’s pike fishing despite more than difficult conditions due to the strong and gusty winds which prevailed throughout their trip.

Remo and guide Bodo with a great pike just under the 1m mark

The rain, wind and high water levels failed to deter the Germans too, as a party of regular visitors to Cavan enjoyed some good fishing from bank and boat.

And on Lough Derg too, the weather made fishing difficult, but guests of fishing guide Paul Bourke had a good day, landing 8 pike to 102cm despite the windy conditions.

derg pike



Trout anglers on Lough Arrow are back in action after a slow start to the season dictated by the weather. They held their first competition on Sunday, which was won by Eddie Harte with 5 good trout. The club are to be commended for adopting catch-and-release for all competitions, with measuring boards provided to all boats on the day.

Fiddler Pete Clark from Scotland took a break during a recent trip teaching and playing music to fish Lough Keel with club secretary Gavin Duffy. It was hard fishing, but they finished the day with 4 trout to 2lbs, a very enjoyable outing according to Pete.

Pete with his lovely Keel trout

Olives are hatching on Lough Conn, with the odd early mayfly too. A spell of milder weather should bring on hatches a lot more.

The Leinster lake team qualifiers were held on Lough Owel on Sunday, with blustery conditions making fishing difficult (sound familiar?!). Fish  were mostly caught on fry patterns like sliver dabblers, minkies and booby fry, pulling down deep on a Di 3 or Di 5 sinking line.

Also fishing on Owel was Niall Ó hEarcáin, who had a fantastic hard-fighting trout of 60cm on a self-tied Cormorant fly, which makes our Catch of the Week.

Niall’s 60cm Owel trout

Not a lot of river fishing going on with high water levels, but Dan O’Neill managed a session on the Kings River with two guests and reported good fishing on nymphs and streamers.

Senan Stanley is back with a couple of great videos about fishing for trout on river and lake with ultra-light lures, a very successful method especially when other methods are not working.

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This week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast looks ahead to mayfly season, and talks to Shane Creamer from the Garrykennedy Angling Club about the mayfly hatch on Lough Derg, one of our earliest mayfly lakes. And if you want to learn more about mayfly fishing, check out their upcoming Mayfly Tactics Masterclass.  Ireland on the Fly’s next Masterclass webinar is taking place on Thursday April 25th, when international angler, guide and renowned fly tyer, Jackie Mahon, will be giving tips, advice and insights on the tactics to use for the coming mayfly season. Tickets are €10 and to register for the Ireland on the Fly Mayfly Tactics Masterclass go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3138230924312556894


Spring is moving on, and while water levels have been very high, limiting angling effort on many rivers, there are signs that many rivers have seen fresh fish running lately. Water levels have been falling on the Blackwater, with fresh fish reported, including one angler landing 4 in one day, and a salmon for Simone from Italy on his stag weekend!

Blackwater salmon

A few fish were also reported from the Moy, where water levels fluctuated a lot last week. East Mayo Anglers Fishery saw 4 salmon landed, all on spinner.

Killarney anglers also reported fresh spring salmon, with a couple of fish from Beat 1 of the Laune, and two fish from Lough Leane taken on the troll. Best fish reported was 11lbs. Elsewhere in Co. Kerry, one salmon was reported on the fly from Lough Currane.


The VDE Baggers club held a fitting tribute to club member Slawek Siembida, who passed recently, with a competition held on Lough Muckno, with 66 anglers participating. The lake fished very well, with Aaron Hutchman taking the win with 6.940kgs, and the club raised over €1,000 for Slawek’s fiancee. The club plan to run an annual event in his memory, with future proceeds to go to a mental health charity. Fair play lads.

Portumna Coarse Angling Club fished a club match at the weekend on Rodger’s Island, ahead of the Portumna Festival which kicks off on Sunday. There were some really good weights returned from the river and Bruce Pennell took first place with 18lb 4oz.

Spring cleaning is not all about the house and garden, and Tulla Anglers had a great turnout of members at Silvergrove to scrub angling stands and walkways, which become very slippery after a long wet winter. They did manage some fishing too, and cub member Kevin took the win with 12lbs on Sunday at Clondorney

The main event last week was the O’Callaghans Feeder Festival on Inniscarra, with two open competitions bookending the 2-day festival competition itself. Better known in the sea angling world as a world champion, JP Molloy won the Feeder Open at the start of the festival with 14.800kg.
The festival itself saw intense competition and very good fishing, with Alan Larkin proving the winner after the 2 days with 46.920kg. The Bacon Open to close the festival saw Kevin Norcliffe take a good win on 16.080kg.

Kevin Norcliffe, winner of Dave Bacon Open


Conditions were not conducive to sea angling last week, with windy wet weather making boat angling impossible. We have just one report, from Donegal, where the Killybegs Mariners enjoyed some good fishing at Manor House beach near Rossnowlagh in the third last leg of their winter league.

Other news

In other news, five separate angling regulations, affecting salmon, sea trout, brown trout, and eels, were recently signed into law. We advise all anglers to read through the regulations and to familiarise themselves with them.

And now the weather…

A much better forecast for fishing this week!! Brightening up this afternoon with good spells of sunshine developing. Lingering patches of light rain and drizzle will gradually clear southwards and it will turn mostly dry. Dry on Saturday with widespread spells of sunshine. Highest temperatures of 13 to 17 degrees generally with light variable breezes. However, it will be a little cooler near coasts where sea breezes develop. Dry and mainly sunny on Sunday. Highest temperatures 15 to 18 degrees with light variable winds. Monday and Tuesday look dry, with sunny spells and top temps of 12-16C, but the outlook is for unsettled weather to return later in the week. Enjoy it while you can!

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

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