Peter Driver of Piscari Fly shares some early-season tips and tricks in his latest newsletter:

With the season opening up on Sunday the 17th pretty much all across the country, like most rivers the Nore is not in great condition, very high and water temperature is very low. Fishing on opening day was very tough for those who did brave it.

However reports for some of the tributaries was that there was fish to be got. So maybe going up some of the smaller tributaries is worth your time. On the Kings over near Kells and Ennisnag, 2 of our junior members got a couple of hours on it Sunday and Monday and had some good results. James Kavanagh and Charlie Nesbitt spent a few hours in the upper reaches Sunday with really good action with both of them landing over 20 trout on the nymphs and on Monday getting quite a few numbers on the lower section, mostly caught on the nymphs. Here are a few of their top patterns and a couple of pictures from the river. Well done, lads, great fishing, It’s great to see a couple of young lads keen to be out on the river even in the cold, wet weather.

Ricky and Dick Croke got out on the Kilmacow Blackwater down in South Kilkenny and they had some really good action there on St Patricks Day. It’s a real early-season river, as it gets a bit overgrown in the summer months. All the fish seem to be lying in the back ends of the pools where you expect them to be this time of the year, waiting on the warmer weather before they push up into their summer lies. Ricky had good action all throughout the mid-morning and afternoon, saying that a black Frenchie with an orange tag was his best nymph overall with a silver bead. So good to see everyone out and about on the river and keep the pictures and information coming.

Other reports from around the country we have heard that Mask is fishing exceptionally well and the Corrib and Sheelin have been fishing decent enough too. The Duck Fly is up in places and there is fish to be had if you can get the conditions right. But with the amount of rain that is falling on a regular basis it is hard to know when we will be getting the conditions right again to get back out on the rivers.

Don’t forget to get in touch if you need anything for the season [email protected].

Safety Tips for Early Season River Fishing

Firstly its very important to remember that even though you know a river because you fished it a load of times last year so you know the stretch of water that it was, there has been a lot of floods over the winter that will have changed the bed of that river and so you are really going back into the unknown and rivers like lakes can be really dangerous places early season particularly when we see the current water levels and the power of the water that is forcing through.

So some of our top tips: We recommend you always wear a lifejacket we all should some of us choose not to. It is not compulsory but it is a good recommendation especially if going out early season on high rivers and some of the big rivers in the country put on a lifejacket it is a small price to pay for your safety.

If you choose not to there are always a few other things that I would make sure I have addressed before I go out. A wading belt is an important piece of kit, so make sure you have a good one and that it is very tight around the waist. How this can help you is if you fall in and get into trouble, the wading belt will stop the volume of water getting down into your waders. With a wading belt on and tight around the waist, your legs will become buoyancy aids and you can float and back paddle down with the current, don’t fight the current until you find safety or someone comes to help. The other thing would be a wading staff, there are lots of great foldable wading staffs available and so not a hindrance to you. You can have it on your hip, so if you get into trouble, take it out and get to safety.

A good set of studs would be another essential thing to have before heading out to the rivers. We recommend the Kold Kutter studs we have them in stock here. A great grip on them, refresh your studs every season to make sure you get a good clean grip on those rocks, especially after all those winter floods, as they will be nicely polished and therefore slippy. And the most important one which most people don’t even think about is shout. If you are in a situation where you feel you are under pressure and will not make it out safely, the first thing is chuck that rod, you can always get another one or find that one, and shout for help more often than not there is someone not too far away on a forest path or also fishing and if they hear you shout aid can be got to you pretty quick. So good practice give a good scream.

Stay safe on the rivers this spring and of course the lakes for all you lough style fisherpeople. Make sure you wear your life jacket and check all your safety gear. Have a great season everyone.