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Level 5 lockdown extended to 5 April, what it means for anglers

The Government has extended the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions until 05 April 2021. Travel restrictions mean anglers must stay within 5km of their home. Non-essential business is not permitted.

The Government has published a medium-term strategy Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. Ireland is currently at Level 5.

At Level 5, the public health risk means that you will be asked to stay at home, except for travel for essential work, education or other essential purposes, or to take exercise within 5km of home.

Inland Fisheries Ireland offers the following information to anglers as a guideline only. Government advice to stop the spread of coronavirus is BE RESPONSIBLE, BE SAFE.

Visiting international anglers should refer to government guidelines ‘Arriving to Ireland from another country’ for up-to-date advice.

During level 5 restrictions, only essential workers can travel to work.

Read more about Level 5 restrictions.

General Guidance for everyone

  • Follow Government protocols and public health guidelines.
  • STAY home if you have symptoms
  • Observe physical distancing by keeping at least 2 metres apart, if not possible wear a face covering.
  • Park legally and responsibly if driving to outdoor amenities.
  • Respect our emergency services and avoid activities that could potentially lead to emergency call outs.
  • Respect the environment, animals & wildlife and dispose of waste properly.
  • Travel separately, unless from the same household and visit outdoor areas at off peak times if possible.

Fish stocking

IFI has ceased stocking fish to all locations.

All Anglers

Follow up-to-date Government advice, however changes to Government advice may result in amendments to this information. To stay safe, anglers should follow public health guidelines:

  • People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.
  • No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.
  • Individual training only.
  • No competitions.
  • No indoor or outdoor gatherings.

Boat Anglers

Max 2 persons in small boats to comply with physical distancing (unless from same household). Remember to maintain physical distancing on board and at slipways and access points.

Guides & Ghillies

During level 5 restrictions, only essential workers can travel to work. 

Charter Boat Owners

During level 5 restrictions, only essential workers can travel to work.



The power to control this pandemic is still in our hands

Inland Fisheries Ireland offers the following information to anglers as a guideline only. Government advice to stop the spread of coronavirus is BE RESPONSIBLE, BE SAFE.

Irish Angling Update 26 February 2021

It was a very wet start to the week, with nearly river bank full or in flood now. Thankfully we have a settled spell of weather for a few days, which will help alleviate flooding concerns.

Galway Weir and the River Corrib in full flow this week. 

Last week saw the first salmon from Lough Currane, with Dominic McGillicuddy catching and releasing a 9lbs fresh fish on fly. Well done that man. And the River Moy also saw its first salmon of 2021, with local angler Peter McHigh landing an 11lbs salmon on worm at the back of the weir in Ballina.


Loughs Conn and Cullin opened last week, and the few local anglers close enough to fish it enjoyed some success.

A nice 1lb trout caught by Gary Binley in Cloghan’s Bay on opening day

Sea angling has been quiet around the coast, with the poor weather and Covid restrictions not helping, but the Killybegs Mariners members have enjoyed some good fishing in the harbour.

It was otherwise very quiet on the fishing front, so we had time to browse Youtube for inspiration. For those into pike fishing, Marcin Kantor has produced a nice video showing flyfishing for some big 1m+ pike from last autumn. Marcin was fishing from a bellyboat, a great method that allows the angler to get quite close to fish without spooking them.

And fly anglers who like targeting bass, sea trout and pollack may get some inspiration, and tips, from Ian O’Grady’s excellent instructional videos where he ties a number of popular saltwater patterns.

Finally, congratulations to the Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub whose Access for All boat project along with the voluntary crew have been honoured by the National Lottery for the tremendous work they have done in helping to bring people with disability out on the Shannon.

Lough Ree Angling Hub
Lough Ree Angling Hub volunteer crew and the Access for All boat

And now the weather…

Finally a bit of settled weather! High pressure bringing a lot of dry and calm weather. There will be a mix of cloud and some sunny spells, with some light rain or drizzle at times. Cool at night with a risk of frost and fog as winds ease.

Current indications suggest high pressure will remain dominant after midweek, bringing generally settled conditions, although patchy rain and drizzle will occur at times. Daytime temperatures will trend near or slightly above average for early March.

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

Kevin Crowley
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to reports@fisheriesireland.ie.

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Look and Learn – Tie Great Saltwater Flies

Fill the box

I don’t know about you lot, but without fishing it sure feels a lot like Groundhog Day in my house! Same ****, different day… and dreaming of warm summer days and the freedom to travel beyond 5km. In the meantime, many anglers are indulging in a spot (or a lot!) of flytying to fill the boxes for various species and methods.

Look and Learn

Ian from Irish Angling Adventures has been doing just that, but he has been good enough to film a few step-by-step tying videos for those of us less skilled, or new to flytying. These videos are all showcasing saltwater flies for bass, sea trout and pollack.

The first video features the Clouser Minnow, a simple yet very effective fly that mimics a sandeel very well. Ian makes it look effortless, and following along will be child’s play.


The next video we are sharing features the Deceiver, another easy fly to tie that mimics a bait fish.


The third video that we feature shows Ian tying the Nayat Sandeel, a great low-profile sandeel imitation that can be tied weighted or unweighted, and is excellent for bass and sea trout in shallow water.


Finally, we see Ian tie a Half and Half Clouser, a Clouser pattern with some saddle feathers added to the recipe. This allows for great diversity in colour and also great for movement in the water.



All of the flies Ian ties on camera are given away to one lucky winner – so check out the videos. Subscribe and leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning one of these fantastic creations!


Subscribe and Follow

If you like the video, head over to the Irish Angling Adventures channel on Youtube and hit the Subscribe button to get new videos when they go live. Follow them on Facebook, or check out their Instagram here.

Well done Ian, and we look forward to seeing more sea angling content soon!

Harbour and pier fishing very productive at Killybegs

Stefan Martin from the Killybegs Mariners SAC reports…

19 February: Some nice catches of different species within the confines of the harbour for the Mariners angler’s out and about this week including some bizarre catches which included 9 starfish hanging onto the one bait for Gavin, a busy week at Nasa.

A constellation of starfish was reeed in…

Also some fine turbot and flounder doubles along with plenty of good pier fishing for whiting, codling, dabs, dogs, coley, pollack etc and shoals of juvenile herring shimmering in the inlets keeping things busy

Stefan Martin
Killybegs mariners SAC


Go fishing…

Mariners sea angling club Killybegs Co Donegal. The club runs a shore league and boat competitions and angling trips around Ireland doing the sport we love. Get in touch at www.facebook.com/mariner.sac

Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub Access for All boat award

Lough Ree Angling Hub
Lough Ree Angling Hub volunteer crew and the Access for All boat

Congratulations to the Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub whose Access for All boat project anlong the voluntary crew have been honoured by the National Lottery for the tremendous work they have done in helping to bring people with disability out on the Shannon.

National Finalists

The Hub is a national finalist in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards under the ‘Health and Well-being’ category.

The Access For All boat has opened a wonderful new opportunity for people with disabilities, and it also shows that this amazing fishing group truly is a champion of inclusivity.

In the coming year, Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub hope that over 3,000 users will get to enjoy this fabulous experience.

Get in contact with them via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Loughreeangling/

Lough Ree Angling Hub
Lough Ree Angling Hub volunteer crew and the Access for All boat


Pike fly fishing from a bellyboat for 1m mamas

Marcin Kantor was all about salmon last week, but this week he is back to another of his new found passions; Pike on the fly. Join Marcin as he fishes a Midlands venue in November last year…

Marcin’s notes: Fly fishing for pike is my latest fascination, and I am enjoying myself with my Float Tube while pike fishing. Fishing from a Savage Gear High Rider 170 Float Tube, I take my pike lure tackle and fly fishing gear and set off for another trip with the belly boat at the end of November. The goal was to find some big pike on the fly. The day has started amazingly well with a fish over 1 meter hitting my fly. Plenty more pike action during the day coming to both, the fly fishing method and lures, namely the Miuras Mouse. The colour of the Miuras Mouse that did the trick was once again the Spotted Bullhead. It was a super cool session as pike fishing in Ireland can be really good.

Youtube Channel: Marcin Kantor

Lough Currane off the blocks, 9lb salmon caught and released


Vincent Appleby  reports from Lough Currane…

17/2/21 Good to see two Currane Brownless boats manipulating this day but with all their efforts we are still waiting for that elusive Salmon ice braker. Knowing the Currane yearly trends as I do, we will not be waiting much longer? so get out there you Brownless and Barbless manipulators and give Covid 19 a Winston Churchill. Just for the record one of the Brownless Tags was a hand me down.  Wind SW and veered SE late this afternoon and overcast, followed by heavy rain.


18/2/21 Professional Barbless and tagless Currane Angler Mr. Dominic McGillicuddy, while fly fishing, caught a cracker of a fresh 9lbs Salmon on a homemade barbless fly, Dominic also reported that he lost another, so Congratulations to Dominic for breaking the Currane ice and if there were any Brown Tag Boats out there today, I can tell you it was not long before they were browned off.

Now for quote of the day, that goes to Dominic, I asked Dominic what he has to say about being tagless, Dominic replied, I let my flies do the talking. Wind WSW light to fresh and overcast.

19/2/21 Lough Currane was at a standstill with a strong wind from the SW with the odd violent gust followed by heavy showers and talking of rain it made a good flood last night going by the Inny this morning.

20/2/21 Again the Currane Anglers were forced to stay on dry land thanks to a strong SSE this morning and veered SSW in the afternoon. Amount of rainfall yesterday was 23.4 mm.

21/2/21 Currane was all quiet on all fronts this day as Lough Currane rises fast after the big flood.  Wind SSW fresh with bright sunshine all day.

Lough Currane
Lough Currane – 22 February

22/2/21 Again the wild winds of Currane prevented the Brown and Barbless anglers from heading out this day, staying with the forecast it is not looking good with an orange rain warning with 25.9 mm rainfall for Waterville, followed by strong Southerly winds tomorrow.

Wild Lough Currane Photo by Tam
Wild Lough Currane Photo by Tam

23/2/21 The Currane anglers were at a standstill as the Orange rain and yellow wind warning took control, as you can see by the photo taken by local angler Mr. Tam Hitmiangsong, that sums up today’s action.

River Inny
Rivery Inny after the big flood

24/2/21 After big floods yesterday there was just one hand me down Brown Tag boat out and by all accounts he was well browned off and Salmonless. Wind West Southwest fresh and overcast. Now we head for the email department on the No Spin No Fly’s just Facts opinion zone. Today’s email is from Susan, so take it away Susan.

Vincent Appleby

Go fishing…

Vincent Appleby

Eureka Lodge, Caherdaniel West, Co. Kerry.
Telephone: +353 (0)66 9475248
E-mail: salmonandseatrout@eircom.net
Web: www.salmonandseatrout.com

Find out more about Lough Currane…

The rivers and lakes of Waterville drain a large catchment and are regarded by many as the foremost Salmon and Sea-Trout fishery in the country. The lake system is well developed with access to boats and guides being readily available to the tourist angler. The Sea-Trout caught here are renowned for their size and quantity. For more details see

First salmon of the season caught on the River Moy

Kevin O’Boyle reports from the River Moy…

Week ending 7th February 2021

The River Moy opened for salmon and sea trout angling on 1st February. High water and general poor weather restricted even the hardest of anglers to venture out fishing. Water temperatures ranged between 6 and 6.5 degrees Celsius for the week. Zero fish were recorded caught for the week.

Week ending 14th February 2021

Ongoing poor weather conditions persisted with a few anglers venturing out to fish on the Moy. Water temperatures dipped to 4.5 degrees Celsius towards the end of the week on the River Moy.  Zero fish were recorded for the week.

 Week ending 21st February 2021

Cold and blustery weather prevailed for most of the week with heavy rainfall. With some intermittent spells of fair-weather anglers jumped at the chance to wet a line. However, on Saturday morning 20th February, the first salmon of the 2021 season was caught on the River Moy. The 11lbs salmon was landed by Peter Mc Hugh on the Verschoyle Fishery part of the Ballina Salmon Anglers’ waters, to a worm. Persistence pays off…. as he said himself – he put in the hours. All other River Moy fisheries reported zero fish for the week.


Trout season kicked off on Loughs Conn & Cullin

A nice 1lb trout caught by Gary Binley in Cloghan's Bay on opening day

Kevin O’Boyle reports from Loughs Conn & Cullin

Loughs Conn and Cullin opened on 15th February and Lough Conn saw a few anglers braving the elements on the first day where 15 trout were recorded as being caught. Southwesterly winds got some trout moving and roughly 12 anglers ventured out the lake. Stephen Browne had four trout all keepers, the best weighing 1.2 lbs and lost one more, all off the Brackwansha Shore. Peter Roche had one trout weighing 1.5 lbs in Cloghan’s Bay as had Gary Binley with a keeper over 1 lb. Successful flies on the day included Bibio, Fiery Brown & Dabbler.

Irish Angling Update – 19th February 2021

It’s been a wild and blustery week as we endured a couple of strong wind warnings and, while writing this, the wind continues to howl and swirl around the house with some heavy showers rattling the windows. But, there have been some intermittent spells of genuinely warm sunshine over the past week where, wrapped up to face the elements, you are pleasantly surprised to feel the heat of the sun penetrate through the layers.

Those patches of warmth are critical for early season trout anglers as they stimulate the fly hatches that finally get things moving after the long winter months. And for those lucky enough to live within 5km, a number of our top trout angling loughs opened up again this week. Unfortunately, the wind probably kept plenty of boats on the shore so we don’t have any reports of the fishing in yet. Still, we do have another fly tying masterclass from Peter Driver where he focuses on that most important early-season trout fly: the buzzer. Peter has drafted in top Corrib angler Basil Sheilds to give a host of tips on how to rig and fish the buzzer, so this one is a must for those of us hoping that we’ll be able to cast a line on the loughs before too long…

Basil Shields
TackleTalk with Basil Sheilds

Unfortunately, the wind kept the boats on the shore of Lough Currane, as Vincent Appleby reports on a blustery week down in Waterville. But luckily we have a couple of entertaining YouTube clips of anglers in pursuit of salmon to keep our interest going while we are away from the riverbanks. And lady luck played a helping hand in Andrew McGall’s fine catch as a cast that could have gone horribly wrong turned out to be the one that ‘hit the spot’. Meanwhile, prolific YouTuber Marcin Kantor gives us a blow by blow account of his quest to catch his first salmon. It didn’t happen first time for him, but as we all know, perseverance pays, and after trying a few different methods it all came good in the end.

We all need some luck on our side…

Some anglers were able to get out and cast a line within 5km of their house, and Longford angler Daniel Daly was one who made the most of his opportunity. Fishing with his brother and a friend, they managed to get 16 pike over a few different sessions, which led to smiles all round.

A nice double for Daniel

Stefan Marting of Killybegs Mariners SAC continues to reap the rewards of his lockdown fishing on the local piers and harbours. There seems to be plenty of different species showing up, and they are falling to a range of methods, including jigs, lures and bait.


Finally, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Blackrock Education Centre are calling on aspiring young poets to put pen to paper in a water-themed poetry competition. Aimed at 5th and 6th class primary students, the task is to write a poem with the first letter of each line spelling the word STREAM. There are some prizes on offer for the top three poems, so that should spark some creativity, and hopefully we’ll be flooded with entries.

And now the weather…

Mostly cloudy and breezy at first this afternoon with outbreaks of rain and a risk of flooding in the south. Brighter conditions with sunny spells and scattered heavy showers will extend from the west this afternoon. Mild, with highs of 10°C to 12°C. Strong southerly winds will moderate this afternoon, but remaining strong to near gale force on eastern coasts. The blustery weather is set to continue for the next few days as a showery weather pattern takes hold over the weekend with gusty winds and temperatures remaining relatively mild. The winds will increase again early next week, bringing some wet weather on Monday night before becoming more settled later in the week.

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

Shane O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to reports@fisheriesireland.ie.

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