A massive flood on the river Blackwater. This has been typical throughout the month of January.


Fishing Report January 2014.

I cannot ever remember such a prolonged spell of such wild, stormy and wet weather for the whole of the first month of the fishing season. Despite dreadful conditions combined with massively high water levels a few early spring salmon have been reported. The river Drowes, in Co. Donegal, reported a total of four spring salmon landed by the end of January including one on the fly! quite an achievement under such conditions. The river Laune system in Co. Kerry opened on 17th January and the river Flesk, located on the upper part of the fishery , produced an opening day spring salmon weighing about 10 lbs. Waterville system which includes lough Currane also opened on the 17th January but no fish have been reported so far. In fact not too many anglers are fishing yet as conditions remain just about impossible.
Hopefully a change to a more normal pattern of weather sets in soon giving rods at least a reasonable chance to try and fish. Only then will we get some idea of how many early spring salmon might be about.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
Into a good one and a first ever! This is the river Blackwater, which despite low water fished reasonably in September.


Fishing Report September 2013.

September for the most part began as August finished with very low water levels prevailing on most of our rivers. There were quite a lot of warm, sunny and calm days which, whilst very pleasant generally, are of little use to the salmon anglers. Salmon become very difficult to tempt under these stagnant conditions and without rainfall to raise the water levels there is nothing to encourage the waiting salmon to enter the rivers from the sea. The bigger rivers, like the Blackwater in the south or the Mourne in the north, still managed to produce a few fish, but it wasn't easy.
The brown trout fishing remained fairly quiet as well although lough Sheelin seemed to fish reasonably well at times, mainly to small sedges, but also to the wet fly when conditions were any way suitable.
So a strange season comes to an end for most fisheries. However, the river Blackwater has been granted a seasonal extension until the 12th October and it will be interesting to see if there is any big run of fresh autumn salmon from the sea, provided they get the water of course. It has often happened in recent years.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
A nice summer afternoon on the river Mourne, another river which fished very well at times this summer despite the low water conditions.


Fishing Report August 2013.

As a result of the change in the weather conditions bringing lower temperatures together with some badly needed fresh water for our rivers, fishing began in earnest again.
The river Blackwater got a fairly decent rise in levels and with this flood came a good run of summer salmon and grilse. As the colour cleared out fishing was very good for over a week or so but slowed down quickly as the warmer settled weather returned. Some of the spate rivers in the western region fished very well and at Ballynahinch Castle fishery in Connemara for example they've experienced some of their best summer salmon fishing for at least twenty years! Fish up to 18 lbs. or so being reported. The Kylemore Abbey fishery also had some very good fishing with decent runs of grilse evident. Not everywhere was so good and the river Nore, and to a lesser extent the river Suir, missed the rain altogether and fishing remained very poor indeed on these rivers. At the other end of the country the river Mourne received some good floods and fishing was very good over a three week period and was still quite good after the water dropped away again, with a good stock of salmon in the pools.
Brown trout fishing recovered a bit on some of the loughs but overall remained quiet.
As always we anglers have some great expectations for September but this is ,so far at least, an unusual season so who knows what will happen next?
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
Trying for a salmon on the Ballynahinch Castle fishery which experienced its best salmon fishing for at least twenty five years.


Fishing Report July 2013.

Salmon fishing started to suffer badly as the hot weather became firmly established. The first week was still OK. with some grilse running particularly at night. As temperatures soared and water levels dropped away salmon fishing became very difficult and although fish were present in fairly good numbers on many rivers they proved almost impossible to tempt.
Brown trout fishing was also very quiet during this period and even the normally reliable late evening rise to the big sedges was at best patchy. Again the weather was to blame as the shallows on the big loughs became uncomfortably warm for the trout. They normally migrate out into deep water during periods of hot summer weather and stay there until the water temperature drops again to their liking. It all adds up to poor angling conditions. So we badly need some rain and let's hope we get it as all our rivers and loughs but, particularly those in the southern part of the country, need the fresh water.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
Mayflies dance in their millions. This was a common sight on many of the limestone loughs during the warm weather of late May and early June this year, lough Sheelin pictured here among them.


Fishing Report June 2013.

The first week of June saw perfect dry fly weather, warm and calm settled conditions. There were some superb rises of trout to the heavy falls of 'spent gnat' occurring, particularly on loughs Arrow and Sheelin, at this time. There were also huge hatches of 'buzzer' which also brought on strong rises of trout. A fair number of large trout weighing between 4lbs. and 6lbs. were being reported. Indeed I managed to land a number of big ones weighing between 5lbs. and 6lbs. with the dry fly to both 'spent gnat' and 'buzzer' on Lough Arrow. Lough Sheelin also fished well at this time and a trout of 10lbs. plus was reported. Some big hatches of 'Murroughs' began to appear at this time and they will always bring up one or two of the biggest trout in the lake. As the settled spell came to an end so the trout fishing became much less certain.
By mid June we had some rain which was welcomed by the salmon fishers and the rivers. This resulted in some strong runs of late spring salmon together with the first of the grilse. The river Blackwater provided some good fishing and many other rivers fished well as long as they had got enough water.
By the end of the month we were looking for more water just about everywhere but long range weather forecasts were indicating a spell of warm and settled conditions well into July. We shall just have to wait and see!
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
A magnificent wild brown trout and one of many taken on the dry fly from Lough Arrow which fished very well during the latter half of May into the middle of June, as weather conditions were perfect for dry fly fishing, being mostly warm and calm late into the evenings.


Fishing Report May 2013.

Well it was certainly cold and wet at the beginning of May with good water levels on many of our major salmon fisheries.
On the river Blackwater high coloured water hampered fishing in the first week but the rest of the month provided some first class spring salmon fishing, the best for many years in fact! On one well known beat the rods managed to land over one hundred spring salmon, most of which were good quality double figure fish, best one of about 17lbs.
The river Suir also produced some very good quality spring fish and the river Slaney has been very good indeed with salmon to over 20lbs. being reported. The various rivers in Co. Kerry were not so good although Lough Currane bucked this trend and fished very well at times. In the west the river Moy produced some nice quality spring salmon and Lough Beltra provided excellent spring salmon fishing with numerous fish up to 17lbs. being reported. Interestingly Carrowmore lake, normally a very reliable spring fishery, remained poor.
On the brown trout front fishing was quiet everywhere at least for the first fortnight despite plenty of rod effort. With such cold spring temperatures persisting the mayfly hatch was always going to be late. In the end it turned out to be about three weeks behind normal expectations. No mayflies were even seen on Lough Corrib by mid month which is very late indeed on this early lough. Lough Derg, perhaps the earliest lough of them all, had the same experience whilst Loughs Arrow, Mask and Sheelin were even later. By the last week of May, as the weather finally warmed up, the mayfly hatch really got going. Both loughs Corrib and Mask never really fished well although there were a few good days. Small trout seemed to predominate for the wet fly fishermen and the dappers. There was a tremendous run of spring salmon into lough Corrib this year with quite a few being reported. It was a different story on both Lough Arrow and Lough Sheelin as the warm weather settled weather seemed to suit both of these loughs in particular. At the time of writing the fishing has been very good with decent quality trout rising well, especially late in the evenings, to the 'spent gnat' and 'buzzer'. Let's hope the weather holds and the fishing may get even better!
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
Playing a spring salmon on the river Slaney which had a very good run of springers for which it has always been renowned.


Fishing Report April 2013.

Despite the often very cold conditions spring salmon fishing has been good if not spectacular. One or two well spaced floods seemed to bring steady runs of fresh springers into the river Blackwater with fish well spread throughout the length of the river which must be a good thing. Some of the best beats were producing fish to the rods on a daily basis. The river Slaney continues to produce good numbers of springers with some good sized fish to over 20lbs. being reported. Over in the south west region the river Laune system finally began to get a few fish and lough Currane has been fishing consistently well with fish up to 20lbs. in
weight being caught. There has also been a few specimen sea trout reported with a best one of over 9lbs. The Galway weir fishery started to get some decent springers including a best one of 21lbs. taken on the fly. Further north the river Moy is producing a few springers especially in the upper section of the river. Best fish reported was 18 lbs.
Lough Beltra is having a good season with good numbers of spring salmon entering the lake. Interestingly Carrowmore lake, normally a very consistent spring salmon fishery, has been very quiet. Of course a set of big tides can change things very quickly.
The Ballysodare river opened and reported 40 salmon for the first week. Going further north again, fishing on the river Drowes picked up considerably after some fresh water. The river Finn suffered from low water levels for most of the month but a few fish were reported once the water finally arrived. The nearby river Mourne open at the beginning of April and produced some nice spring salmon.
As I write this report in early May the spring run of salmon continues to be steady. Brown trout fishing will improve dramatically as soon as we get some decent temperatures. Anglers are eagerly awaiting the mayfly hatch which will undoubtedly be very late this year on account of such a cold spring.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
A huge flood in the third week of March but fishing picked considerably as the flood cleared. This was the river Blackwater.


Fishing Report March 2013.

Mostly low, cold and clear water conditions have persisted throughout the whole month of March on our rivers and loughs. A persistent and bitterly cold Easterly wind has been blowing for more than six weeks now and needless to say is not conducive to good angling for either salmon or trout.
Despite this there has been some quite good early spring salmon fishing reported. The river Blackwater against the prevailing weather trend, received a massive flood during the third week of the month and as the flood cleared out some good fishing followed. All the fish caught were sea-liced the best of which weighed 17.5lbs. Over in Co.Kerry fishing was slower. The river Laune,normally reliable for early springers, fished poorly although a few fish were caught in the Killarney lakes. Lough Currane fared much better with about twenty spring salmon reported during the last ten days of the month including fish up to 20lbs. mark, a very god fish for this fishery. Perhaps the best news comes from the river Slaney which opened for fishing in the middle of the month. Some 15 spring salmon were caught and returned for the first two days of fishing alone with more reported since. It's nice to see this once famous spring salmon river making such a good comeback after a few lean years. Further north the river Moy produced a few fish but it's still rather early for this river. Up in Co. Donegal the river Drowes has been producing steady numbers of spring salmon. It seems that the low, cold water levels encourages the springers to linger longer in the river and so give the anglers a better chance at them. Still in Co. Donegal the river Finn has reported very little. It normally provides fair spring salmon fishing but being primarily a spate river it does need frequent rainfall to keep levels at a good fishing height and rain is the missing ingredient. When the weather does change we can expect a big improvement in fishing everywhere.
On the brown trout loughs things are very quiet and not many anglers are fishing. It's simply been far too cold. We normally can expect good hatches of 'duckfly' in March which in turn get the trout moving and provide some decent opportunities for flyfishing. Until we get a change in weather with a rise in temperature to bring on the insect hatches flyfishing will remain slow. I think most anglers are waiting for just that.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
Very low water levels for early spring in Ireland. This is the river Lackagh, a noted spring salmon fishery in Co. Donegal.


Fishing Report February 2013.

February 2013 began with the now rather familiar heavy rainfall, fairly low temperatures and consequently high water levels in many of our rivers. A few more salmon fisheries opened their season at the beginning of the month but rod effort was very low, not least because of the prevailing conditions. Things remained the same until mid month when suddenly the rain stopped and water levels started to drop and clear. The result was that fair numbers of early spring salmon were reported from different parts of the country.
Decent numbers of springers were running on the river Drowes in Co. Donegal and a few were caught including a beauty weighing 17.5 lbs. still sea-liced. In the west Delphi fishery had no fish until the last couple days of the month when two fresh springers were caught. Strangely the water was getting on the low side by then so it goes to show that you never really know when the fish might oblige! The river Blackwater in Co. Cork was flooded and remained just about unfishable until after the middle of the month. The first fresh spring salmon was reported on the 20th February and from a beat located well up stream - a sign that at least some early springers had run quite far up river with all the high water. A few more nice salmon up to 13lbs. were reported by the end of the month. Not a bad start considering the conditions and the low rod effort. Very quiet on the river Laune system at Killarney, normally a very reliable producer of early running spring salmon. Nearby lough Currane produced a few salmon including one weighing 20lbs. - the largest off the fishery for some years. The river Moy has also reported a couple of early springers but it's still very early in the season.
Many of the brown trout fisheries opened in the middle of the month and the highlight was a magnificent wild brown trout weighing 21lbs. from lough Corrib. Despite the big fish rod effort is still very low so far and even the trollers are scarce.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
High water on the river Drowes - good enough conditions but early salmon seem scarce so far this season.


Fishing Report January 2013.

This past month has certainly been a more normal January in terms of weather and water conditions here in Ireland. We've had plenty of rain, some snow and frost and some severe storms - everything the weather can throw at us really! So conditions on the few fisheries that are open have been very unsettled and quite harsh. After the two opening day salmon from the river Drowes there has been nothing since, which is a little unusual no matter about the conditions. The Waterville system and the Laune system in Co. Kerry both opened on the 17th January but no spring salmon have yet been reported. To be fair it's still very early days, conditions are hardly ideal and rod effort is also very low. As we get into February many more fisheries will open and then we'll start to get a better idea of just how many early springers are around.
Good Fishing & Tight Lines!
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