The Reel Thing: Increase in salmon could be on the cards

The forecast suggests salmon fishing is likley to pick up across Ireland

PREDICTING when and where is the right time to catch a salmon is almost always either foolish or very foolish.

However, having been born an April fool what has this correspondent got to lose? 

Reports from Donegal to Cork and Kerry would seem to suggest that there are a few springers to be caught. The forecast for the next week to 10 days is somewhat unsettled which should mean decent water levels in our rivers. 
The air temperatures may be nothing special which will not help trout anglers but should not hamper salmon angling.

Believing a weather forecast is one thing but belief is a very important part of spring salmon angling. 

If the weather is a little on the cool side and water levels are good the chances are you will see relatively few salmon showing. 

Successful anglers fish with faith that there are fish to be caught and that they are fishing with the right fly or lure in the correct manner. These same anglers then have the confidence to persevere.

Perhaps too often in this day and age, people expect instant success and think that things were always better in days gone by. 

Having talked with many anglers who are even older than me, those golden days were not just as easy as we like to think.

 In reality it would often take three, four or even five days hard fishing to catch a springer given reasonable conditions. 

Of course, there were odd days when a good angler may catch two or three spring fish in a day, but it was not a common occurrence.

I well remember, as it was my birthday, my friend Charlie calling me from the safety of a high stool in Doochary to report on his days  fishing on the Gweebarra.

He had caught two salmon of 12lbs, one with his first cast of the day and one with his last on the famous Mayo Pool. Naturally, I was delighted.

Having decided that this April looks a promising bet for a springer, the next decision is where to wet a line. The guys in Bridge Guns & Tackle in Strabane tell me there have been a number of fish caught at Lifford Bridge in the last few weeks and that fish of 8 & 12lbs were taken at the Gravenue on opening day on the Mourne before the river went into flood. 

Fish have also been reported from the upper Finn at Cloghan while the Lacka in North Donegal has also given up some fine springers. In the west, Carrowmore Lake has been fishing well with four fish taken on Monday and Lough Beltra has also opened it’s account. 

Whether it is lough or river, it seems now is the time to hopefully and literally strike it lucky.


Salmon Fishing Picks Up on the Moy
After the first fish of the season was caught a couple of weeks ago, angling on the River Moy system picked up further during the past two weeks with more fish being reported, mainly from the Ballina Salmon Anglers’ water upstream of Ballina town, and also a few salmon caught on the troll on Lough Conn.

On the East Mayo Anglers’ water, David O’Callaghan from Dublin caught a fine 11.5 lbs. salmon on a Flying C. This was the first fish of the season for this section of the river.
With water levels dropping further, prospects for the coming weeks look good and it is hoped that more spring fish will be reported in the coming days.

Munster Blackwater
Proud mother and guide Glenda Powell reports on a fine salmon caught and released by her daughter Anna on a Red Rolla Lure as it was her first spring salmon 
Glenda reports that he river is now 1m at the gauge on Ballyduff Bridge and has been up and down twice this weekend. 

It looks like there is more settled weather coming for the rest of the week so hopefully the river will be fishing well again this weekend for the fly, and the river is suitable for spinning at the moment. There have been several fish lost on the Blackwater Salmon Fishery beats in the last week and reports of fish caught on a regular basis up and down the river. Fish are being seen on most days. Two salmon were recorded at 6&8lbs for Connie Corcoran at Ballyduff Bridge.

River Drowes
Fishery Manager Shane Gallagher reports that there has been a pretty steady run of fish over the last week to 10 days. Water levels have risen a little to 0.563 on the gauge. The weather has been a mixture of sunshine and showers but it has remained quite cold in easterly winds. The forecast for the coming days is westerly winds and some rain. There has been some good fishing with salmon to 14lbs which was caught at the Old sea Pool and a nice 10lb fish from the Crooked Hole for Michael Kruze (Germany) who now has three fish for his visit.

Lough Currane
Currane has offered up some fairly regular sport with most salmon falling to trolled lures. Andrew Wishart was one of the successful anglers who had a fine fish of 8lbs on a Rainbow Trout Rapala while fishing with his Gillie, Dominic McGillicuddy (

The upper lakes including Lough Derriana have also started to fish. 

German anglers Alfred Weigand and his son Thorsten, caught one salmon and a few good trout on these waters.  

Permits for these lakes are available from the Mace Supermarket in Waterville.

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