Salmon bonanza and trout enjoy late arrival of the mayfly

Anglers hit the water with serious intent as mayfly finally arrive on Irish rivers and lakes


BALLYNAHINCH enjoyed great spring salmon fishing in late May. With a rise in waters in the second week, healthy numbers of springers were observed migrating upstream. Regular anglers hit the water with serious intent and, for the second year running, Tom McManus scooped the first fish of the season, landing a 3.7kg springer from the stream on Beat 1.

A marked increase in fishing activity brought five more fish over the following nine days; with three landed on Tuesday 16th, alone. With good numbers of large springers passing over the counter every day, some good fishing is envisaged over the coming three weeks.

Ballynahinch also looks forward to the imminent arrival of their sea trout. They may be behind schedule, however, their arrival in conjunction with the early grilse is always a welcome sight at the hotel. For bookings, contact Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Tel: +353 95 31006.

Plenty of salmon on Moy
Elsewhere, it was another impressive week for salmon fishing with the Moy producing 221, including the first of the season from the Ridge Pool caught on fly and released by Spanish angler Enric Salvans.

The Ballisodare Fishery recorded 87 while the Galway Weir had 30 with several more hooked and lost.

Mayfly arrive on Mask
On the trout front, Mask continued in top form again with some exceptional returns. Water levels dropped slightly, but are still high for this time of year. The massive hatch of Olives over the past three weeks began to peter out with the arrival of the long-awaited mayfly.

Hatches have been sparse so far, with the main hatch in the south-eastern corner of the lake, ie Saints Island, Inishard area. The buzzer hatch on warmer days has been incredible with some fine trout taken on buzzer patterns.

Phil McGinnity of the Marine Institute and two Scottish friends spent two days with boatmen Kevin Sheridan and Ronan Cusack and landed 24 trout (best 1.1kg, all returned). Ronan and Mike then fished together next day and caught 14 good fish. For guiding, contact Ronan on 087-286 9487 or

Patchy fishing on Corrib
Fishing on Corrib could be described as patchy, with many anglers left frustrated at seeing plenty of fish rising but finding it difficult to make contact. Anglers also reported fish splashing at flies and not making an attempt to take the fly properly. Others are coming short or missing completely.

Changeable winds on Conn and Cullin led to very changeable conditions, resulting in mixed results for anglers. Small Olives continued to hatch in large numbers in some parts, while Mayfly remained localised. Anglers had success on wets and dries with dry Mayflies, Wulffs, Olives, Dabblers and Green Peters accounting for fish.

Fishing from the Cloonamoyne Fishery, Canon John Flynn and son had over 40 trout for six days, all on small dry Olives. Ian Wise, Crossmolina averaged three trout a day over the week, on Fiery Brown and Sooty Olives.

On the Brackwansha/ Cloghans side, Peter Roche boated seven trout with the Olive proving most successful. Padraic Traynor had seven all on dry Mayfly while Michael Ruttledge fishing with Sean Goulding had eight trout each all on Mayflies, up to 1kg.

Tope arrive in Lough Swilly
Early season tope arrived in Lough Swilly in the past week. Anglers aboard Rathmullan charters boats Enterprise 1 and Swilly Explorer landed eight tope including a specimen of 19.5kg for Swilly SAC member Hugo McLaughlin. All fish were tagged and released.

A group from The Irish Times enjoyed a day’s fishing out from Ballyhack, Co Wexford, last weekend. Fishing on the charter boat Wild Swan off Hook Head, the group encountered a good variety of species that included a sprinkling of mackerel.

Roach and perch dominate
The Mal Scott Memorial Cup, held in and around the lakes and rivers of Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, produced quality roach but, it was perch in the Killadeas and Boa Island sections that dominated results.

It was a fitting tribute to his dad’s memorial that Rod Scott won the match with a total of 64.650kg, ahead of current world champion, Sean Ashby on 57.890kg. Third place went to Rod’s brother Mike with 54.540kg.

Poachers beware
At a recent sitting of the district court in Fermoy, two men were prosecuted by Inland Fisheries Ireland following investigations of illegal fishing activity on the River Aherlow at Angelsboro, Co Limerick. Both men had been observed fishing under the hours of darkness with a lamp and spear.

The Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd commended the work of IFI staff, working in remote areas