And on the seventh day . . . the first salmon of 2014 is landed at Leitrim

Almost a week after opening day, the first salmon is caught by Ballyshannon angler


The first salmon of 2014 was caught on Tuesday January 7th at 2.30pm on the River Drowes by Ballyshannon angler Eoin McManus while fishing the pool below Lennox Bridge on the Leitrim side of the river. The fish weighed 3.6kg (8lb) and fell to a size-7 brown Rapala lure.

“To be honest, I never expected a fish to be caught on opening day [January 1st] because of exceptionally high water levels, and I’m still surprised we managed one today,” said fisheries owner Shane Gallagher.

A regular angler on the Drowes, Eoin recently finished college and found time to “have a go” even in the poor conditions. “This is my first time to catch the first fish. I’m absolutely delighted,” he said.

The salmon will be served up to guests in the Fox’s Lair Restaurant in Bundoran by owner and chef Brendan Faulkner, and all proceeds will go to charity.

The latest report from the Drowes confirmed there were no more fish caught, but the weather had improved and the water was dropping slowly. Their season for salmon and sea trout runs from January 1st to September 30th, and all legitimate methods are allowed.

For booking details, contact Shane at 071-9841055 (day) or

Saving salmon in 2014
The current regime of salmon farming cannot continue if fishery management is to be effective and wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout are to survive, according to the Atlantic Salmon Trust’s end-of-year review. The review emphasises the need to keep obtaining data from coastal waters in order to convince the Government to change its policies on salmon farming.

The Trust has taken the lead in encouraging development of new ways of farming salmon, such as in land-based closed containment, which removes the proven damage caused by open cage systems.

Marine mapping
Details of upcoming projects in the National Marine Mapping Programme (Infomar) were announced recently by the Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergal O’Dowd. The Government has committed €15 million to the programme over the next five years.

“I am delighted to announce the continuation of the Infomar project which is providing crucial information towards the development of Ireland’s 220 million acres that lie under the sea,” the Minister said.

Infomar has so far conducted surveys along the south-west, south and east coasts and completed mapping of most Irish bays and harbours including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Galway. The project has also helped produce new navigational charts; shipwreck maps and books; special areas of conservation; data to underpin foreshore licensing; maps for offshore renewable planning, cable and pipeline routes; and Ireland’s largest digital database of marine information.

The next phase will include mapping of Lough Foyle, Lough Swilly, Broadhaven Bay, Youghal, Dungarvan and Drogheda.

Golden touch
The Golden Rozzer fly is a variation of the Golden Olive Rozzer with hopper legs which flytier Jimmy Tyrrell created for the mayfly season. It is a great pattern to use in a wave, a little like the Gorgeous George without the jungle cock cheeks and red butt, he said.

Rozzer patterns have been around for some time and are popular with lough anglers due to their colour variations. The fly can be tied in a variety of olive shades, sometimes with a touch of red or orange seal’s fur added to the second half of the body.

It will work on any of the Irish loughs and is a “must2 to have in the fly box, says Tyrrell. See or contact 086-8451257.

The Lough Ree Pike Festival will be held from April 9th to 11th, with €17,000 to be won. Fáilte Ireland is unable to commit to sponsorship at this stage; however, Athlone Town Council has donated €1,000 sponsorship. The festival committee will add a further €1,000 for the popular World Cup. Full details from Eamon Cunningham 087-2340815 or