Angling Notes: Operation Ephemera is go!

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a new campaign highlighting the regulations and penalties around the catching of undersize trout

Brook trout. Photograph: istock

Brook trout. Photograph: istock

 

Operation Ephemera is a new campaign launched by Inland Fisheries Ireland to alert anglers to the intensification of efforts to detect those who take undersize trout or more trout than the rules allow.

Anglers found flaunting the law will receive a fixed charge penalty fine of €150 which, if unpaid after 30 days, will result in prosecution. The campaign will focus on anglers fishing for trout during the mayfly season which is traditionally the busiest time on the lakes when fish are ‘easier’ to catch.

The lakes in question are Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullen and Arrow in the West, and Sheelin, Owel, Ennell, Derravaragh and Ree in the Shannon catchment.

The campaign will be concentrated throughout May but with hatches being late in some areas this year, this may extend into June. Where trout are permitted to be retained it is important that this is within the strict regulations for the respective lakes.

Greg Forde, Head of Operations at IFI, said: “Not everyone on our lakes abide by the strict regulations that are in place to protect these extremely important wild brown trout and the mayfly period is when fish are most vulnerable.

“We will be highlighting the regulations and making leaflets available to anglers to help familiarise themselves with the rules.”

Becoming clearer

Water clarity on Lough Sheelin for most of April was alarmingly poor and this coupled with high water levels and persistent cold made the lake a challenging place. However, towards the end of April the water clarity improved and Sheelin became clear again with evidence of Olives, Buzzer, tiny black Chironomids and Duck fly, according to fisheries officer, Brenda Montgomery.

It was a struggle for the traditional fly angler with things only improving over the past number of days spurring on the early season favourites like Sooty Olives, Kingsmill (on the point), Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Bibios, Bumbles and Nymph patterns.

The shallows were the best places to head for – Merry Pt, Stony Islands, Derrysheridan, Ross Bay and back of Church Island.

The Dabbler in Claret, Silver, Pearly, the Peter Ross and Fiery Brown produced a few successes, appearing again and again throughout the season in trout catches. The Dabbler fished on a fast retrieve has always worked well and while the colour is significant on certain days, it is not 100 per cent of the success rate - its the speed triggering off necessary curiosity that injects the vital ingredient.

The biggest fish for the past month was 6lb, caught by Dariukus Berzina, Dublin, on a Black and Gold Humungus, off Church Island. Total number of trout recorded: 52.

Tipped the scales

Andrew Crouchman (UK), landed the first salmon of 2018 last Tuesday on Lough Inagh Fishery, Recess, Co Galway. The fish was caught at The Derryclare Butts on a Collie Dog and tipped the scales at 12.5lbs.

Andrew Crouchman with first salmon of 2018 from Lough Inagh. The fish weighed 12.5lbs
Andrew Crouchman with first salmon of 2018 from Lough Inagh. The fish weighed 12.5lbs

“This is right on cue as the first fish is usually landed in early May. Water levels are rising and hopefully a few more fish will appear,” fishery manager, Colin Folan said. For bookings, contact Lough Inagh Hotel at 095-34706 or inagh@iol.ie.

Trout and about

Ballinrobe and District Trout Anglers held the David Walsh Memorial Development Competition in pleasant conditions on Lough Mask last Sunday. This year, club anglers were joined by the Irish and Welsh home international teams who used the occasion as a practice day.

The competition was run as a team event on a catch-and-release basis and proved very successful with the minimum recording set at 33cm.

Aidan Heffernan (right) and Peter McKenna, joint winners of Ballinrobe & Dist. competition, with club chairman Kevin Egan
Aidan Heffernan (right) and Peter McKenna, joint winners of Ballinrobe & Dist. competition, with club chairman Kevin Egan

The winning duo were Aidan Heffernan (Kildare) and Peter McKenna (Sligo) with 11 trout. Aidan also won the individual award with seven fish.

A realistic pattern

The detached body Spent Gnat is a very realistic pattern that sits invitingly in the surface film on a calm evening. An occasional twitch on the line can sometimes work to imitate a struggling fly and entice a ‘take’.

Mayfly ‘Spents’, tied by Jimmy Tyrrell
Mayfly ‘Spents’, tied by Jimmy Tyrrell

To avail of the pattern, contact fly-tyer Jimmy Tyrrell at irishflycraft@gmail.com or 086-845 1257.

angling@irishtimes.com

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