Angling Notes: Project to improve access on River Easkey completed

Footbridges, stiles and ladders installed along the river at a cost of €23,500

The Duckfly – one of the first fly hatches of the season. Tied by Jimmy Tyrrell (irishflycraft@gmail.com).

The Duckfly – one of the first fly hatches of the season. Tied by Jimmy Tyrrell (irishflycraft@gmail.com).

 

A new project to improve angling access on the River Easkey in Sligo has now been completed.

The venture, which was delivered by River Easkey Angling Association, received support from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) via the National Strategy for Angling Development.

Structures such as footbridges, stiles and ladders are installed along the river while walkway routes have also been improved. The work took place upstream of Workhouse Bridge which initially involved similar works downstream of the bridge last year.

The project has delivered eight access points, 13 footbridges and five kilometres of improved trail access. A total of €23,500 was committed to the work with €10,000 awarded in 2017 and €13,500 granted in 2018.

Alan Spencer of Easkey Angling Association, added: “The club wishes to thank the fisheries staff for their help and support and to express its gratitude to those landowners who kindly permitted the club and its contractor access to the river through their property.”

Wales introduce emergency byelaws to protect salmon stocks
Natural Resources Wales has introduced emergency byelaws to protect salmon stocks after the current byelaws expire. The “National Salmon Byelaws”, which were in place for 20 years, expired on 31st December, 2018.

The new byelaws, which came into effect on 1st January 2019, will replicate the current level of protection for salmon stocks until a decision is made by the Welsh government following application for the introduction of more protective catch controls.

First salmon catch of the year
Apart from Michael McCann’s catch of the first salmon of 2019 on the Lackagh River in Co Donegal on January 1st, there are unconfirmed reports of one or two fresh salmon caught on the River Flesk in Co Kerry.

However, with a host of additional salmon fisheries open for business from last Friday (1st February), hopefully, more returns will be forthcoming.

Preparations for trout fly fishing season
The trout fly fishing season gets underway in a few weeks’ time, most notably on the western lakes. The late Peter O’Reilly’s book Loughs of Ireland tells us the chironomids, otherwise known as duckfly, are the first fly hatches.

Traditional patterns, in sizes 10-14, with a nice breeze, are most productive. Favourites are Blae Sooty Olive, Red Arrow, Fiery Brown, Mallard Claret, Connemara Black, Peter Ross, Bibio, Watson’s Fancy, Coachman and Dabbler patterns.

Accounts of catches from yesteryear
Following last week’s initial report from the first handbook of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers printed in 1957, the following are some more excerpts.

The specimen fish committee report of 1956 (founded in 1955) shows that eight sea fish were caught (in 2017 the figure was 420!). The most notable of these included a hake caught by John McKay of Bangor AC at 15lb 2oz.

Another noteworthy catch was that of a 205lb skate at Kinsale by A Bowie of Dun Laoghaire SAC. Captain Saul boated a turbot of 23lb 8oz also at Kinsale and Capt O’Toole caught a very nice cod of 26lb 12oz at Greystones.

A haddock of 5lb was taken by Jack Lyons at Kinsale and a mackerel of 2lb 11oz fell to Prof J O’Rourke at Lough Eyne.

Rory’s Fishing Tackle 59th Anniversary Sale
Rory’s Fishing Tackle 59th Anniversary Sale started last Friday (Feb. 1st) with 25 per cent off all fishing tackle and archery goods while stocks last. Online customers must enter coupon code 2019 in shopping cart view before check out to enjoy the 25 per cent discount.

Rory’s Fishing Tackle, 17a Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Tel: +353-1-677 2351.

angling@irishtimes.com and derekvevans@gmail.com.

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