This the last report of the trout and salmon season for 2010 in the western district - more great fishing reported from the Erriff River. Other fisheries have been quieter, with runs more or less finished.
Jim Stafford at Aasleagh Lodge reports on fishing on the Erriff River from the 18th to 30th of September. The Erriff showed once again in true fashion what a spate river really is, with heavy rains increasing river levels to 2.0 metres on the 18th, then falling to 1.1m on the 21st and rising again to 1.8m on the 22nd of the month. Levels were then recorded at 2.2m on the 23rd - falling to 1.9 metres on the 24th. Thereafter levels fell slowly to 1.0m on the 28th, and just as the season was ending levels increased from 0.9m to 1.1m. Anglers reported seeing lots of salmon on all the beats with salmon still to be seen at Aasleagh Falls. The total catch for the period was 44 salmon and 9 sea trout.
Spanish angler Jesus Herrando with a nice Erriff salmon. Photo courtesy of fishery manager Jim Stafford.
Dr. Bart and Liam Maloney had 4 salmon from Beat 9 on the 18th. Local anglers fishing the river on Sunday 19th. caught 6 salmon. Willie Mc Donnell caught a 5lbs fish in the Dog Pool on Beat 2, while Stuart Fleming had 1 from the Falls Pool on a Willie Gunn. Peter Coyne had a sea-liced fish in the Square Pool on Beat 9, and Donovan Brinklow had 3 including a sea-liced fish of 7.5lbs taken on a Shrimp Fly in the Falls Pool, he also lost a bigger fish at the net.
Frieder and Eva Hompesch from Germany had 5 fish for the week all taken on fly from Beats 4, 6 and 9. A Grey Shrimp pattern brought success to Mr. J. Cabeza, Spain, who fishing the Erriff for the first time had 3 salmon, including his first ever salmon which he retained, and sportingly returned another 2 to the water the following day.
John Dardis, Kildare, caught and released 4 fish in 2 days taken on Shrimp patterns. Mr. K McNamara, Kildare returned a 5lbs fish taken on the Willow Pool on Beat 6. It was a red letter day for Jonathan Murray and Stephen Coulter from Ballymena, Co Antrim, who were fishing the Erriff for the first time; they caught and released 8 salmon in one day with 7 fish taken before 2pm on the 24th - successful flies were the Bann Special and a Yellow Dick. Andre Replat, France, had one from the Coronation Pool on Beat 8 and another from the Garden Pool on Beat 9. Conor O'Leary, Dublin, released one taken on a Daddy in the School House Pool on Beat 3.
Mr. A. Muckian caught a 4 lbs fish on a Cascade in the Garden Pool on Beat 9. James Stafford returned 3 fish all taken on the Erriff Green & Gold. Stuart Woodhead, UK, returned 6 fish caught in the Sally Pool on Beat 7 and in Kings Pool and Poleen on Beat 4, and another 2 taken in the Garden Pool on the 2nd last day of the season. The last day of the season was successful for Gerard Turner, fishing the Erriff for the first time, who caught a grilse in the School House Pool on Beat 3.
The Western Lakes have been very patchy over the last weeks of the season, with some anglers reporting good fishing, while others have not fared so well - a familiar refrain this season. Frequent rain over the last couple of weeks has meant rising water levels, and darker peat-stained water in some areas of the lakes. Fish are becoming more preoccupied with finding their spawning streams and mating, and less interested in feeding. I have very few and sporadic reports from the lake. Paddy O'Toole from Galway landed 17 trout to 4 lbs over a few days, mostly trolling, while Frank Reilly landed 8 fish over 3 days to fly, all released. The Greenfields Social Club League finished up, with Frank taking top honours with 8 trout over 6 days throughout the season. Carig McKirdy was 2nd with 7 trout over 7 outings, with Ciaran Cooney in 3rd. James Purcell had the biggest fish at 45 cm.
That's it for 2010 from the Western Lakes, and we will hope for a good spawning season this year to ensure good fishing in the next few years.