Trout are feeding heavily on Mayfly in parts of Lough Corrib, reports Kevin Crowley, Inland Fisheries Ireland inspector.
Large hatches have been reported from a number of areas over the last few days, while olives are also hatching in good numbers. Fishing has really picked up as a result.
"The pattern over the last few years has been for later hatches," said Kevin, "and the early hatch this year may have taken many people by surprise."
In the Oughterard area, Tom Kelly reports that a party of French anglers had 12 trout for a day to wet fly and dapped naturals. James Caulfield from Trim had seven trout on wet fly over two days. Some Welsh anglers had good fishing on buzzer patterns, with John Davies reporting three fish to 3lb, Brian Hugher taking two fish of 3.75 and 3lb, and Jeff Churton landing two fish of 2 and 2.75lb.
Bernard Craven from Dublin had two for 3.5lb on wet fly, and John Davis from Cork landed six trout over two days on olive patterns.
Fishing guide, Donal Connolly, reported great fishing for some of his guests. Tristan (photo, top) and Johnny Morrow from Banbridge in Co. Down, having caught two trout (best 2.5lb which was released) on wet fly in bright, calm, sunny conditions, decided to troll for a few hours and landed 2 ferox trout of 12.5lbs and 11.5lb. As it was 13-year-old Tristan's first specimen trout they kept one trout to be mounted, whilst the other was released.
Phillip Knecht from Switzerland had three trout for 6.5lb on the dapped Mayfly, while David Carlisle from Hexham in England had two trout for 3.25lb on wetfly.
Over on the Cornamona-Greenfields side, John Walsh reports that 70 anglers recorded 104 trout in 118 rod-days, with a lot more smaller fish not recorded also. Wet fly is most effective at the moment, with Mayfly and olive patterns taking most fish. Trout are on the Mayfly in the Greenfields area, whilst further north in the Cong-Cornamona area they have yet to switch on the Mayfly, preferring olives so far. Anglers are also reporting a lot of small trout coming to the dap.
The Cornamona Anglers held a wetfly competition on Sunday, with 26 anglers landing 25 fish averaging 1.66lb. The winner was Eamon Gavin, with three trout for 6.5lb. Second was Peter Curran, with four trout for 5.75lb, and third was Jimmy Molloy, with three trout for 5.25lb.
Fishing guide Larry McCarthy from Glencorrib reported 28 trout for eight anglers over 30 rod-days, with Vaughan Ruckley and John Cash from England enjoying some very good fishing, landing 22 trout over five days.
The Garda Siochana are hosting the European Police Fly Fishing Championships on Lough Corrib next week.
Meanwhile, in Galway, Kevin tells us that despite the bright sunny conditions, salmon fishing was pretty good over the last week, with 12 spring salmon landed, and quite a few more hooked and lost. Fish were landed on shrimp, spinner and fly in almost equal numbers, keeping anglers of all preferences happy. JJ Sullivan fished the fly, and had a fine 10.5lb fish, as did James Quinn, who had a 9lb fish on fly. John Liddy also took a 9lb fish on fly, while Tony Kavanagh had the best fish on fly for the week, a 12.5lb fish taken while fishing an evening session.
"With two gates open, and more broken weather this week, conditions are looking very good, and with fresh salmon coming in every day, fishing prospects are excellent for the coming weeks," said Kevin.
Elsewhere, the Mayfly's early appearance has been followed by an exceptionally early fall of spent gnat, and on Lough Derg anglers are enjoying good fishing in the evenings. Fish to 9lb have been taken so far on the gnat.
Lough Mask appears to be lagging behind but Mayfly fishing is also underway on Lough Arrow and on Lough Sheelin, where there was some very good fishing until conditions became too windy. Many trout streams in Ireland have been running low, although the Boyne was fishing well with fish to 2lb taken before the weather changed.
Salmon fishing has been best in the north-west where the Drowes, Ballisodare, Beltra and Carromore were producing good catches up to last weekend. The Moy had 42 fish for the week including the first fish of the season on the Ridge Pool. There was also some good fishing at the Galway Fishery, on the Drowes in Donegal and on Lough Currane in Kerry.
There was some great pike fishing all along the Shannon system over the last week. Good doubles were taken on Lough Derg, and around Longford and Leitrim. Brian Bohan did particularly well with two great fish of 28lb and 32lb on the same day. On Lough Erne, six German anglers landed 205 pike to 1m 6cm over a week, and in the Sligo area anglers fishing with guide Kenny Sloan had pike to 10lb on the fly.
Tomorrow (May 6) should be a bit brighter but it will be thundery. The weekend and Monday look to be very unsettled with further heavy or thundery showers and longer periods of heavy rain at times, mixed with some brighter conditions giving some sunny spells. Some flooding is likely in places, especially in some areas of the south and south-west where the rainfall totals could be up to three times the norm. It will be mild with afternoon temperatures up to 17° or 18°C in more favoured places on Saturday but turning cooler on Monday. Becoming windy again on Sunday and Monday especially in the west and south-west.