[ May 2012 ]
Spring 2012 Angling Report
It is hard to know how to sum up the first half of the 2012 fishing season because one always compares it to the best years for spring fish, which happened to be last year and 2009 which were indeed exceptional. Compared to the last 10 years, it would be regarded as average or slightly below, which is not bad considering the low rainfall in March, April and May.
February was, in my own opinion, disappointing because we had lovely conditions for much of the month. We had nice water with 222mms or 8.7inches. The good water coincided with some good and serious angling pressure, but the fish appeared to be scarce. As it turned out there were a few fish lost but none caught. This was the first time since 1986 that we recorded no fish caught in February.
March was a month of two halves. Rainfall was quite low with only 135.7mm or 5.3”, almost all of which fell by the 17th . The fishing mirrored this trend. We had 24 fish for the month, most of which were caught by the 22nd. It started in style with 3 on the 7th, Alan Dunlop with 2 and John Mills with 1. We then had 9 fish in the next 6 days. Notable catches were Brian O’Donohue with 2 landed in 30 minutes and Laurence Lock who had 3 during his visit. There was then a lull for a few days until Gareth Byrne landed a 15lbs fish off Finlough, which is still the biggest of the year to date. We then had a Swedish party headed by Hasse Dehlin. They had 6 fish for the week aided by Peter Joyce and Paul Duffy. They were followed by a German group who landed 5 for the week.
April was also relatively dry with 161.4mm or 6.35”, nearly all of which fell by the 17th. Total catch for the month was 29 and again it reflected the good water conditions with most fish being caught by the 21st April. There were only two days between the 8th and 21st that we didn’t land fish. Angus Sutherland had 3 during his visit. Maxi Schiedt managed 2, as did Niall Tonge, William Beattie and Michael Pettigrew. Robert Byrne from Dublin landed his first ever salmon, a 6lbs fish, taken on a Galway Stinger off Doolough. Fish of the month was Ronan Walsh’s 12lbs 9oz fish from the Rock Pool.
May was even drier with only 115mm or 4.5”. The water was very low early in the month, but we had extremely high tides which to my own surprise brought fish in. You could have blown me over when David Dunne and Alan Molloy landed 3 sea-liced fish off the river one morning with the gauge at 0. Any little bit of rain we got helped although for the whole month the gauge rarely went above 20.
Notable catches for the month included Chris Jarman 3, Jerry Barcoe’s first ever plus 2 more, Leigh Hookes 2, Oli Watkins 2, Ciaran Boland 2, including one of 14lbs12ozs, John Gode first ever, Olivier Suquet first ever, Steve Harod first ever and young Eoin Dunne first ever on fly.
Total for the month was 27 fish in difficult conditions. This brings total for year to 80, which considering the conditions is not bad. Having said that, the weather does allow one to appreciate the beauty of one’s surroundings, which on some occasions has been more than spectacular. Hopefully if we get some rain over the next few days we should see some more springers enter the system and the first of the season’s grilse.
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