w/e - Sunday 4th April 2010
I was so looking forward to this day, until I arrived at Dublin Port to be greeted with a blizzard. As dawn broke in the Westmeath countryside, it looked bleak. I could forgiven for thinking I'd arrived in January. Lanesborough was no better. The river was, I think, carrying a wee bit of extra water, after all, it rained non-stop here yesterday. I didn't for a moment think about wetting a line. I had a couple of hours sleep before reviewing the situation which was worsening by the hour. My apologies for not taking the water temperature, but I'm sure you guessed, that with a strong easterly downstream wind, it was bloody cold!
I have set myself three goals for the coming 7-8 weeks. Firstly, I will catch a 2lb Roach, preferably on the Shannon but most likely on the Inny below Ballymahon. Secondly, Crystal Palace will be relegated. If this happens, you will hear me celebrating from Athlone. Thirdly, if I'm really lucky, news will break of that opera twat on the "go-compare" advert has been assainated.
Another cold day saw little acton on the bank. The river rose to being level with the concrete under the bridge. I went out just after 10.00 and chose the gusher swim. I lost two fish before finally netting my first fish of the campaign, albeit a foul hooked Bream nicked in the dorsal fin. It weighed around 2 and a half pounds or so. Not the way I wanted to christen my new rod. A couple of snow showers prohibited my stay and I was back in the shop within an hour.
Later in the afternoon, two lads from Doncaster had a three hour session near "Ryans Gate" and had just 1 Roach each. I did my evening stint on the gusher and caught one fish, another Bream weighed at 2lb 14oz. The wind turned back downstream and this triggered my departure. With Easter weekend approaching, things are looking grim.
It's a well known fact that more people from the Selhurst area of South London fall for April Fools jokes than anywhere else in the world. On a more serious note, the river has risen to cover three inches of the concrete below the bridge. Today was a beautiful spring day with temperatures approaching 10c . Shame the fishing wasn't really much good. A few Roach were caught in the afternoon. I had 5 with a couple over 8oz. In the evening there were just two lads fishing "between the trees" I struggled below them with just a solitary 2oz Roach. It was getting dark as they asked to borrow my landing net and I was green with envy as I helped weigh the biggest Roach I have ever seen from the Shannon. It sent the scales round to read 2lb 4oz. I'd even contemplate buying a season ticket at Selhurst Park next year if I could have caught this fish.
(click for larger image)
Not a lot to report I'm afraid. Steve and his son from Chorley, Lancashire had an uneventful all day session on the gusher where a 3lb Bream was the only highlight although a small Pike was hooked but lost. Elsewhere on the stretch the going was tough. Steven Herriety found a few Roach to 8oz or so but averaging 2-3oz.
My two hour dusk session saw 8 Roach to 4oz. The river has hopefully peaked with 4" of water over the concrete near the bridge. I still can't find my thermometer to do accurate readings but as it's still very cold, I would estimate it to be no more than 44-45f. The ambient air temperature has yet to exceed 10c so it could be a while before fishing really improves.
The rain forecast for today never materialised, so I'm surprised there were not more people on the banks. A Pike of about 8lbs was caught on the gusher with a few Roach. Other anglers reported the going hard. The water level appears to have topped but shows no sign of receding.
At 6.15 I ventured out and took the swim between the trees. For half hour or so, the fishing was easy with several Roach of around the 4-6oz stamp. I had 20 and a solitary Perch before it was too dark to see my float.
I was sent an E-Mail yesterday suggesting I might be not only a crap angler but a Crystal Palace supporter as well. I'll admit to being crap but as for the other insult....
Look and learn Mr Fawcett......
I was telling lies yesterday with regard to the water level, in fact, it rose a further 2" overnight. I was surprised to see no one on the bank at 07.30 and for Easter Sunday, the shop was very quiet. Perhaps my reports were enough to keep all away?
I had a drive round the Suck valley this afternoon to find many swims in flood. The boards at Dunammon were still fishable but with only one angler there I have no fishing reports. Back at Lanesborough I fished the same swim as yesterday and had 15 Roach and a tiny Perch. I packed up with more than an hour of daylight remaining, very damp, - just like my girlfriend!