w/e - Sunday 5th April 2009
I finally arrived at Lanesborough a little before 08.00 to find the river a good 15" down on this time last year. The level was about 10" below the concrete at the bridge. A few fish were topping and I couldn't wait to get my tackle out (ooh-er). It was a while before I unloaded my van and I eventually started fishing by 10.00. Some nice sized Roach were being caught by Arnie and Rod by the bridge, but I was temped by the usually reliable "between the trees" section. I managed a few Roach to 12oz and then moved to the gusher where I had a bit of Pike trouble. A low double intercepted a Roach but I lost the brief battle. 90 minutes later, fatigue was getting the better of me so I was forced to retire.
In the evening I had another short session but only found four Rudd to 6oz. Others were caught during the day to nearly a pound. The best Roach was 1lb 8.5 oz by David from Roscommon. This year I have a trophy to be awarded to the captor of the best Roach, witnessed and weighed by myself. Anyone wishing to claim must contact me 087 941 9988
I forgot to mention I saw my first Sand Martins yesterday. I had intended to rise for a dawn start but when the alarm sounded, I turned over to catch up on my much needed sleep. I eventually made it to the bank at around 10.30. A few were present and some fish were caught. I struggled to catch less than 2lbs in 3 hours with a Roach of 8oz the biggest. Other species were Rudd, a Perch and a tiny Hybrid. I took a chance on Piking with a 1oz deadbait and had one take which was dropped on striking. Kenny Rushe from Ballymahon was more fortunate. He took a deadbait from me and fished 10 yards upstream. 10 minutes later a Pike of 8.750kg was netted. It was a fine looking fish with a huge belly. The rest of the day remained very springlike and un-eventful. I took a walk at dusk but the lone angler present was catching only very small fish.
A glorious spring day, with May like temperatures. Not ideal angling conditions though as the bright sunlight made the going tough. Only a couple of anglers present, one of which was a Lithuanian who had just under 20lbs in his net. I saw him return all the fish. If only more of his countrymen did the same. I started at the gusher and foul hooked a large Hybrid but lost it in the fast water. A 1lb 6oz fish and another of about 8oz followed but after that it was grim. At the bridge I had a pair of Roach of 4oz and 2oz. Eventually at the gap, a Roach of 1oz was sacrificed to be presented as deadbait. The bait-runner kicked in and a tremendous fight started. The Pike was landed 40 yards down stream and weighed in at 7.500kg. I apologise to some who can't work this out in old money, but I have two sets of scales, one of which weighs up to 12lbs in 1/2 ounces whilst the other does up 14kg. I think 7.500kg is about 17lbs but I could be wrong. After that I couldn't be bothered so gave up at 13.00. A few fished during the day but no fish of note were caught. At dusk there was plenty of surface activity below the bridge on the Longford side but none on the navigation channel.
At last the rains came, giving the river some much needed refreshment. I spent the day in the shop unpacking the delivery which arrived this morning. Two lads from Dublin braved the conditions to record a few half decent Hybrids and some large roach. By early evening the rain had eased and I was able to fish until dusk. I never had much, just a couple of 8oz Roach, a similar sized Perch, a 12oz Rudd and a 2lb Hybrid. I fished the gusher with a stick float but should have chose the feeder which I believe would have had more success. I lost a very large Roach in the fast water. Meanwhile, below the gap, Phillip was amassing a bag of fish including two giant Roach, the biggest going 1lb 14.5oz. He is currently on the leader board to receive the prestigeous trophy I have donated for the best Roach caught on the river during my stay. Fingers crossed for a good weekend.
The wind was blowing south westerly today and I'm sure if it wasn't for the sunlight, the fishing would have been good. The bank saw a lot of hopeful anglers most of whom didn't stay too long. I was in the shop but inspected the river to find the going was tough. At 19.00 I ventured out and as the sun went over the horizon, the fish started feeding with more confidence. I had three Roach to 6oz or so with ease just above the bridge. There was a Kodak on the gusher peg and I could see him playing a fish as I crept up behind him. It was a Roach which I'm convinced was way over 2lb. which went straight into his plastic holdall. There is only one word for this type of angler, - c**t. Needless to say I "advised" him to return the fish but the other 4 hybrids in the bag, all above the permissible size, were long dead and a prayer could not bring them back. I was fortunate to see him vacate the peg so I had a go myself. The water in the gusher was orange with spawn, this the earliest I've ever seen spawning Roach. Lets hope it's just the first of many more to come.
The light was fading fast as I hooked and lost two fish. From 20.15 to 20.50 I had 10 fish, three Roach over a pound the biggest going 1lb 7oz, a Rudd of 10oz and the rest were Hybrids to just over 2lb. Total for the evening was around 16lb. Some of the swims are very weedy this year due to low water levels and unseasonably high temperatures. Anglers visiting the hot stretch for the first time this season would be advised to bring a rake. The worst affected swims are above the trees through to 20 yards below the gusher. These swims would prove very difficult as the lillies are gaining strength each day. Sunday mornings are very busy. The Kodaks are up early, presumably to get their breakfast Bream before the rest of you arrive. If anyone is seen putting fish into bags, get as many of you together to have a word and threaten to call the guard if they don't behave!
Another blustery day with waves coming off the lake making conditions difficult. The wind eased as the clouds came and a few fish were caught mostly at the bridge where Killian McCormack and Damien Allchorne amassed 45lbs between them. Steve from Northern Ireland, was on his first visit here for a number of years but found sport was patchy on the gusher. Others struggled but everyone caught. At 17.00 I shut up shop and headed for the river Rinn near Roosky. In the short 90 minute session before dusk I had about 3lbs of Roach and Perch. I had a phone call late reporting a 23lb Pike caught by Steve. This will be confirmed hopefully with a photo tomorrow.