w/e - Sunday 26th April 2009    

    Monday 20th April 2009                       

There is nothing better than being up at the crack of dawn (sorry Dawn) I was expecting to see an early morning "splash" but don't know why it didn't happen, I thought with the significant rise in temperature, we would see a number of extra fish in the stretch. I found bites difficult and caught but 12 fish in three hours. Five of these were Hybrids averaging 2lb a piece along with 2 Roach of a Pound and a similar sized Rudd. When the sunlight hit the water, I retired.

Feri, from Dublin fished above the trees and caught about 30 fish in his 9 hour session for a 20lb total. After midday, I had another run in with a couple of Poles who were putting 2lb Hybrids into a "keepnet" less than 2 foot long. Needless to say these fish were suffering, but they would have suffered more had I not spotted them trying to put the net (and its contents) into the now obligatary Lidl bag. I managed to save most of the fish from being the family dinner. Sorry chaps, you'll have to go to Super Value tonight.

A few fish were topping on the navigation channel during the day. In the evening Rory Dunne, using a 14.5m Pole ( a long device for fishing, not a very tall fella from the country Hitler invaded) caught around 25lb of Roach and Hybrids below the gap. Tim Collier from Tuam was on the "Tenchy" pegs and at 22.30 had just a few Hybrids and Bream.

    Tuesday 21st April 2009                       

The moment we've all been waiting for, a good head of fish throughout the stretch which arrived overnight. I was first on the bank this morning and had 25lbs of mainly Hybrids on the gusher, the biggest going 2lb 15oz others arrived from 06.00 onwards and everybody caught reasonably well. Arnie Williams from Rooskey was at the bridge and probably had top weight at around 70lb. The most notable catch was a Roach of 2lb 1oz by Leigh Maitland from Milton Keynes but now residing in Ballyhaunis. Just after midday the sun came out and the sport slowed considerably.

I drove to Maladys in search of the giant Roach but had to content with a new P.B. for the Inny at 1lb 11oz in a small bag of less than 8lb. It just never started going tonight. Back at Lanesborough, two lads from Dublin had some good fish below the bridge and were setteling in for a night stint. Tim and Jamie Collier shared 60lb on Monday night with Bream to 4lb and the usual Hybrids. All fish were caught from 22.00 to 01.00

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, I found out Brighton won away at Bristol Rovers.

    Wednesday 22nd April 2009             

I am totally stunned as to what happened today, after all the fish that were in the river yesterday, you would have thought today would have been great. Only a few anglers were present when I managed to fall out of bed at 08.30 so I had a go under the bridge. In an hour I caught 2 Roach of 4oz a piece and a Hybrid of about a pound and a half. I just never got any other bites. I asked the pair from Armagh if they had any luck, but they were struggling. 30 minutess above the trees confirmed most of the fish had dissapeared. I checked the gusher and there was no sign of spawning activity. When the two lads from Armagh packed up, they had totalled between 20-25lb each. Two others who arrived mid morning had 15lb between them. One angler on the gusher had just a handful of Perch. The only other angler who fished had just 2 Roach in 6 hours, at least one of these weighed 1lb 11oz. My short session on the pole produced 4 Roach the biggest going all of 4oz. Today was a day I'd rather forget. The forecast suggests rather poor weather coming for the weekend.

Is that it? Have we seen the peak? I hope not, but......

  Thursday 23rd April (St Georges Day) - One of the following statements is true,-

1 - Everyone had at least 100lb of fish today,

2 - Specimen Bream to 9lb were caught in the hot water stretch,

3 - The fishing today was shite.

If you think it is A or B, congratulations, you are a total idiot, go to the back of the class.

Arnie and Bill from Rooskey arrived early but had so few fish they were forced into moving over the river from Co. Longford to Co. Roscommon. Bill had a few male Roach under the bridge whilst Arnie hooked (and lost) some good Hybrids outside the toilets. As a bonus he did manage a tiny trout and a couple of Roach. I had two hours blanking before returning to the gusher and catching 4 or 5 small Roach and Rudd, but then, I am a crap angler, unlike Rory Dunne who arrived for an evening demonstration in how to catch. He ammassed about 40lb of Roach under the bridge using the long pole. Younger brother Shane employed similar tactics above him to record around 25lb. Now I know why they are both Irish internationals! The rain prohibited me enjoying myself so spent the evening watching "The Bill"

Thought of the day, -

It ain't who you know, or what you know, but what you know about who you know!

    Friday 24th April 2009                           

The amount of rain we have had today would suggest the river will rise again in the next 72 hours. In fact, there is more to come tomorrow morning, so I won't expect many early risers. Today was quite frankly abysmal, the odd angler who tried to fish, failed to impress. Steve from Navan, on a marathon session near the duckpond, was rewarded with the first female Tench reported this year, weighing in at 4lb 8oz.

  Steve from Navan - 4lb 8oz - Click image for full size photo.

The rain eased in the evening but my feeble attempt to hook fish continued, catching a solitary 6oz Roach on the Roscommon side and three sub 1oz Roach in the hot water. I was watching the river at dusk, and for the first time this year, there was a lot of activity on the navigation channel. Many fish are moving so a fresh influx of fish are expected tomorrow.

If anyone should be travelling from the U.K. in the next few days and coming near Lanesborough, could you call in at Tesco at Holyhead and get me 4 packets of McVities Digestives (500g packs) and perhaps 4 cans of Carnation evaporated milk. I'm running very low on stock and the prices over here are criminal, Ta.

Thought of the day, -

If you ever see a bunny, with his nose very runny, don't think it's funny, 'cos it'snot!

    Saturday 25th April 2009                    

Another difficult day, not only did it rain constantly seeing the river rise another inch but with so few anglers here, there is little to report. Steve from Sligo fished the gusher for a couple of hours and had some success with a big Rudd, Roach to a pound and several Hybrids. There was a hailstorm mid afternoon which saw off all but the hardy few camped out near the duck pond.

As the evening progressed, the weather cleared for a while. A group on the gusher had more success than myself. I wasted 90 minutes for just a solitary 1lb 8oz Hybrid below the bridge where the surface activity was at it's highest so far this year. I saw my first Whimbrel tonight. One night watching these smaller cousins of the Curlew, I asked Pat Smith, a local who was often seen on the bridge if he knew what they were, "The May Bird" was his reply, "'cos you'll only see them in May" I didn't have the heart to point out it was April 28th

I'm bored, so I'm going to write some more bollocks,-

Thought of the day,-

It's not the coughing that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in !

    Sunday 26th April 2009                        

Thankfully, I have more to write about today despite the weather being poor. Two visiting anglers from Ballyhaunis did extremely well with Leigh Maitland claiming over 50lb. A Tench of 5lb was caught by Mr Lester from Dublin sharing a bag in excess of 30lb with his son, Ross who caught this lovely Rudd of 1lb 14oz.

  Click image for full size photo

Two problems were averted by the vigilence of anglers today. Firstly, a Pike, estimated at around 20lb was caught by a Kodak near the gusher. Luckily, there were enough anglers on hand to assist in it's safe return. The same group attempted to empty their keepnet, which included a very large Bream, into a plastic bag.

With reports coming in of fantastic Roach to 2lb 7oz at the lower end of Lough Ree and 2lb 3oz below Shrule bridge, I was desperate for a piece of the action. I targeted Maladys on the Inny, but struggled in the light rain. Only one Roach required the landing net, but I'm proud to say it was a new personal best at 1lb 15oz. The rest of the session saw barely 5lb in total.