Monday 11th May
Another week of woe? I sincerely hope not, but without anglers there would be no reports. I have lasted a week trying to write creatively and am currently running on empty. Strangely, I'm seeing far more visitors and page views this month than ever before. Perhaps my promise of revelation is what excites the reader?
This week, I will be breaking a story that will annoy anglers, embarrass certain authorities and hopefully, the readers of these pages will understand why I'm so angry in my writing. Peter commented on my rants of last week by saying I wasn't angry enough. Perhaps I should shout louder?
Those who know me well, probably see a reasonably happy individual who enjoys his angling and more importantly the countryside and surroundings that this beautiful area offers. I honestly love Lanesborough, it's not just the fishing but the people, the gossip and way of life. Inside though, I'm screaming, and these notes are the only way of venting my anger (aside from writing music and lyrics for Insane Society)
Over the years, I've concentrated on fishing reports which I'm sure is what everyone wants to read. The problem I'm having is purely down to the lack of anglers this year. www.innyangling.net has suffered a similar fate, this once superb information site now has such a small window of reports and an even smaller number of anglers and informants.
So let's hope that for one week, there is enough fishing news in the area and I don't have to rely on scandal and politics to keep the readership happy.
Some angling news may appear here this evening, if it happens, when it happens but inevitably....
Tuesday 12th May
No further news yesterday, it seems no one fished..AGAIN... so for today only, don't take this report too seriously.
Early this morning, nine anglers arrived at Lanesborough having previously ordered their bait of 1 gallon of Red Maggots, 4 pints of White, 4 pints of caster, a sack of Brown crumb and a kilo of worms (per man) from Irish Bait & Tackle. They collected the order from Bridie's late yesterday evening and proceeded to pre-bait the area around the duck pond.
They were ready to fish just as dawn broke with a slight mist over the lake. Most chose to fish the feeder with worm and caster being the successful hook bait and by 11am weighed in just short of 700lbs of Bream to 6lbs, Hybrids to 4lbs with the odd Roach. They have been coming to Ireland for over 30 years from Lancashire in the U.K. enjoying good craic with other anglers staying in the village and downing several pints before walking back to the accommodation just yards from the river.
With so many fish in the stretch, it comes as no surprise to hear they plan doing the same again tomorrow morning and intend on getting up at 3am to secure their spot.
.....and just in case you wondered, the river is still marginally rising, with about 6-8" on the concrete under the bridge. Personally, I think this is healthy, and on the top end of the optimum height, but not quite right for Tench or rather the presentation of a bait close to the reeds below the disabled swims.
Wednesday 13th May
Is anyone aware of the electric fence that has been put up in Lanesborough prohibiting angling on the hot stretch? No? neither am I, but it must be there as yesterday, according to my reliable sources, there were no serious anglers present. It is true that a group of danglers came with spinning tackle sometime during the afternoon. These visitors probably broke through the fence and tried to catch the fish that are quite obviously are not present.
Now, that last piece of sarcasm leads me into the next item of scandal that will probably annoy the majority of anglers, but firstly, without pointing any fingers at the moment, I'm not sure as to who is ultimately responsible..
On the downside of the Roscommon bank, there used to be a grassy area with easy access for fishing, despite falling into disrepair over recent years. The Ballyleague renewal group instigated a long term plan to get the bank repaired with a wall and walk around to the marina that was completed in 2005. About 18 months ago, I was asked about the angling in the aforementioned area and commented how good but relatively underused that stretch was, especially when the Roach are running.
I saw the initial plans and noted three areas designated for angling. The work started early summer last year and was completed before autumn with the exception of the cosmetics which are as good as ready for the official opening on the late spring holiday weekend.
It looks fantastic, but here is the €330,000 question,- where are the angling facilities that were promised? As early October when the railings were being fitted, several anglers asked where they were to be placed? I always replied that I believed the "gaps" were to have some form of platform fitted at a later date. In February, I learned that in actual fact, the project had been signed off and so on my return in the first week of April, Philip and myself asked the contractors/builders if we could take some photos of the (almost completed) area.
We discovered that angling was out of the question. Not withstanding the fence that, at over 4' high added to the 6' drop to some rocks (not visible in the photo taken above) meant that anything over "swinging" weight could not be landed. The "gaps" had a chain across them, for safety reasons I suppose?
I wrote a very lengthy email to the Lough Ree & Lanesborough Angling Hub the day prior to my quitting the committee. The final paragraph read as follows,-
I understand that IFI made a considerable donation to Ballyleague Renewal with regard to providing angling access on the Roscommon bank downstream of the bridge. I cannot see anywhere along the 140 yards where fishing can be of any ease. In fact it looks to be impossible. We had hoped to have the area used for the forthcoming 2 day event on May 30/31st but that idea has proved to be a non-starter.
Your comments on any of the issues raised are more than welcome.
Thank you for reading my very lengthy rant!
The reply was as follows,-
|From:||Lough Ree North Angling Hub (firstname.lastname@example.org) This sender is in your contact list.|
|Sent:||04 April 2015 08:46:34|
|To:||Lord Lanesborough (email@example.com)|
|Cc:||philip gordon (P.firstname.lastname@example.org)|
Paul, have you permission from Joe Cribbin to be quoting private conversations on to 3rd parties?
I suggest you get permission before you do so
This is not helpful
Also : the Irish wheelchair association have tested and approved 5 stands for disabled anglers at the new river bank in Ballyleague
That's what the IFI grant aid was actually for
Once again - please try and be careful in what you saying to people
Accuracy is important
Please note you do NOT have permission to quote any of the contents of this e mail to anyone
As you can see from the reply, I was advised not to quote the contents of this email. Why? was there something to hide? Perhaps a misjudgement in the plans? or maybe they were
signed off when the water level was in "winter flood" conditions and it may have been possible to fish through the chains (or were these removed beforehand?)
So back to the beginning of this subject and who is ultimately responsible? As I don't have all the relevant information, I can but speculate, was it the contractors? Roscommon County Council (surely they approved the initial plans) Waterways Ireland? and If I'm led to believe that IFI funded somewhere between €30,000 and €60,000 towards the project, were they aware that angling has rendered all but impossible now? Why did the wheelchair association sign off the area? perhaps they should send some of their less abled anglers to pass judgement?
Take a look at the photo on the left. This may be the disabled area? Imagine sitting on a tackle box, and landing a fish over the rail, over the rocks and into the water, I don't think a 5m landing net pole has been invented yet, so imagine how difficult it would be for a less abled angler?
I'm not going to popular after this news breaks out. Perhaps there may be a price on my head? There are still other issues that need to be resolved. We will have to wait until after the "competition" over the holiday weekend when the power station goes off-line and if the asian clam problem is finally addressed?
As usual, if any news of catch reports comes in, you'll read it here!!
Thursday 14th May
I was so hoping to arrive in Lanesborough this morning, but the ongoing situation at home has still to be resolved, and it is with great regret that I am unable to return in the immediate future. If my personal problems seem troublesome, they are nothing compared with what has happened to Lanesborough in the last few years.
When the Asian Clam was discovered in September 2014, it was the opinion of every authority connected to the river that a solution be found and action be taken with the utmost urgency. Despite this, here we are over 8 months later and not a lot has been resolved. The adverse publicity has seen angling activity at a minimum this spring and no matter what I've reported, there seems no improvement on visitor numbers. It would appear as though the keep net ban is the major factor.
The Lough Ree & Lanesborough Angling Hub raised a lot of money to finance the area promotion, and I'm sorry to say that as yet we have not seen much return for the amount of hard work put in. Maybe the forthcoming late spring holiday events will see a reversal of fortunes and I will be proved wrong in my opinions?
The most important thing is the the quality of angling, and this spring has been by far the poorest in my 23 years of visiting the village. I could have easily told lies, but that is not in my nature, and whilst I've tried my hardest to keep the flag flying, today it is on half mast as I can no longer find any positives to write about,
Some may say I've been a bit controversial these past two weeks, but I've said these things because I honestly believe the good people of Ireland deserve to know what's going on. As to whether I've done more harm than good, that's for the individual to decide.
So that's it for my year, a year that started slowly and went steadily downhill. Thank you to all that have read my reports, especially those who may have contributed to fund the cost of this web page. I can't promise I'll be back next year, but who knows?