Never say never... until it's too late (you can't keep a bad man down) I'm risking everything by breaking my bail conditions and travelling to Lanesborough, but fuck it, you only live once! I will arrive early Wednesday morning.
It was pimply sissing down this morning when I spied on the hot stretch. Unfortunately, the web cam isn't fully operational yet, so I had to speak to Steve via facetime. He has no further news at the moment, but watch this space...
A great weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I'm now on my very long journey to Ireland. As I'm not a threat to national security, Mi5 are nowhere to be seen, but just incase, I set out before dawn and left via the rear entrance. My mobile and computer will be switched off to prevent triangulation (and yes, i did remove the battery)
Some may say I'm paranoid (who?) but I'm confident I will arrive at Lanesborough sometime around 07:48 tomorrow morning. Those Roach will be getting very nervous as I am armed multi cultural pinkees, and hemp in vast quantities.
Arrived at 07:47, the river looks perfect. No one fishing as yet, although I have news of a 9lb Brown Trout, caught by Steve Blacklidge yesterday on the hot stretch. I'm not sure, but could this be the biggest Brownie ever caught from the bank at Lanesborough? You may recall last year a pair caught by Artur Rydzak but nothing like this. Unless we see a bigger specimen, I nominate this as 'fish of the year'
Steve Blacklidge from Chorely with a monster Trout of 9lb
For any anglers travelling here from Dublin, I noted that the fuel was at it's cheapest in the city along the N4 next to the Liffey. If my memory serves me correctly, Diesel was 121.9 with petrol at 131.9. The next cheapest was Ballinalack and then the other side of the Shannon in Ballyleague. - Every pounds a prisoner!
I took Ralf out for a good walk this afternoon. On the way back we went to the old harbour below the duckpond. From there all the way round to where the lowest concrete rises, there were simply millions of fry. It is of no surprise as to why the Trout are present, they must be gorging themselves. With so much fry between around an inch and a half long, I believe that nature has this last six months had a double spawning, probably in the very warm late October/November.
I had to have a short evening session, so armed with a stick float rod went through my usual early season routine. I eventually totalled 35 fish, almost exclusively Rudd accept for the odd Roach and Perch. Best went about 4oz although most were sub 1oz.
Steve and Josh braved a day in pursuit of Tench on the disabled swims. Whilst the water temperature may be extremely good for the first week of April, I don't think it is quite there for the tincas, It would require 12.5c for two or three days for me to try. That saying, fair play for their valid attempt. Remember 2012? when by this time we had well over 50
We have some high pressure over us for the foreseeable future, so I'd expect lots of surface activity at dusk. Sadly, tonight this simply failed to materialise but it was quite overcast.
A very drab and overcast day. At least the water temperature at the gusher is significantly warmer than yesterday. Perhaps that'e why Josh and Steve are catching better quality fish around the bush, or should I say where the bush once was, as despite providing nearside cover for fish, it has been removed all bar the roots.
Below the duckpond I noted three Cormorants diving, I suspect they know something we don't. In fact I commented to some anglers yesterday that I believed there were a good head of fish sitting just off the end of the reeds.
This winter has seen no floods of note, so one good thing has happened on the hot water stretch, lots of weeds and grass has taken root and now provides a nice base for bivvies. When wet, those who have opted not to purchase a un-hooking mat, now have some protection for Pike. Far better that the stoney ground which we were used to. I'll post a pic of this tonight.
I've just been contacted by Lanesborough regular Blaine Carberry who sent a photo of what appears to be the very same trout caught just two hours earlier by Steve Blacklidge. I've zoomed in on the area around the pectoral fins, and can confirm the spots to be identical. Blaine tempted his capture on a mackerel tail. Why a fish wants to be caught twice in such a short space of time is beyond me.
Blaine Carberry with Bekki the Trout caught just two hours after Steve had her first!
We used to have a girl in my home town we called Bekki the Bike, she was very popular, so I'm let to believe, especially on a Saturday night. I suppose this Trout must like the same attention as Bekki? I'm not fussy, I'd be quite happy having a go on Bekki the Trout.
The fishing today seemed far better than yesterday. Josh fished near the bush and had lots of Roach to about a pound whilst Steve had the only Pike of the day at 15lbs. The bites dried up towards the evening, just as I arrived of course. I struggled to get bites at the gusher so moved downstream. A couple of nice 4oz fish were caught before a Pike interrupted the session by taking a larger fish. I thought it was a Tench or Bream at first, but as soon as I saw it, my hook length gave way. The swim never recovered and although I had loads of smaller Roach below the bridge, an early bath was called.
Two graphs showing the height and temperature of Lough Ree at Hodson Bay. Although a few miles downstream, I use this data on a daily basis to help me understand fish movement. When the temperature hits 10.3c (51f) that's when the river will be alive with Roach. The height on the right shows that the water under the bridge to be about 2 inches at 2.773m. To understand this in depth go to www.waterlevel.ie/0000026088
If I got out of bed early this morning, I would not have produced this latest piece of information. I woke up very stiff in all departments except for the ones that matter. I blame it on Ralf....
It really was a beautiful afternoon, I saw my first Swallow, a day earlier than last year. Was it the same on John Fryer saw in Gosport last week? A few guys were piking, but as far as I'm aware, none were caught.
In the evening, there were quite a few out on the banks, and whilst most were Piking, one sat it out on a feeder near the bush. He only had two fish in 4 hours. I think if he'd tried the float he would have caught considerably more. I set up above the bridge and found the Roach most obliging. Averaging 8oz with several around a pound, it was a wonderful two hour session.
Below the disabled section, Philip Gordon was catching lots of very small Roach, with 4oz or so being the best.
If anyone wondered why this is being posted later than usual the reason is shown below,-