Monday  10th April 2017                         

10:00 - The bones ached when I eventually rose this morning. It's all down hill when you're 43!. I could see the smoke rising from the chimney on the power station showing a Northerly wind so I knew it would be a bit chilly. When I arrived at the river the water was 'alive' with fish topping everywhere, a real 'dawn splash' I had to inspect the gusher to see if there was any evidence of spawning, and thankfully there was not.

It must have taken all of 3 seconds to hook the first of 30 Roach, the fishing really was that easy. The downside was they appeared to be all cock fish and thus proportionately smaller than I would have liked. A move after 45 minutes to the bush did at least produce some quality hen fish, but by this time the surface activity had all but stopped. With the sun poking its head over Mr. Ryan's bungalow, the fish appeared to go off the feed.

Not surprisingly, the water temperature dipped to 10.01c overnight, so we are still 0.3c short of the trigger. With the full moon around for three days, I fully expect each evening to produce a fresh input of fish coming off the lake.

Why was I the only one fishing this morning? Was it too cold for the average dangler, are you working, or is it simply that Roach don't do for you what they do for me?  

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21:30 It was hard going in the early part of the evening. I really suffered, just two small fish on the gusher before moving to the bridge. It was just as hard there with only four Roach in an hour. Elsewhere, two Pike were caught by Aiden Dooney at 15 lbs and Michael Beirne had one a bit smaller. I moved over to the old slipway on the Roscommon bank and managed to land 6 very plump Roach, best going 1lbs 5oz along with two cock fish nudging a pound.

But the fish of the day, and probably the week was caught as darkness fell on the hot stretch. I don't want to keep you all guessing, but you'll have to wait to see the photo when it is sent to me, I promise, this is something special....

So here it is, thanks to Cathal Molloy for sending this so quickly,-

Michael Beirne had the best Perch for a good few years - 2lbs 14oz

Aiden Dooney caught this 15lb Pike early this evening

   Tuesday  11th April 2017                         

11:30 The legs were in dispute with my body this morning and decided on industrial action. Negotiations are in progress to put a stop to this temporary stoppage and please respect the workers of Bus Eirann who are also having problems with management.

So, as I couldn't get up, I had to wait until I was able. On the stretch Michael Beirne was an early arrival claiming some mongrels at first light. One angler arrived to fish the old slipway on the Navigation channel, but I understand only lasted 45 minutes or so. I know there was a brisk upstream wind which would have made uncomfortable waves, so unless there were no fish,  perhaps bait presentation was too difficult??

21:30 - Piotrek Malenda had a Pike of 14lb 8oz from the swim 'between the trees' and between himself and his fishing partner totalled four, all of which were doubles. The coarse fishing was pretty poor, Peter fished the disabled swims and didn't have a touch before changing to a light feeder getting very small Rudd on maggot. 

The evening saw the wind die down and turn WSW which meant my session on the navigation channel was a bit easier. I had 14 fish including a most unwanted mongrel of a pound and a half, with the rest being all cock fish except for one. One of the male fish was huge, I was going to write "one of the cocks was huge" but thought, better not! 

On the hot stretch tonight, three from Tuam are braving the wind in search of those elusive tincas, news of their success tomorrow morning. 

   Wednesday  12th April 2017                

15:30 A bit late for my morning report, but there simply isn't enough to say. The three lads from Tuam had little during the night, just a few small Bream, Hybrids and odd Roach. It's all very quiet although a couple of Pike were caught. When I walked Ralf, I saw a dead Bream that was as big as I have ever seen in the old harbour. I loved to have fished it out, but I fear it may smell worse than the drains at Selhurst Park.

20:30 I'd like to say I had a great evening, having 17 Roach in 2 and a half hours isn't great going. For the first 90 minutes I only had four small fish. Elsewhere on the stretch, some Roach to a pound and Rudd to 6oz were caught. Aiden had a day off work and caught an 11b Pike, but the best catch of the day (so far) was had by 12 year old Cathal Galvin.

Cathal Galvin and a 12lb Pike caught this morning on the hot stretch

   Thursday  13th April 2017                      

12:30 Not surprisingly, the bed was my best friend this morning. During the night, Connor and Dylan Lowry had a combined bag of just over of 50lb made up of a few Bream to 4lbs plus hybrids and two more Tench of 3lb and 3lb14oz. At this moment, there are a good few anglers using various methods, all having an amount of success. My morning walk found evidence of overnight spawning in the gusher. This hasn't surprised me, as those fish entering the stretch in the last week have had a week of hot water and the cock fish must had a 'bukkake' time with the few hens present.

Also, Phillip Gordon fished the duckpond area and found some Bream before they got into the hot stretch. I just checked the water temperature which now shows 10.22c which is as near to 51f as can be, so it really will happen today. Blain Carberry was opposite me in the main navigation channel yesterday evening and recorded 55f which I think is about 11.5 however, transducer's on fish finders usually only read the surface water and also, there may have been a small influence of the hot water on his reading.

Spawn found on the weeds in the gusher, and a picture of the dead Bream found yesterday. It doesn't do justice to the true size of this monster, which could easily have topped 10lbs

16:30 The biggest Roach of the season so far has been weighed at 1lb 14oz by Greg Matthews from Mullingar. Whilst he was telling me all about it, I failed to notice that Ralf had found Greg's sandwiches. Ralf likes ham, but at least he left the biscuits, - sorry Greg. 

21:00 More of the same for me on the Roscommon bank this evening, only 13 fish before deciding to have a last 15 minutes of daylight on the hot stretch above the bridge. I think I should have been there all evening, as the two female Roach were far bigger than the 100% males on the other side.

The water is as warm as I've ever known coming out of the gusher. I just hope the station isn't on full power before shutting off for easter? The stretch had a lot of surface activity and looks as though some of those fish were very large, maybe Bream? With 4 or 5 overnight anglers, I'm sure there will be something of note to report in the morning.

   Friday  14th April 2017                             

09:15 As I was laying in bed last night, I couldn't help but think, that the warm water would accelerate the spawning of those fish present in the stretch. When I got up for my morning walk, I learned that fishing had been particularly hard and some anglers who arrived early were already leaving. On inspecting the gusher, it appeared there was some activity and I'm told fish were crashing in the reeds all night.

Nial Finnegan from Tuam stayed on an extra night after the relative success of the previous night and was rewarded with a 5lbs 15oz Bream but as all anglers were plagued with liners, I can presume they were not in the mood for feeding. In addition, I believe the hot water temperature dropped overnight. I just hope yesterdays theory of the station going off-line is not going to happen.

Nial Finnegan from Tuam caught this Bream during the night an ounce shy of 6lbConnor's Roach was 1lb 10oz. Both caught after dark on maggot.

22:00 There were so many fish in the stretch and on the main channel this evening and you could easily be forgiven for thinking the fishing was easy. How wrong you would be, I caught just six fish on the navigation channel, which is more than most of the hot stretch anglers put together. It was really grim. Earlier in the day a few fish were caught up near the gusher including some small Bream. 

I think there are about 8-10 anglers present for an overnight session, so a more comprehensive understanding of what is feeding should be gained. The moon is rising at 22:46 so perhaps, from now until midnight will be most productive.

The only positive I have, is the lake temperature has now exceeded 51f (10.3c) and the main amount of Roach are still to spawn. 

   Saturday  15th April 2017                      

11:30 A very mixed report this morning, during the night there was a lot of commotion as the Roach continued to spawn. Most anglers struggled, so much so that you'd be forgiven there were no fish present. One angler however, claimed about 50 hybrids with several Roach. I don't know what he did differently, whilst not in a particularly favoured swim below Ryan's Gate, opposite the gap being a wee bit shallower, but the result speaks for itself.

At 08:00 about 16 anglers arrived from Dublin. The sunshine will probably hamper their returns although I'm sure those who can, will catch a few. The weekend campers are now losing some zeds in preparation for tonights assault. With the lake temperature only just reaching the magical 51f (10.3c) I'd hope for a lot more fresh fish coming into the stretch for the next few evenings.

14:00 With nearly 20 anglers present, I was surprised at how much has been caught. some are doing very well considering they are so close together. There is a fierce wind and float presentation is not as easy as in previous days. 

22:00 Overall, the group from Dublin fished quite well today with a top weight of 31lbs. The best Roach was 1lbs 10oz but most worrying were that some pegs actually blanked. This evening, as last night, the river was alive with fish topping everywhere. I had a better session catching about 20 fish for an estimated 10-12lb. There were far more female Roach on the Roscommon side this evening, so spawning must be imminent.

Flano and Miro have been joined by Chris Ganley, so I hope between them they have a half decent catch. On the lower disabled pegs, the first (recorded) Tench has been caught by Brian Furey, although just a baby, you can see from the picture it was a much loved catch.

The first of many? Brian Furey had this wee tinca this evening

   Sunday  16th April 2017                          

11:45 Sorry, not a lot to say this morning. It is dull and windy and with so few anglers, lacking in action. In fact, the night session was extremely poor and frustrating for those who stuck it out. When you know there are loads of fish present and can't buy a bite, what can yo do?

I was thinking about how much harm the presence of Asian calms in the stretch may have done. On the evidence of catches this year (and last) the answer could well be very little. It is, in my opinion, the ban on using your own keep net that keeps anglers away.

Good anglers are defined by those who keep to the rules imposed by authorities, and whilst the net ban is in place, these rules must be adhered to. I've noticed an increased amount of visiting anglers using their own nets this year. One angler told me he has a net specially for Lanesborough and dips on arrival and departure. This is all very well, but I'm certain not every one is as conscientious.

Yesterday, the whole stretch was well patronised with about sixteen visitors from Killnarden Angling Initiative along with a good number of others throughout the day. On inspection this morning, I found an increased amount of discarded line, hooks, weights and general rubbish deposited on the bank. I'm not pointing the finger, but leaving a broken flask is the actions of a bad angler and if he (or she) is reading this, you should be very embarrassed.

22:00 I cannot believe how quiet the stretch was this afternoon, just a group of children and odd Piker. I suppose the mid day rain put off most of the casual danglers? Only Miro and Flano remain on the final night of their three day visit. When I spoke to Miro just before 9, he was just starting to catch some hybrids.

I had 48 Roach this evening and came away very disappointed. Why? you may ask, I ran out of ground bait at 20:25 and couldn't get to 50 with just loose fed pinkies. With many fish nudging a pound, I suppose I had well over 20lb and possibly more. They were much easier to catch and I seldom had to run through my swim to get a bite.

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