Monday April 16th 2007
For the first time in ten years, I have travelled later than usual due to being mis-informed about the power station refurburation. It was supposed to shut down on April 2nd but stayed open. This was extremely bad news as I enjoy the first two weeks of April more than any other. It was also unseasonably warm weather and I believed I would have missed the best of the fishing.
Tuesday April 17th 2007
The ferry left Holyhead at 02.30 and with a flat calm sea docked early at Dublin. It was an easy drive west with few vehicles on the road and I arrived at Lanesborough just after 08.15. The river was a disgrace, an abnormal amount of litter had been left and the level was at mid summer height. After a bowl of porridge I ventured out armed with float tackle to the gusher. I foul hooked a Bream of around a pound but failed miserably. A small Hybrid of 3oz was fluked and below the bridge I had 3 Perch and a Rudd. Two hours of punishment was about as much as I could take so I returned to the shop to unload the van. I stayed in all day until tiredness forced me to bed. Saw lots of Swallows for the first time this year.
Wednesday April 18th 2007
Had a good nights sleep and about 11.00 took Bridie to Roscommon. I had a look at the Suck to find the levels there were as low as summer. A few swims looked inviting and will have to be fished at a later date. Spent most of the day with the stock and when I felt I was on top of it, opted for a float session on the quay side. Only 1 bite produced a Roach of 8oz whilst Rory Dunne caught about 15lbs of Roach to 1lb 10oz and Hybrids of similar size on the feeder. Bed by 10pm.
Thursday April 19th 2007
A few hours on the Camlin below Longford. The last time I explored this section the river was running high but today it was very low and swims I previously thought inviting were a no go area. I had just 3 Roach, the largest going about 14oz before giving in very frustrated. I drove to Tarmonbarry to view the weir and eventually returned to Lanesborough by 15.00. I got my feeder rod out for an evening session but caught just a 12oz Hybrid, a Perch and two 4oz Roach. Why do I bother?
Friday April 20th 2007
The bait arrived at 08.00 and I just about finished all the shop work by mid-day. Took Bridie to Roscommon (again) but had no desire to fish. The temperature was dropping and a gentle wind was blowing off the lake. For most of the day the river saw no anglers on the bank until the evening when the foreigners started coming out. Had not one customer from 4pm 'til closing time.
Saturday April 21st 2007
Not the busiest day in the shop but still managed a couple of rods to boost the takings. A good male Tench was caught at 3lb 14oz but otherwise catches were below par. After the footie results, I escourted Bridies visitors to the farm so they could get the boat to take to the cut. I went to the Camlin near Clondra and had a Perch first cast. Then I lost a hook and found I only had size 12's. A few clonking Roach to about 14oz were had before dusk but I'm sure I would have had more with the right size hook.
Sunday April 22nd 2007
A very poor day in the shop, vastly overstocked with maggots and not a lot of anglers to use them. In the evening I tried the feeder on the quayside to bank just 5 fish, the biggest a Hybrid of 12oz. This really is the worst year I have known since my first trip to Lanesborough in 1993. The lads on the cut did very badly with only a handfull of fish between them.
Monday April 23rd 2007
An all time record low, - just 3 euro 60c went in the till. I went to the Camlin in the evening and had about 8lb of Roach with many around the 6oz mark. A couple of Perch also made an appearence. I am seriously considering cutting my losses and heading home.
Tuesday April 24th 2007
Went to the Suck below Castlecoote and caught about 3lb of Roach and Minnows. I am finding it hard to have any enthusiasm wherever I fish. An hour on the waggler at Lanesborough produced a pound of spratts before the rain came.
Wednesday April 25th 2007
Again I had no desire to fish and was seriously contemplating going home. In the evening I went to the Camlin again and found the river nearly a foot up carrying a lot of extra colour. Although presentation was not too difficult, I believe the few fish there found a bit more confidence to be in the now shallower water and I packed up after two hours with only two Roach albeit a very nice brace of 12oz fish. Heard a Cuckoo this evening.
Thursday April 26th 2007
I went back to the Camlin by mid afternoon. The river had dropped but was still a bit coloured. I caught 5 fish including a tiny Perch. Back at Lanesborough by seven I had a handfull of small fish on the quay side and packed up long before dusk. Below the bridge there was much surface activity and a large Pike had appeared.
Friday April 27th 2007
I packed up my van today in the knowledge I was to go home on Saturday. Doug from Nottinghamshire caught a shedfull from under the bridge but that didn't persuade me to stay. When he vacated his peg, I had a couple of hours but caught little. Just three hybrids of a pound and a half each and a Rudd of just under a pound. By the end of the evening I was more than relieved to be heading home.
Saturday April 28th 2007
Awoke at 04.30 to drive to Dublin having abandoned ship! I am so dis-illusioned with fishing and Laneborough but more so with the condition of the river and the litter that is thrown away by the locals and especially the Kodaks. I'm convinced I'll never return as an angler but will surely miss some aspects of my annual pilgramage. Some of the happiest years of my life have been spent on the banks of the Shannon and my bird watching memories will be treasured forever. Strangely, this year I failed to see any Whimbrel but as I was queueing at Dublin port, a small flock flew above as if to say bon-voyage. I have no regrets about leaving but who knows what I will do next year?