Drought conditions have been relieved in the Moy catchment with several good floods recently. The biggest peaked yesterday at 1.80m at Ballylahan bridge. The lakes, streams and water table are at last filling up after relentless weeks of drought. The rainfall totals each year usually average out, so we are probably in for a wet end to the year.
The River Moy yesterday at Ballylahan bridge (1.80m).
Yesterday I was on my way to Castlebar and decided to have a look at the Clydagh river. Its part of the Moy catchment and flows into Lough Cullin. It usually receives an early run of spawning salmon and a series of falls at its lower end gives an opportunity to observe whats running.
Clydagh River yesterday.
There was nice water and I immediately saw a steady run of fish moving upstream. All were grilse with nothing over 6lb. Hopefully what I saw on the Clydagh is replicated in the rest of the catchment and we have a decent spawning season.
Heading towards the redds yesterday on the Clydagh river.
I fished the River Derg again yesterday with friend Ronnie Mc Morris. It had received a nice 3ft flood the day before and still held a good level. Although most of the flood had gone the river still carried a fair bit of sediment. It was around 11am before we finally got fishing but we were in no rush as it was still quite cold after an overnight frost.
A bright day on the River Derg yesterday.
Even with the good water level we weren’t expecting a bonanza as the Derg like most rivers this season has had a poor run of fish. I managed to get one pull from a salmon which thankfully made it to the net after a good battle. I also had a sea trout and several brownies. Ronnie was less fortunate when his only hook up with a salmon came off after a few seconds. We saw a few salmon showing in the various stretches fished, so that offered some encouragement.
One from the River Derg yesterday. A size 8 cascade fished on a slow sinking tip brought success. Hopefully it makes it to the spawning redds.
River Derg sea trout.
The sky was virtually cloudless for the day and didn’t help the fishing. Another top drawer excuse was the air temperature was a lot lower than the water for a good part of the day. Other anglers that have studied this combination reckon its not helpful for a good days fishing, even when there are plenty of fish about?
Height at Ballylahan bridge 0.19m
The season ended on a dismal note with the last two days producing a 4lb grilse, which was released. It brought to an end a very poor season on the upper Moy. Personally it was the worst season I have experienced. Everyone can have a poor season but this year I was not alone. Any local or visiting anglers I spoke to during the year had the same story to tell.
What I found most disturbing was the lack of fish showing in the pools, and this was from spring time onward. In some of the pools where I would catch and see fish each year, I saw nothing. The most important thing now is what ends up on the spawning redds, so only time will tell if a decent spawning stock will appear from further down the system.
Normally I would fish the last day of the season unless the river was in flood. This year of course it was the other end of the spectrum and I couldn’t face fishing the river with the gauge sitting at 0.19m at Ballylahan. Instead and with the hope of getting a bend in the rod I went to Cloghan lake in Co Offaly to fish for rainbow trout.
Cloghan lake Co Offaly, 30th September 2014.
The fishing turned out to be tough but not half as tough as some of the days I have spent chasing salmon on the rivers. I ended up landing four and losing one. I also had several other plucks and pulls. The best fish was around 3lb and the smallest 1.5lb. Lures provided the only response, with very little fly life to bring the fish up. The fish provided good sport and I brought one home for the pot.
A plump Cloghan rainbow.
New facilities for anglers at Cloghan lake.
I haven’t put the salmon gear away just yet, and hope to get a day or two on the Derg before the season ends there on 20th October. During the winter I plan to try a few more rainbow fisheries, with maybe an odd day at the pike.