Moy Report 6th March

The river lost a lot of water in the past week and was sitting at 1.1m at Ballylahan this morning.  Unfortunately heavy rain today has reversed this trend and the levels are on the rise again.

For the first time in months there is a forecast of dry mild weather for next week.  This will be welcomed relieve after the seemingly endless days of wind and rain.  If the water came into good order a few anglers may be tempted to try their luck!

River Moy at Ballylahan bridge.

Looking down from Ballylahan bridge today at 4pm (1.2m).

Yesterday to get out of cabin fever mode I decided to visit one of the stocked fisheries.  The venue was Cloghan Lake in Co Offaly.  It covers an area of around nine acres, and is stocked with brown and rainbow trout.  Permits cost 15 euros for the day, and you can keep three fish if you wish.

The day was dull and mild with a stiff breeze taking the edge of the temperatures but it was still a big improvement on recent days.  I have fished the lake before and headed to a favorite area in the southwest corner to begin my day.

I set up a floating line with an orange blob on the dropper and an olive gold head on the point.  I didn’t have long to wait before the leader slid away and a nice brownie shot up the lake.  It had taken a fancy to the blob.

Sport was steady for the day and fish seemed to be well dispersed throughout the lake as most areas produced a fish or two as I wandered around the lake.  At the end of the day I had landed fifteen fish, eight rainbows and seven brownies.  I only lost one fish but had numerous pulls and plucks.  The heaviest fish was a rainbow of 2.5lb, with the others in the 1 – 1.5lb range.

The lake was fairly busy at times with another 8 or nine anglers coming and going.  Everyone seemed to be having a good day and I saw numerous fish landed.  The lake only opened for the season on 1st March and I assume it had been well stocked before hand.  Anyway I enjoyed my day and it was just what the doctor ordered.

Cloghan Lake.

A gloomy day at Cloghan lake Co Offaly, 5th March 2014.

Cloghan Lake.

Visitor information at Cloghan lake. Permits can be purchased in Daleys supermarket Cloghan.

Cloghan Lake.

First fish of the day was a nice plump Brown Trout.

Cloghan Lake.

Best fish was a rainbow of around 2.5lb.

Lough Na Leibe

Yesterday I decided to visit Lough Na Leibe between Ballymote and Castlebaldwin.  It is set in a remote location far away from the maddening crowds.  The local angling club stock the lough with rainbow trout and a few browns.  Access around the lough is good, with bridges and stiles provided where necessary.

It was my first visit to the lough and a lot of the time I was exploring trying to get some idea of the depth of water.  I discovered that there are large areas of the lough very shallow, especially the southern and northern ends.  There is also a lot of deep water around the pump house, and across the lough on the opposite shore.

The fishing turned out to be rather grueling, and in the six hours I spent at the lough I had two takes.  Luckily enough I managed to hook and land both fish to avoid a blank.  The first  fish came after about two hours, and was a nice 2lb rainbow.  The second fish came as  a surprise when I saw it was a brownie, apparently there are few in the lough.  I can honestly say that I didn’t get another pull or pluck, despite numerous changes of fly.

I might give it another go in the spring when the water is warmer and there is more fly life about.  Green goldhead lures brought my limited success, and apparently duck fly imitations can be good in the spring when naturals are about.

Lough Na Leibe, Ballymote.

View of Lough Na Leibe from the carpark.

Lough Na Leibe, Ballymote.

Looking up Lough Na Leibe.

Lough Na Leibe, Ballymote.

Calm conditions on Lough Na Leibe.

Lough Na Leibe, Ballymote.

A fin perfect Lough Na Leibe 2Lber.

Lough Na Leibe, Ballymote.

A 2Lb Lough Na Leibe brown trout (released).

 

 

 

 

Park Lake Dungannon

I had another go at the rainbow trout recently and the venue this time was Park Lake  in Dungannon county Tyrone.  The lake is around 12 acres and is set within a 70 acre well maintained public park. There is plenty of bank fishing available, with the option of boat hire.  Permit options are very reasonable, and I opted for C&R at £10 for the day.

I began fishing at around 10 o’clock and the first hour proved to be difficult with just a few  plucks.  My set up was a floating line with an orange blob on the dropper and a green lure on the point.  After a few moves around the lake I eventually began to hook fish on a fairly steady basis.  By 1 o’clock I had landed 7 with a few hits and misses, and it was time for a break.

I wandered back to the fishing lodge that is provided for anglers and had a welcome coffee and sandwich. There was another angler there who had been successful fishing a fast sinking line with a booby.  All my fish had come to the green goldhead lure, despite numerous changes to the dropper fly.  Seems like the lure was fishing at the right depth.

After my half hour break it was back to fishing again, and back to a few hot spots I had discovered during the morning session. The next two hours added another 5 fish to my tally and I decided to finish early with the long drive back to Mayo ahead of me.

It was a very enjoyable day.  I had 8 fish between 1-2lb and the others were 2.5- 2.75lb.  They were hard fighting fish and in very good condition.  Its not a lake were you can sight fish as the water is a little murky so it pays to cover plenty of water until you come across  fish.  From what the local anglers told me, all the usual rainbow trout flies and tactics will work.  For me it was the colour green that done the business.

Lake in Dungannon.

Looking towards the dam at Park Lake Dungannon.

Lake in Dungannon.

The top end of Park Lake.

Lake in Dungannon.

The well maintained surroundings of Park Lake.

Lake in Dungannon.

A solid, hard fighting Park Lake rainbow.

Lake in Dungannon.

A nice place to warm up and relax is provided for anglers.

Curragh Springs Fishery

I received an unexpected opportunity to go fishing for rainbow trout on Sunday with friend Billy McGhee, and I jumped at the chance to get the fly rod out again. We teamed up with Gerry Heaslip and Gerry Darcy from Dublin, with Curragh Springs Fishery the venue.

The fishery is around five acres, and is set in a secluded location in the rolling countryside of county Kildare.  There is a nice variety of water to explore, with several bays and islands and both shallow and deep water close to the shore.  We knew the fishery had a good head of fish present because even before we wet a line numerous fish could be seen cruising the margins in the clear water.

The weather was kind to us, with an early morning chill soon disappearing as the sun got up and warmed the autumn air.  The wind varied in direction during the day, and with each change new areas of the lake became more comfortable to fish.

The fishing turned out to excellent and we each landed around twenty hard fighting rainbows. The fish had a good average weight, with most in the 2-3lb range.  Billy landed the heaviest at around 4.5lb, with my best coming in at around 3.5lb.  We caught fish throughout the day with occasional periods when things went quiet for a while, but a change of fly or tactic invariably led to renewed sport.

It was nice to be able to fish the floating line all day, as I find this the most enjoyable method.  We caught fish on virtually all types of flies, with lures, blobs, goldhead nymphs and even dry daddy long-legs bringing success.  It really was a great way to spend an autumn day and hopefully a return trip is not to far away.

Curragh Springs.

A hard fighting Curragh Springs trout powers away from the net.

Curragh Springs.

A typical Curragh Springs rainbow.

Curragh Springs.

Billy battling with another powerful trout .

Curragh Springs.

A nice silvery rainbow for Billy.

Curragh Springs.

Gerry Heaslip with one of many trout he tempted on Sunday. Gerry Darcy in the background waits for his next take!