THE Mayfly have arrived and good catches are reported from all the wild fisheries in the west including Loughs Erne and Melvin – often the last of the Great Lakes to experience the classic hatch. Flyfishers regard this time of the year as a golden month but it is far from the ‘Duffer’s Fortnight’ of angling legend. Considerable skill and local knowledge is still required if you are in search of the trout of a lifetime.
Inland Fisheries Ireland reports that trout were taking Mayfly as early as May 12 on Lough Sheelin and the hatch often lasts until early June when lake anglers switch to lures as the big trout move to feed on emerging fry.
If you are still seeking your first Mayfly experience you have probably left it too late this year. Most boats and guides are booked early by visiting holidaymakers, often from Europe, but many smaller waters also enjoy a brief Mayfly hatch so don’t despair. If you are going west seek advice from established tackle dealers or experienced guides.
The Irish Ladies Fly Fishing Association held its second trial of the year at Loughmacrory on May 14. A total of 14 competitors, from all over Ireland, made their way to Tyrone for the event. Top angler was Liz Dermott with five fish and Ruth Arrell was second with four.
The break in the dry weather has dramatically changed the fortunes for salmon anglers with the Foyle System experiencing its first ‘fresh’ for more than a month. Spring fish have been taken in the Finn and the Mourne and the summer grilse are expected to appear any day now.
A number of new waters have been added to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs public angling estate including the rainbow trout fishery at Creighton’s Green near Holywood and Lough Islandreavey in the Mournes which has a reputation for pike and perch. The new locations also include Dunalis Reservoir near Coleraine and Boomers Dam in Lisburn. The new fisheries will be jointly managed with local angling clubs and day tickets will be available to DAERA season permit holders at reduced rates.
Meanwhile local anglers have again given a good account of themselves at the Erne Classic Coarse Fishing Festival in Fermanagh. The top prize and £5,000 went to Keith Murphy from Tempo with a weight of 53.89kg. Second and £2,000 went to Doncaster’s Tom Pickering with 41.54kg; third and £1,500 went to Tony Green from Enniskillen with 40.72kg.