The opening day on the Blackwater river 2018 was a bit of a let down, the water level was dropping to about 1.3 m on the gauge on the 31 st of January and then we had a bit of rain in Kerry overnight and the river rose to over 1.8 m for the opening day but all that could have been okay if only it hadn't coloured up so badly. The best visibility I could get was upriver and at best it was about one foot, that was around 1 o clock and it just didn't seem to be getting better so I decided to head back to Cork and try the Lee for a few hours . I had spun Black/ Silver, Yellow, Black/Gold flying "C"s, even large Abu Toby's but still had issues with water clarity so knowing the Lee would probably be somewhat clear I knew it was better trying there at least if there were any fish about they would at least see the spinner. Here are some photo's of the Blackwater river taken just before I left showing clarity and height, if the rain stays away it will drop and improve the clarity making it ideal for fishing over the weekend.
Thursday, 1 February 2018
Sunday, 21 January 2018
While filming the high flood water levels on the River Lee last week I was just about to get a sweep shot of the footpath which was completely submerged by water when I heard a shriek behind me and as I turned and raised my left hand I was hit by a Falcon or Kestrel which after making contact just flew away none the worse for the encounter.
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Looking up to Beat 1 from the Bridge
Looking downstream from the Bridge
Upstream from the Bridge fields flooded
Looking up to Beat 1
Nobody fishing the far side of Beat 1
Well it's started again a new season for salmon fishing, this year I really dodged the bullet as I was able to get out fishing for a few hours between storms compared to the last few years. There was only a small band of about eight anglers that braved the elements to fish Beat 1 & 2 of the Laune river, a big drop on previous years mostly due to the decline in early salmon catches but also due in some part to the permit price and low bank maintenance. There was a new hut on Beat 1 which was a welcome sight but walking downstream the bank vegetation was really bad with loads of brambles and blackthorn bushes running wild blocking access to some of the fishing. There was one kelt spotted throwing itself near the far bank and a seal was seen swimming up around the lake by some of the anglers but no fresh fish were met during the time I was there. I moved downstream to the bridge and Beat 2 to try and fish the bend but there were a few trees down in the water and the bank was in a bad state with some of it having fallen into the river. I fished it hard for an hour or so and decided to call time due to the fact that Storm Fionn was just starting to show its ugly head with heavy rain and strong winds. The weather forecast said it would move in around 3 o' clock ish and they were spot on as the mountains disappeared under the heavy rain cloud's and that gave me just enough time to take off my fishing gear etc. and head on up the road just before the heavy stuff started. Beat 2 is well sign posted with warning signs signalling slippery banks and fallen trees etc so BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN FISHING OR WALKING THIS AREA.
The overgrown brambles etc.
The board walkways going up river and down river from the bridge have been replaced or repaired and that was good to see but there definitely needs to be some bank strengthening work done or it will eventually all fall in during the next big flood. This flood was below medium flood height of (2.91m ) and at about 2.44 m was dropping but with Storm Fionn arriving it's definitely going to rise again. The gauge is correct with the data that I found on Water level's .ie. Here are some more photo's of Beat 2 and the damaged banks.
As I have said be very careful when walking or fishing the lower part of Beat 2 it is very deep close in and has a lot of undercut bank ready to fall in.
Thursday, 28 December 2017
Sunday, 12 November 2017
Saturday, 7 October 2017
The very last session of my 2017 salmon fishing season, I caught and released two good salmon one was about 10 lbs and the other over 16 lbs both fish were male. I was hoping to reach the 20 salmon mark for the week but on the final day a big seal showed up to the party and really spoiled the fun. Having debarbed the hooks on my Flying C's I did lose a few salmon during the week but in the larger scale of things it was less damage to the salmon and faster on the release so that the fish were strong when being returned back into the river to continue their journey up to spawn the next generation of salmon. The big salmon was in great condition and will be the perfect specimen to produce big salmon in the future carrying that strain of gene. Over all I had a good season with some nice salmon being caught and released but I will take a note out of this years book and that is to take a good fish early in the season and not wait till autumn to try and bag a fresh fish. The salmon rods/ reels will be getting a nice cleaning and oiling before I put them away for next season and I must pick up some new braid for my spinning reel as the one I was using has definitely seen better days and maybe a new fly line, waders, sink tips, the list is starting already. Tight lines till next year.