Friday, 21 February 2014

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2014. Blackwater River.

Driving on the motorway i passed over the Blackwater river and noticed that there was a very large frothline going down the centre of the river, that didn't look good because the colour of the froth was cream and not white meaning badly coloured water. On arriving at the Lodge i met Ian and he had fresh information conserning the water clarity upstream which was only about 18 inches and also that the water had come up. Hearing that they had caught and released a fresh 6lb salmon on Wednesday and that there was also one lost upstream made me feel a bit more optimistic. In reality the water was very coloured with only 12 inches of visibility at Lower Kilmurray with a strong downstream gale blowing that made it very hard to slow down the spinner and gain proper depth. Starting off on a Black/Silver flying c and then moving over to Red/Gold and then finishing up on a Yellow/Gold i covered the lies as best i could with my upstream spinning method then changing over to a 28gr White/ Silver Toby i fished back downstream and hooked into a fish but it didn't stay long enough as it was more of a bump fumble and drop not giving me much time to tell if it was a kelt or a fresh fish and very understandable considering water clarity and Tobys. Unfortunately when fishing with Tobys they have such a great action that sometimes the hook-ups aren't great and you can lose fish, even when using a double split ring to move the hooks even further away from the spoon fish will still come off. Here are some photo's of Upper and Lower Kilmurray showing water heights and clarity.

                                          Water up to the top of the ladder in lower Kilmurray

                                          Water clarity only 12 to 18 inches early morning

                                         Heavy squall with sleet  / rain moving through
                                          A brief moment of sunshine

                                          Casting platform needs a bit of spot welding

                                          Upper Kilmurray

                                          The winds at upper Ballyhooley

                                          Lower Ballyhooley

Finishing up at lower Ballyhooley the water clarity was much better at over 2 ft and there was definitely a drop in water height so if it keeps dropping away like this and the water clarity improves there should be some more fish caught over the weekend. The water clarity was over four feet and there was a nice upstream wind when the fish were met on Wednesday, i didn't get the temperature but it had to be a lot warmer than today because it definitely dropped to less than 3 degrees in the showers and biting winds.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2014 Blackwater River.

Having a few hours to spare and with the weather being quite mild, no wind and very little rain i decided to give Ballyhooley Bridge a cast. Arriving at the bridge i met Ian from Blackwater lodge and we both laughed on seeing the height of the river, it was higher than the opening day. There must be  some difference between the gauges because i thought that the river had dropped slightly on paper but seeing it up close and personal it had risen by at least 10 inches. Having a lot of small rivers and streams flowing into a main river can make a huge difference to water height downstream so people should take great care when approaching swollen flooded rivers. The banks can be very unstable and in some cases undercut, just standing on the bank can cause it to fall in so again great care must be observed when walking near rivers at this time of year. There must be beavers upstream near Mallow because of the amount of trees passing me down during my fishing session and that in it self can be another hazzard especially if you hook one by mistake..... I covered the beat well and fished upstream spinning with Flying "C"'s and downstream with heavy Toby's but to no avail, no fish seen, met ot taken. The water clarity was only about 8 - 10 inches as can be seen from one of my photo's, so the spinner would have had to bump the fish on the head first before i could catch it. Here are some photo's of the Ballyhooley Bridge beat in extra high water.

                                           Top of Ballyhooley Bridge beat looking upstream

                                          Looking downstream to the bridge
                                          Water clarity was only 8 - 10 inches
                                          Ballyhooley Bridge at high tide..........

I will wait till the water drops down to below 2m on the gauge before my next session on the Blackwater river but looking at the weather forecast for Friday evening and into the weekend i would say that the river will definitely be unfishable for most of next week. As most anglers can appreciate after a hard day spent spinning or fly fishing in very high water one sometimes feels that they have a monkey on their back, well today i had an oversized silver back gorilla.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Opening Day on the Blackwater River / Lake 2014

Ok its official i need to get myself evaluated, anybody that goes out with the intention of going fishing on a day like today with serious storm force 10 warnings on a river that one cannot find due to the fact that it is so badly flooded one cannot see or find the banks, needs to be locked up for their own safety and the safety of others. To my credit after talking to Ian at the Blackwater Lodge Fishery who did try to talk some sense into me by telling me to go home and leave the river to the surfers ( due to the size of some of the waves coming down the lake / river ) i said that i would have one look at Ballyhooly Bridge on the way home and maybe have a cast .... So here are some of the photo's of the river from Ballyduff bribge up to Ballyhooly bridge, we had to be very careful while stopping to take photo's due to the conditions and narrow road so its only a small sample of the floods trust me it was a lot worse the photo's don't do the conditions justice. In some areas it looked like Lough Corrib on a very rough stormy day with big waves.

                                          view from the Blackwater Lodge Fishery
                                          looking downstream from Ballyduff Bridge
                                           upstream view from Ballyduff Bridge

The next few photo's were taken just above Ballyduff village showing the fields because you can't see the river or banks but they are there.

                                          The Funshion river looking upstream 1 of 2

                                         The Funshion River looking downstream 1of 2
                                           Ballyhooly Bridge looking downstream 1 of 3
                                          Ballyhooley Bridge looking upstream 1 of 2
                                         Fermoy Bridge looking downstream 1 of 3
                                          Fermoy Bridge looking upstream 1 of 3

The water was just starting to drop off as we were leaving and it had reached almost 3 meters on the guage so the photo's give you an idea what this level of water can do to the river. Just incase anybody was going to make a phone call or send an email to some medical / psychiatric services with my interests at heart there is no need, i didn't take the fishing rods out and i did get home safe and reasonably sound. I might be slightly mad at times and that has to do with having the proper fishing gear for the conditions but i'm not stupid and know my limits and today was the limit, too dangerious for fishing.