Counting down the days to March

A Lough na Leibe Rainbow trout.
This is the time of year when I find myself counting down the days to the opening of the trout season, which in these parts is March 1st. Being a trout angler normally means some very lean months from October to March. These months are regularly spent doing a lot of “armchair” fishing, by which I mean reading the vast array of trout and salmon magazines and books on the market which can give a little relief to my constant cravings to get out on the water.

This is the time of year when I find myself counting down the days to the opening of the trout season, which in these parts is March 1st. Being a trout angler normally means some very lean months from October to March. These months are regularly spent doing a lot of “armchair” fishing, by which I mean reading the vast array of trout and salmon magazines and books on the market which can give a little relief to my constant cravings to get out on the water.

The Last Cast - Jarlaith Gallagher

Of course the opening day can never come quick enough but this year I am determined to get on to the water as soon as is possible. The emergence of the so called “commercial” fisheries are an option, however many of these open all year round fisheries are mainly situated in the east of the country and a day on any of these require a great deal of driving and can be somewhat of an expedition which require almost military planning and research in order to get value for your hard earned euro.

I used to be a member of the Ballymote & District Angling Club in Sligo who has a number of good trout fisheries under their guardianship. The Club is also responsible for possibly the most beautiful naturally set lake in the country in my opinion. Lough Na Leibe is set high in the Bricklieve Mountains and contains a sizeable head of brown trout and stocked rainbows. On a recent visit to Sligo I ran into an angler who I used to meet on a regular basis on the lakeshore. I casually mentioned to him that the close season was beginning to get to me and that I was seriously thinking of heading up to Corkagh Park Angling Centre in Clondalkin for a days fishing to satisfy the cravings. He reckoned that I was being a little hardcore and reminded me that that Lough Na Leibe shall open on February 1st, which I had forgotten about.

He went on to tell me that opening day usually is a quiet affair and only the anglers who are suffering severe withdrawal symptoms are to be found on the shoreline on that day. I took his hint and I have signed up for membership for the coming season. With only a week to go I have already stripped my reels cleaned the lines and prepared my flies for the occasion.

As each day passes and my anticipation builds I find myself now searching Google for hints and tips for cold weather rainbow trout fishing. But no amount of reading will ever come close to the real thing and in my next article I shall share my exploits with you and fingers crossed lets hope there shall be a fish or two to sing about. Until then tight lines and stay safe on the water.

Rinn Shannon & District Angling Club

Rinn Shannon & District Angling Club shall hold an EGM in Fitzpatricks lounge main Street Mohill at 8.30pm on Wednesday February 11th. All club members are requested to attend in order to discuss some very important issues regarding the club constitution. Members are reminded that club subscriptions are now due. Membership forms can be downloaded from www.rinnshannon.com or can be obtained in Bradshaws on Main Street, Terry Mann’s “Shannon Tackle” Jamestown and Gabriel Owens tackle shop Ballinamore.