The Last Cast with Jarlaith Gallagher

Young Iarfhlaith Gallagher and Peter Flatley pictured at Lough Rowan on restocking day last week
The last 14 days have passed very quickly and an awful lot of fishing has not happened. Two weeks ago I was very hopeful that spring was finally here. My Italian herb window box was beginning to show signs of a resurrection and I managed to get my vegetable patch prepared for planting. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas and has put paid to my angling and gardening plans. However I suppose we must consider ourselves lucky, less than 50 miles to our north, people are experiencing conditions that many of the ski resorts of France and Italy are crying out for!

The last 14 days have passed very quickly and an awful lot of fishing has not happened. Two weeks ago I was very hopeful that spring was finally here. My Italian herb window box was beginning to show signs of a resurrection and I managed to get my vegetable patch prepared for planting. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas and has put paid to my angling and gardening plans. However I suppose we must consider ourselves lucky, less than 50 miles to our north, people are experiencing conditions that many of the ski resorts of France and Italy are crying out for!

March 1st: Traditionally March 1, is the opening day for river trout fishing, I took a little jaunt out to some of the lesser known tributaries of the Shannon to try my luck and if honest, a bit of a walk. The conditions were near perfect and I spotted a few hatches of blue winged olives during the warmer parts of the day. My method was primarily nymphs, cast upstream; a quick line stripping action and watching my leader come to a dead halt, then strike. This method was successful most times but needed total concentration and no distractions. My main distractions on the day, was in fact the physical changes that an Irish winter brings to the rivers I have known since I was a child. Erosion and the sight of a new tree straddling a riffle all make for major interest in my book. I look at these and try to picture where a possible trout might lie in this new environment. This is what makes river fishing so exciting for me. The constant changes and therefore always having to prepare for a new challenge on every annual opening day. On my travels to the different rivers I happened upon two British tourists fishing on Lough Bran, both lads were from London, and had a little luck spinning for pike, both said they came to Leitrim as they heard it was an anglers paradise.

Rinn-Shannon and District Angling Club

Restocking: The open day for the upcoming trout season is April 7. Restocking of the lake took place last week on a bitterly cold day. Over 1500 triploid rainbow trout were released into Lough Rowan as part of our annual restocking programme. The fish were of fine quality and by my reckoning it looks like the open day shall be a very interesting one! The first restocking included fish from 1lb up to 5lb in weight. They shall have two weeks in order to acclimatise to their new environment and on April 7th provide some great sport for all who attend. Memberships can be paid on the morning of the opening day for those who would like to join (€60) and day tickets shall also be available (€15). My little boy Iarfhlaith (4.5yrs), insisted on coming out to the lake to witness the restocking, it was not too long before I saw him being presented with a fine 2lb plus fish to hold for a photograph, I did not think he would hold it but as the photograph proves, he is a dab hand at it already. He was so proud to be part of the whole occasion, I have a feeling he shall remember that experience for a long time.

Tell your story and win a fly box & 40 flies! The good people in Dunfly.com have kindly put up a very worthy prize of a fly box with forty flies included, (see photograph) worth approximately €100! This prize shall be judged by myself and awarded to the best photograph of your catch, accompanied by a short description of the methods used and the thrill of the fight! (Max100 words). This is a fantastic chance to relate your “Tall tails” to interested readers and to boost your fly collection. Please submit all entries with photographs to iarlaith66@gmail.com; the prize shall be awarded each month with the prize-winning story and photograph to be also published on a monthly basis. Make sure to include your name, address and phone number. Dunfly.com also have a special offer for readers of the column, a fantastic 10% discount on all orders over £10 sterling! To avail of this offer, simply go into Dunfly.com website and when ordering make sure to use this special ordering code (leit10).

Until next time,

Tight Lines