A visitor's account of the joy of Lough Rowan

Jarlath Gallagher


Jarlath Gallagher

A visitor's account of the joy of Lough Rowan

Brian Coughlin IFI Citywest, Dublin proudly displays a catch on Lough Rowan

I have been writing this column for quite a while now and every now and then I get very welcome surprises.

As you all have probably guessed I am a member of the local angling club Rinn-Shannon & District Angling Club and try my best to promote the club and its activities and the world class angling resource that our beautiful County has to offer to local and visiting anglers.

The club managed lake Lough Rowan just outside Gorvagh has been stocked with hard fighting rainbow trout and provides great sport for the many trout anglers who visit during the trout season. As the temperatures drop and the evenings get longer the lake also provides great sport for pike anglers from all over the country.

This week I am printing a report that was sent to me by Shane O’Reilly (Inland Fisheries Ireland) who visited the lake recently with a group of his friends.

“Last Friday November 9, a group of pike anglers from Inland Fisheries Ireland held a “Fly v Jerk-bait” competition on Lough Rowan in Co. Leitrim. This Lake is better known as a rainbow trout fishery, but it was also rumoured that the pike were in feeding mode.

“The format of the competition followed the same theme as the popular “Fly vs Jerk” YouTube series, where two teams go after pike, one team-using fly only and the other team using Jerkbaits.

"There had been much talk in the lead up to the competition so there was considerable anticipation as we all assembled on the lakeshore at 9am. The local angling club had kindly helped us out with boats and outboard engines so we were well equipped for a great days fishing.

"However, after a few hours slogging the water to no avail, an uneasy feeling set in that this could be one of the days where the pike were sulking and the possibility of a blank started to creep into all of our minds. By 2pm, with only two hours left in the competition, thing were looking drastic as no fish had been boated and hardly any had been seen.

"Then out of nowhere, a smallish fish of 65cm was landed by Team fly. It was not a record breaker, but it was the only fish so far and on a tough day it could be the competition winner. We had a WhatsApp group going so we could keep in contact on the lake and with an hour to go a message came in that Team Fly had another fish, this time a fish of 100cm…

“We hardly had time to let this news sink in when 10 minutes later another WhatsApp went round, this time a fish of 103cm, again to Team Fly! Not long after that, you guessed it another WhatsApp, another pike for Team Fly, 95cm.

"So, after hours of blanking, three top quality pike were landed and returned in the space of 45 minutes. It just goes to show the quality of pike available out there and that Ireland is hard to beat for producing consistently good fishing for them.

“So it ended and Team Fly 4, Team Jerk 0. You can be sure that it wont be long before we go at it again and Team Jerk will be looking to even things up next time around, Special thanks to Paul and Jarlaith at Rinn-Shannon & District Angling Club for helping us out on the day."

Until next time….stay safe and always wear your life jacket if out on the water.