The first catch of the season
Sunday April 1, saw the opening of Lough Rowan trout fishery. With over one thousand 2 year plus, hard fighting, hand reared rainbow trout recently stocked into the lake by Rinn Shannon & District Angling Club, the scene was set for a wonderful opening day.
From early morning a steady stream of boats came from all directions in order to test their angling skills and perhaps land one or two of the lakes latest residents.
The day was bright but a northeasterly wind that would make an Inuit cry, put a damper on the enthusiasm, especially for boatmen out on the exposed lake. The water temperature was in the single figures and fly life was non-existent.
It was tough going for those of us choosing fly-fishing as a method to eek out a fish or two. The first fish caught was from the shore and a “Mepps No.3” spinner was the successful lure. The anglers fishing off the shore had the most success on the day.
It was delightful to see some children braving the elements and one young lad had five fish from the slipway for his efforts. I can safely say that judging from the delight on his face, he won’t forget this day too quickly.
I myself blanked on opening day. I had a few aggressive takes but was not quick enough to strike and a few more “Follows” but my landing net remained dry.
As an angler you will have many days like this over the season and its all part and parcel of fishing. Good days and bad days have to be expected. Nevertheless I went home determined to rectify the situation on my next visit.
As it happened I managed to get out again just last Saturday. If you recall it was a very pleasant day with temperatures up to 15C. There was a lovely warm southwesterly breeze blowing creating a nice ripple on the lake surface which would make it easier to help conceal a leader. Fish were rising and “Topping and Tailing” just about casting distance from the shoreline. When you see trout displaying this behaviour, they are feeding on midge pupae just a few inches below the surface.
I set up my rod and flies and was soon up to my hips casting at a persistent and regular rise about 20 feet from me. It was not long before I got a hook up and the fish took line off my reel and headed for the centre of the lake. I held on to it while taking line back as the fish gave me slack.
After a few minutes I had a beautiful rainbow trout in the centre of my net and my duck was broken!
After retrieving the fly I took a quick photograph and carefully returned the fish to the water to fight another day. What a difference a few days can make and the improving weather conditions can only signal some fantastic fly fishing over the next few weeks.
Anyone interested in fishing the lake can obtain day tickets from Bradshaws, Fitzpatrick’s Pub on Main Street Mohill, Terry Manns Drumsna or Scollans Supermarket Drumshanbo. For further information please go to www.rinnshannon.com.
Until next time…Tight lines and stay safe on the water… wear a lifejacket.