REE BEAUTY: If you are planning a trip to Lough Ree for a bit of trout fishing, now is the time to set sail. Ree, like some of our other midland lakes, will close for the trout fishing on September 30th, which is only a few weeks away. Recently, Athlone angler Steve Turner produced a beautiful looking Lough Ree wild brown trout that rattled the scales at 8lbs 8oz, so we are told. Steve is well known on the trout angling scene and I have met him from time to time on Owel. This time around he was out on Ree with angling pal Philip Cunningham and after a quick photograph Steve sportingly returned his prize catch. Ree will remain open for coarse fishing all winter and some cracking pike and perch will come on line.


LENE BEAUTY: I was on Lene last week with the Maddigan boys, Paddy and his son Andrew and boy did we struggle to get a fish. We got off to a fantastic start with Andrew having a rainbow within the first half hour on the fly, but it was all down hill for the rest of the day. Plenty of fish were surface feeding but we could not interest them in taking our dry fly. We eventually got a bit tired lashing out flies and trolled for a few hours which was also not very productive. I always say every day is different when out on the lakes and last weekend Lene produced some cracking rainbows. It was a very busy spot with many anglers out on Saturday and Sunday and we captured club member John Gallagher and pal Tony Reilly on camera. The lads had some beautiful fish on dry fly and I got a few special flies from John, which I hope to put to the test before Lene closes.

NOW YOU’RE MESHING: I mentioned some weeks back that I recently picked up a lovely Silstar landing net in David O’Malleys. I was seriously thinking about getting it blessed or sprinkling a drop of holy water on it, as I was struggling to get a fish into the boat every time I took it with me. Well as they say, ‘the duck was broken’, and I boated a few lovely Owel trout last week in very blustery conditions. If you remember back to last Friday, the rain that fell was out of this world and I am beginning to wonder if there is any wet gear that is actually waterproof. Still, I battled on and the Silstar net is a lovely bit of kit, ideal for boat and bank fishing. The lever lock is very sturdy and it will extend to almost 5ft, handy for my little arms some might say. The rubber net meshing is very soft and fish can be easily removed from the net. I am sure if you drop into David he will give you a bit more information on this lovely bit of angling gear. I still have the Leeda digital scales to put to the test, maybe a trip to Ree is on the cards.

PIKE DAYS: Oh it’s going to be hell for leather as soon as the trout season closes and already some new predator lures have graced the shelves of ‘Wild Total Outdoors’, so we are told. As a rule, many of our anglers turn to the pike fishing for some rod bending action over the long winter months and I reckon this year will be no different than any other. I did a day last week with my pal Stan Ryan and his angling buddy Justin Jordan. We normally bang into a few nice pike, as the lads are no fools when it comes to fishing, especially Stan as he has caught huge specimen sea fish and quite a few pike. Well, every day is different and on our last angling adventure we really struggled. I had one small fish on dead bait and Stan had a few hits working lures. J.J, my younger brother, faired a bit better on the pike scene and had a few nice fish out with son number one, Cathal. Maybe this week the pike will come out to play.

BYRNE BROTHERS: I bumped into young Jamie Byrne, who is 4 years old, and his brother Dylan, who is just 7 years old. The lads were out in Whitebridge Bay with their Granny, Meriam Newman, of the famous Newman angling clan from Lynn Cross. The boys told me that they had already boated a few fish while out with their Uncle Ciaran Newman and all going well we will here some more angling stories from these lads.