ENNELL COMPETITIONS: I was recently chatting to some of the Lough Ennell Trout Preservation Association officers and the 2020 angling competition scene is a non-runner by the looks of things. This Sunday May 31st we should be gearing up to fish the Rex Beaumont Cup on Ennell. It’s the start of the Ennell competitions but due to Covid-19 restrictions we may not have any fly angling competitions this season. Mind you, it’s a few months until October 12th when the trout season closes, so we might just have an end of season event. In 2019 local fly expert Johnny O’Malley won the Rex Beaumont Cup with a fine trout of 2.77lbs. Johnny gave me a few May Fly and Buttons he tied and already the May Fly has caught Ennell trout.

OWEL MAY FLY: A scattering of May Fly has being drifting across Brabsons Point on Owel and we are told and a few nice trout are being caught. As with Ennell, the Lough Owel Trout Preservation Association competitions are cancelled as well as the Leinster Championships which were due to be fished this month on Owel. Still, quite a few pleasure anglers are out on Owel and its looking good for this weekend. Owel is under the control of I.F.I. and permits are needed to fish Owel. The L.O.T.P.A. have a 14inch size limit and 2 trout per angler.

ANGLERS WITH TROUT. A few nice pictures in this week of cracking trout from Sheelin, Ennell, and Derravaragh. Bill Shanley had some beauties, as did Kevin Coyne. Plus we got a picture of Multyfarhham angler Christy Cox with a lovely trout. The Cox family of Multyfarnham are keen anglers and young Christopher has caught some lovely pike on stretches of the River Inny.

TOURISM & RUSSIAN GOOGLE LADS: The lads from Google Ireland were back in touch with me regarding promoting angling in Ireland, and especially here in Westmeath. Pavel Pimshin from Russia has featured in Angling Focus and is now working on, a website for the Russian speaking community. Some of my images and reports from the Midland lakes & rivers will be featured on this site. When the Covid-19 restrictions ease a bit more I will have Pavel and the Google lads back in Mullingar. It’s going to be a tough time for angling tourism but soon we will have visiting anglers drifting across Westmeath. One of my pictures this week features Pavel Pimshin with a super perch and also one with his pals Arseny Ivsnov, also from Russia, and Baur Sauranbek of Asia.

AMY SCOTT & DAVIE BLIGHT ON OWEL: Lough Owel is a hive of activity these days and even in brilliant sunshine some super pike and trout are coming on line. Mullingar couple Davie Blyth, well known musician, and Amy Scott have Lough Owel well sorted and really know the hot spots when it comes to catching beautiful silver trout and huge pike pushing well into double figures. The trout Amy is pictured holding is a real bar of silver and it takes me back to the time Paddy Isdell did a piece on Owel where he called the Owel trout bars of silver. How true it is when you see such photographs. It’s as silver as a fresh run salmon. Davie was on song on the pike scene on Owel and had some cracking pike pushing 15-16lbs in weight. Lough Owel is a tough lake for pike anglers but if you spend some time on the lake, you will find the pike hot spots.

FIACHRA ON OWEL: Another young angler enjoying the beautiful weather and catching nice trout on Owel is Fiachra Hyland. Fiachra was out on Owel with Brian Conlon of Wild Total Outdoors Angling Center here in Mullingar. Brian told us the trout took a shine to the deadly Pink Tazzie and he has a huge range of these deadly lures in stock. Now with Covid -19 restrictions easing, Brain is open daily from 10am. Looking at Fiachras picture, I might have a bit of competition when it comes to taking fishy pics. Great shot of a young angler enjoying the wonderful sport of angling.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Speaking of photographs, we received a few lovely pics recently from some happy snappers. Pauric Martin of Harbour Court took a stunning sun set picture on Owel as he came off the lake with his angling pal Bernie Sweeney. We also have a savage shot of my old angling pal Con Hope taken by his Granddaughter Eadaoin. Con is in his mid-eighties now and is well known on the angling scene and for his work with An Post. Love the top – “So Many Lures So Little Time.

ENNELL IN BOTHER AGAIN: Yes, Lough Ennell hit the headlines once again last week and pollution is an ongoing issue with Ennell. Unfortunately the lake is down river on the Brosna system and many pollution problems have cropped up in recent years on the river. Last year a constant oil leak was going into Ennell, this was across from Harbour Court apartments, and now this week a very concerned Ennell angler has highlighted another major problem with dumping rubbish into the Brosna.

HUGE REE TROUT: Robbie McCormack is having a whale of a time on Ree, as he has caught a huge Ferox trout up to 14lbs in weight. Robbie grew up on the shores of Ree at Coosan Point and is well known on the pike and trout competition scene. Trolling across Ree, which is a huge span of water, is proving successful for catching these incredible big trout. Great fish Robbie and keep the pictures on line.

PERMITS & TOURISM ANGLING: I mentioned earlier, my Russian pals are featuring my angling reports and photographs on a Russian speaking web site. Unfortunately, angling tourism is bunched this season in Ireland with Covid-19 restrictions in place and also here in the Midlands, which is a bitter pill to swallow as we pay permits to fish the likes Owel, Ennell and the Inny system. As travel restrictions are lifted here in Ireland soon, we have to fight our corner to get visiting anglers from across Ireland into Westmeath and for sure the permit is a nail in the coffin when it comes to trying to encourage visitors to our wonderful lakes & rivers. All regions should have a level playing field and the permits should be done away with.

THAT’S IT: Next week we will have news on the pike scene plus in the coming weeks anglers will be back out on Lough Lene in North Westmeath. Lene was also hit hard this season on the competitions scene, as the lake was holding this years Youths International Fly Angling Championships. Ireland was going into battle on the trout scene with Scotland, England, and Wales. Hopefully in 2021 it will be fished on a Westmeath lake. Tight Lines until next week.

Mick Flanagan

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