The River Slaney opened on St Patrick’s Day again this year. Anglers were greeted with ideal water conditions and a beautiful still spring day. Fishermen were out in force along the river and from reports it seems that Andrew Kelly was the first to connect with a 2016 Springer landing this beautiful 10 pounder off the Kildavin stretch taken on a Snaelda. Others soon followed. Margaret Downes fishing at Clohamon hooked a fish within the first 20 minutes but this one managed to avoid the net after a 5 minute battle. Up at Ganly’s Peter Wilson also hooked and lost a fish before John Carroll landed a fish on the same beat. Up on the Tullow stretch Tony Quigley landed a 9 pounder and another fish was taken at Kilbride. In the afternoon Bill Connolly landed this small but fresh fish at Clohamon soon followed by Margaret Downs who had her second chance, this time landing a fresh 8 pounder. Michael McMenamin, well known tackle dealer from Belfast, was rewarded for his persistence by landing an 8 pounder and then losing another fish just before dark.
The general feeling after opening day is that there are small numbers of fish spread throughout the system. There seems to have been more fish caught above rather than below Clohamon. This is probably due to the high water levels over the past few months. There were reports of 2 or 3 fish hooked on the lower stretches but none landed. While water levels are currently good a fresh drop of water could well improve things over the coming weeks and with Spring tides building, the Easter break could be the time to be out on the river. Large flies on intermediate or sinking lines will work best until the water temperature rises.
Anglers are reminded that fishing is strictly on a catch and release basis only. Anglers are only permitted to fish with the fly from Enniscorthy bridge up. Below the bridge Prawn and Spinning are allowed. Worms are not permitted.
Tight lines to all fishermen and for those who have any reports or photos, positive or otherwise, please feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in future reports.