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Fishing in Co. Clare

I have just come back from having a short break in Ballyvaughan Co. Clare. I went over with good intentions of fishing some of the rivers and lakes while i was there, but unfortunately the awful weather that we had, played havoc with my plans. I arrived over there on Good Friday which was a day when we had some heavy showers of hail and rain accompanied by a strong wind. On Saturday the weather was much the same as Friday so with no fishing to be had i took a tour of the Aillwee caves which included a display of falcons (weather permitting) which are housed on site near the caves. I was lucky enough that the rain stopped just long enough for me to catch the display which was amazing to see with these fabulous birds flying at such speed and so close to you.

Soft day in Clare

Sunday started out as a dry day but it was very windy. As it was dry i headed out to Lickeen Lake to see could i find some sheltered spot to wet a line. On enquiring locally about fishing on the lake i was told there was an angling club active on the lake which stocked it annually with Rainbow Trout and it also has a good stock of wild Brown Trout. Boats were also available on this lake but not this early in the season. I was also told of a spot where i could do some fishing from the bank despite the wind, and with this in mind i set the rod up and headed on over. I did not fish for too long as the wind was blustery and swirling all round me and not a sign of any fish moving. I  packed up and headed for the River Fergus to see if any fishing could be had there.

River Fergus Co. Clare

When i got to the River Fergus i found it a little higher than i had hoped for. However while looking around i noticed there was some olives coming off the water. Encouraged by the olives i decided to give it a go so i set the rod up and tied on an olive Klinkhammer and headed upstream. I walked for about half of a mile casting as i went . I never saw a fish let alone rise one so i made my way back to my car which turned out to be a wise move as it started to lash down rain, yes more rain and it rained right throughout the night right up till the following afternoon. And it was heavy rain at that.

Aille river, Doolin, Co Clare

Monday was definitely a day when fishing was out of the question, again due to our ever changing climate, so i went driving around looking over ditches and bridges at all the flooded fields and rivers. Not much else an angler can do on days like these to keep himself amused and away from the many interesting local pubs that are found all around north Clare.

Inagh Falls, Ennistymon

Tuesday started out as a dry day with some sunshine and the usual high wind that sweeps in from the Atlantic. With all the high waters levels in mind i decided that i was going to be a tourist for the day. It had been some time since i last had a visit to see the Cliffs of Moher so Tuesday was a good day to check them out. Quite a few changes have taken since i was last there. Gone was the old dirt track leading up to the cliffs. This was replaced with safety barriers and new paths and steps along the cliff top. A new state of the art interpretive centre has also been built into the mountainside housing cafés, audiovisual displays, craft shop, toilets and many more facilities. With Eight Euro to park your car there and Two Euro to go up into the new viewing tower that is built there, it seems it’s all about the money now rather than the view.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

After my visit to the cliffs i made my way over to the Burren to have a walk around this amazing place of such wild beauty. Going through the Burren i came across the Poulnabrone Dolmen so i stopped off for a look around and to take some photos. It really is an interesting place with a lot of history to it.

Poulnabrone Dolmen

Wednesday was a dry day but again there was that wild Atlantic wind blowing. Being a dry day i headed out towards Corofin to have a look at Inchiquin Lake to see if i could possibly fish it. On checking it out i found it was higher than average for the time of the year. There was Duckfly hanging about the lake shore in several smalls swarms so i had to give it a go. I went into Corofin to O’Callaghans shop to see if there was any boats available on the lake and to find out how the lake was fishing lately. I got the keys for a boat and made my way back to the lake. There was no news to be had on the trout fishing but i was told that some good Pike were recently had there. I set up and headed out across the lake to the lee shore as the wind was far too strong on the near shore. There were some fish moving along the lee shore but none wanted my offerings so after a fishless four hours i packed it in. I got talking to a local angler who enquired as to how i got on. He told me that the lake never fishes well when it’s a sunny day and also the wind was blowing the wrong way. What a pity i did not meet up with him before i went out. Local knowledge is always invaluable.

Lough Inchiquin

Thursday again was dry with the wild Atlantic wind blowing again. I decided to go for a long drive and headed over to Co. Mayo to another place called Moher. This time it was Moher Lough. I have fished Moher Lough many times and always had some sucess. I called in to Mrs McDonnell to pick up permit and a key for a boat. This lake is controlled by the Western Region Fisheries Board who stock it regularly with reared brown trout and it also has a good stock of wild Brown Trout which are free rising. While i was setting up the boat and rod i noticed that there was Duckfly hatching and the fish also had noticed them.

Wild Brown Trout

With the wind blowing back up the lake towards the boats, i headed down to take a drift back up the lake. On the first drift i had two wild trout things were looking good. These fish took a Claret Dabbler which was tied on the point ignoring the Duck fly patterns on the droppers. Over the course of about fours hours fishing i took fifteen trout both wild and stocked fish all on the Dabbler. The best fish was about a pound and a half. A good day at last.

Stocked Brown Trout

Friday the best day weather wise but my last full day in Clare. I went back to have another try at Lickeen Lake. When i got to the lake i saw some fish moving at the surface but no signs of any flies hatching. I set the rod up with a mix of a PT nymph top dropper middle was a Duckfly imitation and on the point i tied the Claret Dabbler. I spent two hours fishing from the bank and ended the outing with one nice wild Brown Trout about the three quarter pound mark and i hooked and lost what felt like a sizeable Rainbow Trout.

Lickeen Lake, Kilfenora

All fish were returned safely hopefully to be caught again should i return to fish in County Clare.


3 Responses to “Fishing in Co. Clare”

  1. Peter Gleeson says:

    Really enjoy your blog. Feel like I’m fishing even when I’m at work reading it. Peter

  2. wgsten says:

    Thanks Peter, its nice to lose yourself in your work!

  3. P.J. Hynes says:

    Your report on Lickeen Lake in Nth Clare interested me as I’ve fished it since my youth. It has under gone some troubled times over the past years regarding fishing rights even involving court proceedings. The current rights are I believe held by a trust type ownership vested in the local Lickeen Anglers Association who carried out periodic restocking fo the lake although not I understand in the past year or more. On visiting there some mths ago I found it difficult to determine who now controls the lake. There was a contact no for a private individual who seems to arrange bookings on a contract basis for the club as well as other adventure activities such as sea angling.

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