Old Fishing Reports
Thursday 1September, water 4” and clean. Friday 2, John Beveridge, GB, caught three salmon on the Snaa, 4lb, 6lb and 10lb, low water 4” with heavy rain that evening. Saturday 3water 11” and rising, up to 1ft 10” at 12.30pm, Mourne dirty. Sunday 4, Brendan Garland, Belfast, caught two salmon, 4lb and 6lb at the Snaa. Local angler Ronnie Hill caught a 5lb on the Snaa and Richard Kingston, London, landed a 9lb on Carney. Joe Hutton caught 2 salmon of 4lb each on the Snaa. Monday 5 to 7 September in flood and water dirty. Thursday 8, Joe Hutton caught two on the Snaa, 7lb & 5lb, Robin Gibson caught a 9lb on the Snaa, the water over 4½ ft high Mourne dirty, the Derg clean. Friday 9, water 3 ft high and clean. Saturday 10, 2ft 4” and clean. Sunday 11, 4ft and rising. Monday 12water 5.5 ft and dirty. Tuesday 13,Lord Farnham, Oxfordshire, caught a 10½ lb on the Snaa, Michael Dawnay, Perth, caught three on the Snaa, 7.5 lb, 9lb and 7lb, the water was 4ft 6” high and the Derg was clean and the Mourne coloured. Wednesday 14, Joe Hutton caught a 10lb on the Snaa, 3ft 10” high and clean. Thursday 15, Anthony Snow, London caught a 10lb on the Snaa, 3ft 8” high, the Mourne was coloured and the Derg clean. Friday 16, 2’ 4” high and clean. Saturday 17, 6’ high and coloured. Sunday 18, not known. Monday 19, 3’ 6” high and clean. Richard Kingston, London, caught 2 salmon each around 4lb in the Derg Hole and Mark Johansen, London, caught a 9lb in the Derg Hole. Tuesday 20, 4’6” high and the Mourne was coloured and the Derg slightly coloured. Wednesday 21, 2’10” high and clean at 8am. By 5pm it was 4’6” and coloured. Thursday 22, 4’ high and Mourne dirty and Derg clean. Only pool fishable is Snaa and Sid Murkin, Midlands, caught a 4lb on the pool. Friday 23rd, Bumper day with 7 fish caught and several others lost. Sid Murkin, Midlands, caught a 7.5lb on the Snaa his friend Ray Jenkins caught a 3lb on the Snaa. Local angler Robin Gibson caught a 6lb and 8lb on Carney, as did Ian Caldwell landing, 7lb and 4lb with Joe Hutton also catching a 9lb on the same pol. The water was 2’ 6” high and clean. Saturday 24th, well known photographer from Dublin, Crispin Rodwell, caught a 6.5lb on Carney, the water was 2’ 4”high and clean. Sunday 25th, local angler, Ronnie Hill caught a 5lb on Carney, water was 1’ 11” high and clean. Monday 26th, Michael Stewart-Moore caught an 8lb on Carney, water remained 1’ 11” high and clean. Tuesday 27th, Ian Gordon, Dungiven, caught a 5lb on the Snaa. Wednesday 28th, water 1’ 9” and clean.
1st August R. Hill 4.5lb and G. McClure 3lb grilse caught in the Snaa, 2nd August D. Fulton 3.5lb in the Snaa and 1.5lb in the Half Water. 3 August P. Hannan, 7.5lb in Half Water, following day W. Ross, Limavady caught 5lb in Blackstone, and a further 5lb in the Snaa, his son L Ross landed a 4lb fish in the Snaa. B Henderson, Belfast, fishing on 8th August caught a 5lb in the Blackstone, and 3lb grilse in the Snaa. The water level from the 5th to 8th was low. Tuesday 9th, water was marked at 4in on the rock, overcast with no wind. Wednesday 10th, water is rising and was marked at 4in on rock at 11am, 8in at 12 noon and 24in at 8.30pm a lot of grilse seen running. Thursday 11th, water very dirty, no fishing, marked at 4.5 ft in the morning. Friday 12th, water dropping, marked at 3ft 4in at 8am, down to just under 3ft at 11am, overcast, R. Freeborn caught a 11lb on Snaa, water marked at 3ft 4in on the Rock, water rising later that night. 13 August I. Caldwell caught two on the Derg Hole, 1 x 9lb and 1 x 7lb., water well up in the morning. Sunday 14th, water showing at 2ft 6in on Rock on Sunday morning. Monday 15th, water showing at 3ft 6in at 5pm. Tuesday 16, water marked at 2ft 9in. Thursday 18, A. Alston caught 5lb in the Snaa, water 1ft 5in and falling, in good order, I Caldwell, 5lb in Toby. Friday 19, R. Gibson, 1 x 2.5lb and 1 x 3lb at the Snaa, I. Caldwell, 1 x 12 lb and 1 x 4lb on Carney, and 1 x 8lb on Snaa. Saturday 20, water down to 11in and clean, A. Hutchinson, 4lb on the Snaa, Alison Bagnall, 5lb at Lisnagirk and R. Gibson, 6lb on the Halfwater. Sunday 21, J. Irvine, 4lb on the Halfwater with water down to 10in and clean. Monday 22, C. Gillespie, 12lb from the Snaa, 3lb in Doaks, water 8in and clean. Tuesday 23, water 6in and falling, no rain. Water rose 24 and 25 with good offerings for the fishermen but no fish landed. 26 August, I. Gordon, 4lb Snaa, R. Hill 5.5 from Toby. 27 August T. Brown, 5lb Blackstone, 30 August I. Gordon 9lb Snaa, 31 August J. Beveridge 5.5 Snaa. Total for August 32 salmon.
June The Upper Mourne received very little fishing effort in June. R. Freeborn caught 2 lovely fish on 1st June, 7 and 8lbs. 25th June J. Hutton caught a cracking 8lber on the Halfwater, Sue Penigle using a cascade, 5.5lb in the Snaa, A. Hamilton followed with a 6lb grilse in the same pool. I. Caldwell 5lb , Snaa, and J. Fending, landing the heaviest fish of the month at 9.25lb using a gold shrimp in the Halfwater. A total of 7 fish for the month, with very light fishing effort.
Overview: The water levels this season made the availability of fishing trickier than in previous years. When conditions were right, great fishing was enjoyed with a total of 140 fish caught for the season. Those fishermen who adapted tactics and fished in low water were rewarded for their efforts. There was a good strong run of fish at the back end of the season which made up for thin number of lack spring, early summer fish. It was a relief when our regulatory body, the Loughs Agency, decided not to allow the licensed nets to operate this year in the Foyle. Sadly this was due to the River Finn (sister river to River Mourne) failing to reach its conservation limit.
The final weeks of the season saw a prodigious amount of fish in all the pools in the Upper Mourne. However, they were not easily caught and proved to be testing. Light fishing pressure yielded a modest 20 fish for the month. R Kingston from London visited us on 11/12 Oct caught 3 respectable fish with his friend P Banks catching one fish in the Snaa. J Murray caught 3 good fish on the 17th October largest weighing 9lb. On the last day of the season G Treanor caught a brace 6lb and 7lb fish using a Silver Stoat and Silver Rat. All hen and gravid fish are released from 1st September on our fishery.
September fished well with over 45 fish being caught on the four beats. The conditions have settled in the last week of the month with the water level near perfect. Two large floods were experienced in the middle of the month making access to the river difficult. 9th September, J Hutton caught 5 salmon in the day, largest weighing 7lbs. 13th Sept, I Caldwell, caught 4 good fish. Chris Tarrant was filmed catching a salmon on the Snaa, it is hoped that this will become part of a new TV programme. 25-27 September visiting anglers for GB, S Farnham landed 2, M Dawnay 1 at 6lb on Carniquin. On 28th Sept, M Dawnay used a Sunray shadow which helped stir the fish up and he caught a lovely fresh 6lb fish and had at least 5 others chasing the fly. R Kingston and P Banks timed their visit to perfection and caught 8 fish over two and half day period.
A total of 39 fish have been caught with over 10 lost. The Foyle system experienced a steady amount of rain which has favoured running salmon. Towards the end of the month I Caldwell reported that he saw 10-12 salmon running through the Snaa pool. Pods of fish were arriving in dribs and drabs. They were grilse of between 4-7lb fish fresh into the system. In the last weekend in August saw a total catch of 11 fish with a further 4 lost, good going given low water conditions. D Smart, London, and D Rose, Edinburgh each caught 2 silver fish on the Snaa pool, Saturday 29th. B Garland, Belfast and two fellow fishermen caught 6 salmon in three different pools on Sunday 29. A total of 36 fish were caught on the Upper Mourne for the month, which is respectable with good fishing throughout the month.
The Upper Mourne benefited from decent water height in July making for good fishing, a total of 27 salmon were landed, with a further 10 lost. C Moran from Londonderry landed his first ever salmon, 4 lbs on the Snaa pool, with his father catching a similar sized fish. The largest fish for the month was caught by I Gordon an experienced local angler at 10lb, that day he also caught two further fish at 5lb and 2lb. A 14lber was reportedly lost at the net the next day. Mid July saw guest fishermen from Spain watching the reigning world spey casting champion Gerard Downey on the Snaa pool. The Mourne had at least two good floods which both brought fresh fish into the system.
The Upper Mourne like the rest of the Foyle system and for that matter most of the UK and Ireland suffered from a lack of water. When the rain did come twice in the month the fishing responded. A total of 9 fish were caught in June. 11 June saw 4 salmon caught on the fly, local and experienced anglers C Gillespie 8lb and 4lb in the Snaa and J Hutton 3lb and 2lb in Doaks, two other fish were reported lost. On Sunday 12 June a 6 lb salmon was caught on the Half Water by J Irvine. More water was needed.
No catch to report for May on the salmon front. Good brown trout fishing for the syndicate rods with catches of nice wild brownies of 1-2.5 lbs.
No catches were reported.