TRAVEL: Ridge Pool off the mark for the year, as salmon start to move in Ballina

Sixty-seven salmon in total were reported caught for the week from the Moy Catchment, of which nine were released.  Fifty-six salmon were reported caught on the River Moy itself. Two were reported from the Ballyvary river. Nine salmon were reported from Lough Conn, of which two were reported caught at Pontoon Bridge and seven from around the lake.

Conditions were good on the Moy for the week, but the fishing was quiet for most of the river. Water levels recorded at Ballylahan Bridge were 0.511m on Monday morning and after heavy rain on Friday rose quite quickly to 0.908m and levelled back again to 0.492m by Sunday night.  Water temperatures averaged 9.5 ˚Celsius throughout the system

The Ridge Pool reported its first salmon of the season on Wednesday with a 12.5 lbs. salmon on the fly. This was followed by two more salmon on Thursday and Saturday for 8.5 lbs. and 10 lbs. respectively, all caught on the fly.

Ballina Salmon Anglers reported five salmon, the best of which weighed 10.5 lbs. caught by Stephen McNally from Northern Ireland, which was his first fish. Armstrong’s Fishery produced three salmon, the best of which weighed 9 lbs., all caught on worms.

Gannon’s Fishery kicked off their season with three salmon, the best of which weighed 12 lbs., all caught on worms. Granville Nesbitt reported four salmon caught from the Foxford Fishery, all caught on worms. The best fish was caught by John Chambers, Northern Ireland, for 10 lbs.

Foxford Salmon Anglers reported five salmon, of which three came from Bakers waters and two from Rinnaney, best of which weighed 10 lbs.  Most of these fish were caught on bubble and fly. There were local reports that at least one salmon was caught on the Foxford town stretch. Seven salmon were reported caught in Cloongee Fishery, all on bubble and fly, the best of which weighed 10 lbs. East Mayo Anglers had their best week to date.  They reported twenty-five salmon, the best weighing 12.5 lbs. caught on the worm, with nine released.

As reported in the introduction, two salmon were caught spinning at Pontoon Bridge, while seven more were caught mostly trolling spoons on Lough Conn.

Sea trout fishing on the Moy estuary was very good, with perfect water conditions combined with good tides for angling.  Sea trout entering the system at this time of year can be greedy and tend to take any bait presented to them.

Several boats reported “lively action” with some good seatrout recorded up to 3 lbs. weight, and most came to sand eels.  Philip Thornton from Ballina had 2 seatrout for near 4 lbs. on sand eels.

  • How to get there from Scotland: Take a Stena Line ferry from Cairnryan Port to Belfast and from there drive south through Enniskillen to Sligo and on to Ballina in the Irish Republic, where you can stay at the Downhill Hotel or any one of a host of excellent guest houses. Bill Heaaney

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