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(Last updated: Monday 17th October)
It has been a good fishing season on the Lower Bann and on the private beats of Carnroe, Movanagher, Portna and Culiff rock. We have seen a great run of The Atlantic salmon back to our rivers here on the Bann in Northern Ireland after the dismal runs of recent years but maybe all due to the coastal nets being made redundant for the past 4 years. The fish are now given free passage, unhindered, to our shores, and it's about time.
All tributaries on the Bann are seeing fish like never before in recent years, and if all get to their spawning beds then the outlook for a great comeback of the Atlantic salmon as of years in the past look very promising.
I've fished the Bann at Carnroe for many years, just like a lot of the anglers still fishing Carnroe and on the private beats and we have witnessed in not too distant years gone past large numbers of fish, shoals that would make any good fishery stand up and take notice. A lot of fish were caught in those years, Carnroe was the hidden jewel in the crown, and we never had to do too much to entice customers, there was a ready eager local continuity eager and waiting to fish. Ah, but things change ever so quickly, voluntary catch and release was introduced due to the fall in numbers of fish returning to our waters, and then compulsory catch and release was introduced which reduced the anglers willing to pay for fishing for the privilege of putting their catch back. If an angler stays away for too long then you have lost him for good, he has taken up another pastime.
If these fish are beginning to make a big reappearance back to our waters, and I see no reason why this shouldn't happen saying these restricting coastal nets are off. Then in the next couple of years of a continuing increase of salmon runs, it should and must be looked at, that anglers be allowed to take a fish for his or her table. It's only right and sensible to do this to maintain angling as one of the best exciting outdoor pastimes that money can buy.
There were fish caught on every day in the last week of fishing, except for Sunday our last day, when water levels were a bit chaotic, some were clinkers, plenty of the big stuff about.
Last Friday 7th October 2 fish landed, Davy Miller had a good 12lb of the point on the fly and Billy Thompson a 4lb from the Island stream also on the fly. Water level at 14ft 10ins.
On Saturday the 8th, 5 fish recorded. C Pearse caught 2 on the prawn from the slope at 6 and 7lb weight, Ian Ramsey a 6 and 4lb also on the prawn and Eddie Fry 1 of 7lb from the Island Stream on the fly.
Just the one fish today the 9th October but a good one, a 15lb one landed by Tony Lyle on the prawn from the slope. The Water level was 14ft 10ins.
Monday 10th October - David Agnew out for his last chuck landed 2 on the fly of 8 and 5lb. T Culbertson 1 of 15lb from the slope on the prawn, a very good fish.
Tuesday 11th October - Lee Beverland did well landing 2 fish, 1 on the fly and one on the prawn, 6 and 4 lb weight. 14ft 10ins was the water levels.
Wednesday saw the water taking a bit of dip to 14ft 9ins and 6 fish landed for the day. Richard McDowell 1 of 6lb on fly, Bertie The otter Hanna 2, one on the fly and 1 on the prawn, weights 14lb and 6lb. Billy Thompson who has done well this season landed 2 on the prawn of 5 and 6lb. Ronnie Gilbert 1 of the risk beat on the prawn weight 5lb.
Thursday 13th October - 3 fish caught for the day. 'Cage' fishing Peter Simpsons rod landed 1 on the spinner of 10lb weight, Nigel Wilson had 2 from the slope on the prawn of 14lb and 5lb weight. Water levels 14ft 9ins.
Friday 14th October - Tom Heasley landed 2 fish, one a superb fish of 20lb on the fly, he also landed a 5lb fish on the prawn. Peter Montgomery fishing the fly caught 1 of 5lb and Anthony McCormack-Tant 1 of 5lb on the prawn at the risk beat.
Saturday 15th October - 3 fish caught today, Ian Ramsey 1 of 4lb on the prawn and John Marshall Jnr had 2 on the prawn of 5 and 8lb weight. It's beginning to rain hard, the wet season has started.
So there we have it, another season that has come and gone far too quickly, we've caught a lot of good fish, we have seen plenty of them this season, its only left for me to say that it has been a privilege and a pleasure to have shared some good craic with you, plenty of good memories to last us over the cold winter months.
I hope you all overwinter well, from us all at Carnroe take care and I would hope to meet up with you all again in the 2017 fishing season.
Happy Fishing and a Happy Christmas. "That Time Again Soon"
Robbie, Gillie at Carnroe.
An end of season will report will be ready at the end of the season.