Mourne/Derg Report, week ending Sunday 28 August 2011

Conditions  Both rivers suffered from a lack of water during the last week. A few heavy showers on Thursday night brought the Derg up about six inches and put the Mourne up about two inches.

Mourne Low water all week and no significant rain left the Mourne showing its bones. There are still enough grilse knocking around most pools and the odd fresh one coming off the tide to make a visit worthwhile. Odd fish were grassed this week, mostly grilse around Sion and Strabane. Don’t be expecting every fish to commit suicide at the site of your flies as by now they have seen every one in the book. Occasionally if you are lucky or persistent a take might come on and you could enjoy a bit of sport. In this condition Lifford Bridge will fish well as will the pools around Strabane. Early morning and evenings are probably the best times with light tackle a good option.

Derg  Like the Mourne, the Derg suffered from a lack of water this week and with few anglers out catches suffered. There are reports of significant amounts of shrimping taking place at the head of the river which needs to be addressed if serious damage to stocks is to be avoided.

Outlook  The weather is set to remain stable for the next week or so. If you can believe the long term forecast September will offer higher than normal rainfall. As a poor grilse season comes to an end we can only pray for a decent back end. Some early morning dew and slightly colder nights have already signalled the start of autumn. This period can often see the Mourne at its best, fingers crossed!

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills
Web: www.nmtackle.com
Email: info@nmtackle.com
Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Mourne/Derg Report week ending 20 August 2011

Conditions Both the Mourne and Derg were in excellent condition over the past week. Heavy rain last Sunday to Monday brought both rivers into a decent but peat-stained flood which cleaned slowly and held up well for most of the week. Fish were reported running hard in both rivers from Monday to Wednesday. By Saturday, both rivers were getting on the low side but fish were evident in all the main beats.

Mourne Off the back of the flood and despite the poaching in the Foyle, fresh fish entered the river off the tides. The majority of the fresh fish were grilse from 3–5lb. On Monday in heavily peat-stained water there were about 10–12 hooked in the Gravenue at Sion and between Monday and Tuesday, J Connors hooked ten and landed five. Tuesday saw the river rise again putting the river out until Wednesday. From Wednesday through to the end of the week there were many fish landed from all areas of the Mourne. The river, being in first class condition and dropping slowly, gave everyone the opportunity to wet a line and get some action. J Hutton had five hooked two landed, Nigel Gough hooked and landed four, Trevor Kilpatrick had a fish of 11lb as did Thomas Taylor. It was good to note that all beats from Strabane to the Snaa were encountering fresh fish. It was also noted that these small fish were running hard and not lingering around for long. As I write the river is getting low but there are fish in all beats; anyone visiting should consider bringing small flies and light tackle.

Derg The Derg had good water off the flood and subsequently the upper river beats saw some good action. Fish were seen running hard through Ardstraw on Monday to Tuesday, mostly fish that had been hanging around the Mourne for a few weeks but an odd fresh one as well. Anglers above Castlederg landed a fair few fish but none more than A Patton who had seven on Friday, keeping one and returning the rest. Well done, Andy! The river is now down to summer level which will suit the shrimpers who frequent the upper river this time every year.

Outlook Rain forecast for Wednesday to Thursday should keep things challenging for anglers. Colder nights, signalling a hint of autumn, can bring the best out of the Mourne. Fingers crossed!

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills

Web: www.nmtackle.com

Email: info@nmtackle.com

Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Mourne/Derg Report week ending 14 August 2011

Mourne A week of contrasting fortunes is perhaps the best way of describing the Mourne this past week. Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 August saw the muggy weather of last week continue, the river low but enough fish about to encourage anglers with light tackle to fish early morning and evening. A steady trickle of 3–4 lb fish coming off the tides and reports that there were fish in the Foyle encouraged even the most dispirited to keep casting a line. On Tuesday one angler bragged to me that the Gravenue in Sion Mills was stuffed! But they were poor takers. There was certainly evidence of fresh fish above Victoria Bridge and as far as the Snaa; I managed to land a few and lose several others on the trout rod in the Feddens. Anglers around Strabane were also reporting an increase in sport.

By Wednesday the high pressure gave way and heavy showers falling out in parts brought a small dirty flood to the river. I witnessed about 25 fish take the weir in half an hour on Wednesday evening, others witnessing no more than 10–15 an hour throughout the day. The flood put most of the river out except for the Snaa where the Derg influence kept one half of the river clean enough to fish, and Robert Freeborn duly obliged with a nice 11lb fresh fish.

The river continued to rise on Wednesday night and into a proper flood on Thursday, putting the river out completely. Again, small numbers of grilse were counted throughout the day on the weir at Sion. A good head of fish were showing in the dam above the weir and will need watching when the water drops.

By Friday, with the river still high but fishable in the high water, throws began to produce fish. Dessie Patton had two from the Gravenue, Rev J Morrow 7lb and Peter Conolly 5lb in Sion.  Above Victoria Bridge 10–12 fish were landed, mostly spinning. On Saturday, the river was up a little, perfect for spinning and just about low enough to try a fly. Fish were on the move through the whole river but most were not in the mood to provide sport. Gavin Hamilton did land a nice fish of 5lb below Sion, but most anglers were hoping the river would drop enough by Sunday.

Sunday morning saw the marker at Victoria at 13 inches and falling, still a tad high but fishable for fly and spinning. Anglers at Victoria and Sion reported seeing plenty of fish but poor takers with only one landed.

Derg The Derg followed the same pattern as the Mourne this week. A low start then a flood on Tuesday to Thursday and holding up well through until Sunday. Although I have reports of quite a few fish landed above Castlederg all week a large percentage were residents. A small run of fresh fish ran hard through Ardstraw on Thursday which provided welcome sport from Castlederg to Killeter and further. Andrew Loughlin reported to me he had two this morning (Sunday), both returned and tightened in another two and had seen several others.

Outlook Rain forecast for Tuesday could rise all rivers in the system which will help the Derg. There are now enough fish throughout the Mourne to provide good sport.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills
Web: www.nmtackle.com
Email: info@nmtackle.com
Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Mourne/Derg reports, week ending 7 August 2011

Mourne  Little change on the Mourne over the last week, low water, hot muggy weather and little or no rain. Showers somewhere upstream brought a two-inch rise mid-week which fell away as fast as it came. This encouraged a few fish to move pools, giving anglers an opportunity to cover a few fish. The lack of grilse, when compared to the last few years, and the increase in poaching in the Foyle, Finn and Mourne are what are concerning many anglers.

Those anglers that are fishing have adopted light tactics with trout rods replacing the double handers. Small flies in 12-16s have produced a few fish mainly in the early morning or evening. Even though there is little sign of a substantial run of grilse, there have been some coming off the tide, mostly 3-4lb (sharpening stones) but good fun on a light rod. I landed a couple on Friday last straight off the tide in the Feddens. There were also three grassed in the Snaa by visitors.

Derg  No rain, no fish or anglers but poachers doing their best.

Outlook  There are enough resident springers or summer salmon knocking around most pools and small runs of grilse coming off the tides to make a visit to the river worthwhile. You could come across fish anywhere in the Mourne but while high pressure persists early morning and evening will improve your chances. Light tackle, small flies and stealth will also help.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills

Web: www.nmtackle.com

Email:info@nmtackle.com

Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Mourne/Derg reports, week ending 31 July 2011

Mourne  A poor week on the Mourne this week, with little or no rain and the river is now at summer level and showing its bones. Throughout June and July, only a handful of grilse has entered the river despite excellent water levels. As usual anglers, mostly optimists, are trying to find the positives although excuses are getting thin on the ground. The fish are simply not there at the moment and there seems little or no sign of them!

Poaching in the Foyle and its tributaries has been well highlighted in the press over the past week or two with several Loughs Agency bailiffs needing medical treatment. With so few fish it is up to every angler in every club to stand together and report any illegal activity which threatens our sport.

As expected, angling activity over the past week has been light. A few fish have come off the tides and were seen moving through the pools before resting up. Occasionally even in low water residents have moved upstream presenting opportunities if you happened to be out. One or two have been grassed from the usual pools: T Malloy had a lovely 11lb fish on the bubble and fly in Strabane and T Colgan had a grilse at Newtownstewart. This evening I had a grilse of 1.5lb (returned) which was heavily net marked from above Victoria Bridge.

Derg  No water all week, no fish!

Outlook  Rain forecast for Thursday! Until then, with the river so low Lifford Bridge, Strabane and Sion Mills present the best chance of fish in the coming week. Early morning and evening should be the best times with small flies 14-16 being the order.

M Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills

Web: www.nmtackle.com

Email:info@nmtackle.com

Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

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