Mourne/Derg Report, week ending Sunday 16th October 2011

Mourne/Derg  No need for separate river reports for last week as both the Mourne and Derg were virtually unfishable due to a large flood which rose last weekend and got topped up regularly throughout the week by heavy and prolonged showers. Friday saw the river beginning to drop only to rise again in the afternoon. Only an odd spinner was seen braving the conditions. Although very high it was relatively clean and it was possible to come across an odd fish resting in the slacker water. A visitor from England fishing Abercorn Estates water, undaunted by the river, persevered and kept the fly in the water, he hooked, landed and returned three fish from the Derg Hole on Saturday afternoon.

Outlook  As I write it has been raining all night with more forecast for the week so that looks like it for the Mourne for 2011. If I was intent on fishing this week I would probably try the Owenkillew around Gortin where day tickets are available from Gabriel Treanor’s butcher’s shop in the main street. As there are only a limited number available, it’s best to phone first.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills


Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Mourne/Derg Report week ending Sunday 9 October 2011

Conditions  Virtually impossible to wet a line on most of the Mourne this past week and only in the top end of the Derg! Monday saw both rivers high with a bit of colour and suitable for spinning only. By Tuesday the Mourne’s high water throws started to fish but it was evident that the heavy rain around all morning was going to push the river up again. By lunchtime on Wednesday a large flood poured down all the tributaries of the Foyle rendering all rivers out of play. With the flood water being relatively clean, Friday and Saturday saw a bit of action for spinners. More rain on Saturday brought another rise and a very big flood quickly came down putting the whole river out again.

Mourne  Virtually unfishable all week with only a few catches to report. Desi Patton from Sion Mills proved why he is regarded by many as being a top class angler as he managed to land a fish of 13lb on Monday from the Gravenue despite the poor fishing conditions. There were one or two other fish landed in brief spells of high water around Victoria Bridge and above in the private beats, mostly to spinning but one man did land two on the fly.

Derg  Like the Mourne, the Derg was very high all week with the top end the only real chance of sport.

Outlook  More rain forecast this week and a massive flood in the river now (Sunday). Very few fresh fish seen entering the river recently but that’s not surprising given the state of the river.  

Mark Gough


Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Feddens (West Bank) Report, September 2011

Feddens (West Bank):  Some fish were taken up to the 10th but owing to floods for the next fortnight very little angling took place. When the river dropped to a reasonable fishing height some fair catches were landed including a fine brace of sea-liced fish by Omagh’s George Carmichael and Strabane’s Ben Doherty. Most fish were in the 4–7lb bracket. The well-known Dublin angler, Rory Harkin, and his daughter Mary fished on the 29th and all present were entertained as Rory cheekily recalled his boyhood days on the Feddens with anglers of yesteryear, most now unfortunately gone, Davy Beattie, Jim Patton and Robert Fleming, Phil Richardson still alive. Mary landed and released a 5lb grilse on the fly and anglers on both banks were amazed at the dexterity she demonstrated with the 15’ rod.

Frank Elliot

Mourne/Derg report, week ending Sunday 3 October 2011

Conditions  The river was in lovely order all week up to Friday. Plenty of high clean water, mild weather and high air temperatures!  Persistent heavy drizzle Thursday night and early Friday morning forced the river up and over the rotten rock at Victoria Bridge, rendering most pools unfishable up to Sunday when the high water throws began to fish again. 

Mourne  Perfect for the time of year: clean, high and pleasantly warm with plenty of fish in every pool and a sprinkling of newcomers arriving every now and again to keep things fresh. Everything was perfect for a good week. “They’re not playing!” “Has anybody got dynamite?” “I’ve tried every fly in the box.” These quotes were repeated time and again along with a few unprintable up and down the river from Strabane to the Snaa. The fish were not particularly interested in anything other than finding a mate and it will stay that way, says a few older hands, until they are ready and in their own good time. There was the odd one caught each day, a take would come on, and two or three would be landed within a twenty-minute spell; then it was back to throwing the dummy out of the cot and “we’re not playing again”. Let’s hope they are in the mood next week! 

Derg  The river around Ardstraw was in good order all week but there was little angling effort. Above Castlederg it was a bit low for any serious angling effort and it reflected in catches being low for the week. On Sunday I witnessed an angler kill an 8/9lb hen fish which was as red as a carrot. He informed me, “It was for the table.”! This same angler is often heard crying about no fish in the river, “What are you going to do about it”. When is the penny going to drop?!  Traditionally, Derg fish start spawning from late November given the right conditions; the last few years have been a bit later. Fish that are in the river now could spawn in about six weeks’ time and are by now heavy with spawn. All Derg anglers should follow the example set by Castlederg Angling Club, banning the taking of any fish after the 1 September: this would surely be a positive step in the right direction to ensure any fish in the river are given the best possible chance to spawn. 

Outlook  The forecast doesn’t look promising with rain and high winds for the middle of the week so make the best of it now when it is fishable. Still plenty of fish in the Mourne!

Mark Gough-NM Tackle, Sion Mills


Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

Abercorn Estate report, September 2011

Thirty-three fish were caught in September up to 28 September on the Abercorn Estate’s beat on the Upper Mourne.

Thursday 1   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 3   Water 11″ and rising, up to 1’10” 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 two salmon of 4lb each on the Snaa.

Monday 5 to 7   In flood and water dirty.

Thursday 8   Joe Hutton caught two on the Snaa, 7lb and 5lb, Robin Gibson caught a 9lb on the Snaa; water over 4’6″ high: Mourne dirty, the Derg clean.

Friday 9   Water 3′ high and clean.

Saturday 10   2’4″ and clean.

Sunday 11   4′ and rising.

Monday 12   Water 5’6″ 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: the Derg was clean and the Mourne coloured.

Wednesday 14    Joe Hutton caught a 10lb on the Snaa, 3’10” high and clean.

Thursday 15   Anthony Snow, London, caught a 10lb on the Snaa, 3’8″ 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 two 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 23   Bumper day with seven 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 pool. The water was 2’6″ high and clean.

Saturday 24   Well-known photographer from Dublin, Crispin Rodwell, caught a 6.5lb on Carney; the water was 2’4″ high and clean.

Sunday 25   Local angler Ronnie Hill caught a 5lb on Carney; water was 1’11” high and clean. 

Monday 26   Michael Stewart-Moore caught an 8lb on Carney; water remained 1’11” high and clean.

Tuesday 27   Ian Gordon, Dungiven, caught a 5lb on the Snaa.

Wednesday 28   Water 1’9″ and clean.

Mourne/Derg report, week ending Sunday 25 September 2011

Conditions  Since my last report two weeks ago ruminants of hurricane Katrina hit our shores with a vengeance over the weekend of the 11/12 September: this ensured a large flood came down the both Mourne and Derg which lasted several days. Over the next weekend 17/18th more heavy rain fell sending more flood water down both rivers. The floods were accompanied by south-westerly storm-force winds making fishing nigh impossible. As they gave way high and clean water was the order of the day and anglers were able to make the best of the available angling time.

Mourne  Katrina washed the Mourne out until Thursday 15th when the high water throws began to fish, The Gravenue, Blackstone, Bigh and anywhere above Victoria Bridge all saw fish on the move. Unfortunately, daily spells of rain meant conditions remained challenging for anglers with water levels continually on the move. Spinners came off best but a few hardy souls persevered with fly and most got some reward. Another heavy downpour over the 17/18th weekend brought the next flood which put a lot of beats out of order until mid-week when again it was the usual high water throws that came off best. The river dropped and began to produce fish again from Wednesday on and on Friday 23 a decent run of back-end fish came pouring off the tide. Many good quality fish in double figures were seen but anglers had to make do with just the odd fish as most were pre-occupied with moving on. Saturday and Sunday brought more of the same with a good sustained run continuing on both days. A good number of fish were landed on all beats although “bad takers” was a common comment. I spoke to anglers below Sion Mills and above Victoria Bridge and all had seen plenty of fish on the move. With good weather in the coming week things are looking up. 

Derg  The Derg followed a similar pattern to the Mourne over the past fortnight and, as with most spate rivers, cleaned quickly and fished on most days. Even in the biggest flood anglers were able to fish high up the system to locate sport. Unfortunately by now most Derg fish are well past their sell-by date and due care should be exercised at all times when playing and handling fish in poor condition. Please return all gravid fish safely to the river to help return this river to its former glory.

Outlook  There are plenty of fish through the system to provide good sport for all and it appears by the present run there may well be a sustained back-end run right to closing day. The forecast for the coming week is mild and warm with no significant rainfall. Both rivers are in excellent condition and producing fish in all beats up to Newtownstewart. Please use common sense when playing, handling and returning fish to the water. Careful consideration should be given to the taking of any hen fish from now to the season’s close.

Good Luck and Tight Lines!

Mark, NM Tackle, Sion Mills


Tel: 0044 (0)28 8165 9501

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