Mourne/Derg Report week ending 28 July 2012

Conditions on the rivers: high on the Mourne, low on the Derg! The week started well with the Mourne in lovely order on Sunday and Monday. Heavy rain on Monday brought the river up overnight rendering it out on Tuesday. The Derg also rose but unfortunately dropped overnight leaving the river a bit low during Tuesday. By Wednesday the Mourne, although very peat-stained, began to fish again. For the remainder of the week, the Mourne was in good order again, suffering a bit from heavy showers pushing it up a couple of inches only to immediately start dropping again.

Fish have been running hard all week! Several times I counted between 20–40 per hour taking the weir at Sion with ease, a good mixture of grilse and salmon in double figures. There have been a lot of fish landed and thankfully many returned. Poachers on the Mourne and Derg re-appeared as soon as the water levels dropped. The Dam at Sion, the Water Works above Ardstraw, and above Castlederg town have all received some unwanted attention. It’s also sad to report that the annual pilgrimage of shrimpers have descended on the upper Derg doing their best to undo the good work done by anglers returning fish. How can these individuals call themselves anglers! Difficult for local bailiffs to patrol and some times faced with hostility we owe a debt of gratitude to those who are willing to patrol the river banks both day and night.

Below is only a fraction of fish that were landed this week.


Sunday, 22 July:              Nigel Gough 4 & 5lb (both returned), Blackstone; Travis Gough 9lb, Higgins Stream (returned); P Donaghy 1 fish, Lords Hole; P Monaghan 15lb, Sion

Monday, 23 July:             Shane McAleer 7lb, Victoria Bridge; S Corrigan 5lb, Stralag; A Dunn 6lb, Liskey; Jamie Magee 5lb, Gravenue

Wednesday, 25 July:        J Harron 4½ & 13lb (returned),Victoria Bridge

Sunday, 28 July:              G Wolf 2 fish, Sion

The outlook is still unsettled for the coming week with rain forecast. With the amount of fish in the system the Strule and Owenkillew should come into play from now until the seasons close.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills  Tel: +44 (0)28 8165 9501

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Mourne/Derg reports week ending 21 July 2012

The Mourne was in great condition until a flood arrived on Wednesday/Thursday pushing the river up and out of action for a couple of days. Fresh fish were evident on all beats and during the flood there were good numbers taking the weir at Sion Mills with ease. By now every beat in the system is well stocked with fresh fish! There were numerous fish landed during the week with the private beats above Victoria Bridge doing very well. A good source informed me that once again the Elliot brothers did particularly well on the Feddons. Of course, Sion Mills was not to be left out with many fish landed and high numbers returned. Many anglers are nearing their bag limit of 25 fish for the season and are by now reserving their last few tags for the best fish. It is noticeable that on a daily basis different classes of fish are entering the river, off one tide comes good quality big fish, the next tide comes three and four pound sharpening stones, all welcome none the less.

Below is a small sample of fish landed, many, many more were jagged, hooked and lost or returned safely.

Sunday 15         Shane McAleer 2 fish (returned), Behind Mill; T Farrell 2 fish (returned), Bigh; M Morrow 2 fish, Bigh

Monday 16        J Connors 6lb, Gravenue

Tuesday 17       Shane McAleer 2 fish (returned), Behind Mill; G Robinson 3 fish (returned), Behind Mill; C Black 2 fish, Behind Mill

Friday 20           Gary Brown 4lb, Blackstone; A Norby 4 fish (returned), Gravenue; Matt Mullan 1 fish, Gravenue; B Finlay 1 fish, Sion; N Gough 2 fish, Blackstone; T Gough 1 fish, Higgins Stream; C Black 1 fish, Behind Mill

Saturday 21       C Nesbitt 4lb. Blackstone; G Brown 3lb. Blackstone; T Farrell 5lb. Paddy’s stream; T Hamilton 6lb. Blackstone; S Quinn 4lb. Paddy’s Stream; J McLoughlin 3 fish (1 returned). Purgatory; P Connolly 8 & 12lb. (both returned) Sion; Paul Monaghan 6 & 16lb. Sion; J Crawford 3 & 12lb. (both returned) Sion

The Derg remained low for most of the week. The rise in water mid-week had only a small impact on the river and it fell away quickly with few fish landed. I have unconfirmed reports of a couple of large sea trout taken from high up the Derg which if true would be a surprise!

As I write this report (Sunday) it has been raining persistently for the last 2–3 hours, enough to bring the river up, possibly. There is rain in the forecast for the whole week. What a lovely summer!

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills  Tel: +44 (0)28 8165 9501

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Mourne/Derg reports week ending 14 July 2012

Mourne The Mourne remained near perfect all week barring a couple of small rises of 2–3 inches. Although at a lovely fishing height there has been a continuing colour in the water for over a month, probably coming from the excavations of the water main in the Strule near Newtownstewart. This has been a concern for anglers on all beats for a while! The Derg has dropped back and is now low, ideal for a bit of dry fly for brown trout.

The Mourne produced dozens of fish over the past week, too many to list, with fresh fish coming off every tide on a daily basis we hope it continues. There were many anglers with red-letter days, one rod accounted for 10 (8 returned) from the Gravenue last Sunday. For every fish landed there were many more lost, jagged or tightened in. Fish are taking the weir at Sion Mills with ease and have dispersed well throughout the river with all beats reporting plenty of fish. It is notable that there are plenty of good summer salmon in double figures. On the lower river this week I witnessed a steady run of bigger fish moving upstream, this lasted for 2–3 hours before petering out. The next day the pool was full of small grilse of 3–4lb and fresh off the tide. There is evidence of a continuing small improvement in sea trout numbers. I would ask all anglers to return any caught safely to the river.

The Mourne’s gain was the Derg’s loss with only a handful of anglers out due to the low water.

A few of the past weeks successful rods are listed:


Sunday, 8 July:     Nigel Gough 1 fish (returned), Higgins stream; Travis Gough 2 fish (both returned), Blackstone; Patrick McGuigan 3 fish (all returned), Sion; G Robinson 5 fish (all returned), Back of the Mill; Shane McAleer 2 fish (returned), Back of the Mill

Monday, 9 July:    Paul Becks 2 fish Gravenue; John Harpur 1 fish Sion; G Robinson 4 fish (all returned), Behind the Mill; Shane McAleer 2 fish (returned), Behind the Mill; R Quigley 2 fish Sion; S Curran 1 fish Sion;

Tuesday, 10 July:  G Robinson 2 fish (returned), Behind the Mill; A Scott 1 fish, Gravenue; S McAleer 1 fish, Behind the Mill;

Wednesday, 11 July:      Travis Gough 1 fish (returned), Bigh; Andy Dunn 2 fish, Gravenue; C Black 1 fish; G Robinson 1 fish, Behind the Mill; J Connors 5 fish (4 returned), Gravenue; T Morrison 1 fish, Sion; A Norby 1 fish, Sion;

Friday, 13 July:     A Norby 2 fish, Sion; Nigel Gough 1 fish (returned), Blackstone

Saturday, 14 July: Alister Scott 3 fish (all returned), Gravenue; J Connors 1 fish, Sion; J Murray 1 fish, Sion (returned); C Black 5 fish, Sion (all returned), Simon Gough 1 fish, Blackstone; Andrew Patton 2 fish (1 returned), Woodhole. S Quinn 1 fish, Paddy’s Stream


Monday, 9 July:    G McElvogue 3 from 6 (2 returned), Greenville

Wednesday, 11 July:      Geoff Hamilton 1 fish (returned), The Broad Bridge

This great summer for anglers continues with more rain forecast for the coming week and should ensure the rivers remain helpful for running fish and keep river poachers at bay.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills  Tel: +44 (0)28 8165 9501

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Mourne/Derg reports week ending 7 July 2012

Mourne and Derg A small dirty flood last Tuesday to Wednesday spoiled what would otherwise have been a good week on the Mourne. Once it dropped and cleaned it remained in great order for the rest of the week albeit a blustery north wind made casting a fly a challenge. The Derg benefited from the flood with good water levels up until Friday. There was a notable peaty tinge to the Derg but this is normal for the time of year.

Catches were on both rivers but the Mourne in particular had a very good week with red-letter days for several anglers. Good runs of quality fish, many in double figures, came off every tide. On Wednesday I counted about 30 per hour taking the weir with ease. It was heartening to witness a small run of sea trout on Wednesday during the flood, although disappointing to hear of so many being taken by anglers when they could have been released.

There were red letter days for Nigel Gough with four fish on Monday 12lb 4lb 7lb 8lb (3 returned), A Norby on Thursday, four from seven hooked, best 12lb (all returned), and Gary Robinson Saturday three from five hooked, (all returned).

On the Derg there is a reasonable head of fish throughout the river. Good catches were recorded on Tuesday above Castlederg as the flood dropped. There were many fish landed and returned right through the Mourne up to the Snaa. Too many to list below but here is a selection!

Saturday, 1 July:   J Miller 4lb and 6lb Gravenue; C Black 14lb Gravenue

Monday, 2 July:    Nigel Gough 12lb, 4lb, 7lb, 8lb (3 returned) Blackstone; A Norby 5lb Gravenue; P Becks 3lb and 4lb Sion; S Preston 3lb Sion; P Doherty 6lb Gravenue; C Black 11½lb Sion; J Murray 6lb Sion

Tuesday, 3 July: J Murray 3lb Gravenue; F Finlay 3lb Gravenue; M McDevitt 3lb Sion

Thursday, 5 July:  H Swarski 3 fish Sion; M McDaid 5lb Gravenue; A Norby 4 (all returned)

Friday, 6 July:       A Norby 12lb 7lb (returned), Sion; M McLoughlin 8lb Gravenue; M Grayson 8lb Sion; T Morrison 4 fish (3 returned) Bigh

Saturday, 7 July:   G Robinson 3 from 5 hooked (2 returned) Sion; S Corrigan 6lb Sion; T Quinn 2 fish Sion; S Quinn 2fish Sion

The outlook at the minute is looking good and more rain forecast for this week should keep the rivers in good order and allow fresh fish to leave the tide with ease.

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills  Tel: +44 (0)28 8165 9501

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Mourne/Derg reports week ending 30 June 2012

Contrasting conditions for the Mourne and Derg over the last week: the Mourne was in great nick up to Friday when heavy rain pushed the river up into flood and out of order. On the other hand, the Derg was getting a bit low until the rain arrived bringing it up into good order. The Derg can be hard to read for visitors: too big around Ardstraw but good nick further up river around Killeter, then getting a bit low around Castlederg so go downstream to Crew Bridge or Ardstraw … too low at Ardstraw, get to the Mourne. Simple!

Mourne  There were very good catches from the Mourne all week up until Friday’s flood. With the river in the pink, small runs of running fish were noted on most beats. Good catches were recorded in the Gravenue with some welcome fish grassed upstream of Victoria Bridge. Below Sion, the Blackstone and Wood Hole also started to fish and a few were landed here also.

Sunday, 24 June: E McLoughlin 5lb, Gravenue; Paul Martin 7lb Gravenue

Monday, 25 June: B Finlay 15¾lb, Gravenue; Travis Gough 7lb (returned), Blackstone

Tuesday, 26 June: G McAleer 9lb (returned), Victoria Bridge

Wednesday, 27 June: Nigel Gough 9lb (returned), Lord’s Hole

Thursday, 28 June: K Cheevers 4lb and 6lb (returned), Blackstone

Derg  They’re playing things close to their chest on the Derg this week with few individual reports. Some anglers swear on their lives there are no fish; others swear on their lives there are fish. I was out today (Saturday) and encountered three fish but landed none above Ardstraw. I saw another two moving through. I have no doubt there are fish in the river. Not the numbers anglers want but enough to warrant a throw and it’s good to see grilse in June in the river. Let’s hope July brings more.

Friday, 29 June: Bobby Craig 4lb & 7lb, Ardstraw; Andrew Loughlin 6lb, the Sand Bed.

The forecast for the week ahead is unsettled which will keep the rivers full. As we move into July we hope that as in recent seasons our main grilse runs appear this month.

Note: The Ballysidair river in Co Mayo had a big run of fish in the last week. Keep the fingers crossed!

Mark Gough, NM Tackle, Sion Mills  Tel: +44 (0)28 8165 9501

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