I headed back to the east coast for the weekend. Fishing was on the agenda but not in the conventional form. I was on the lookout for a new ‘fishing wagon’.
This meant that I was forfeiting most of the weekend but the time invested will pay off in the long run; the hunt was a success! But more on that later.
With the first weekend that heralded calm conditions it was typical of my luck that I would be spending most of it driving. I made a plan to have a look at the Shannon on the way back to Galway on Sunday morning. If it was at a fishable level then I would attempt it on the way home but looking at it at Athlone I could see that it was still in the fields. I drove on, all the time conscious of the blue sky and seemingly little wind. It was too good a day not to get out.
On reaching Galway I headed for the Corrib and was greeted by a scene that was incredibly still. Incredibly still and incredibly cold. Launching the kayak I could see that the water temperature was just above four degrees so I headed for the Clare River, where I figured the flowing water might be a little warmer. It was by one and a half degrees and I was hopeful that this bit of extra heat would encourage baitfish to shoal up but the echo-sounder never picked any up.
I trolled lure against the flow of the swollen river for a short time. Light was fading and I had to cover a couple of kilometres to get back to the launch point. I turned and headed for the van. The trout season will start soon on the lake and I have considered trolling for a big ferox trout but I am going to wait until the warmer months. At this time of year the ferox will be spawned, thin and in poor conditions. A fish this rare and enigmatic deserves to be allowed regain its strength in peace and with this in mind I am going to leave these beautiful specimens until the summer. I’ll spend the next few weeks seeking out Esox lucius