L. Mask what ever happened to it...

jemo

Well-known member
Points
16
Location
Co. Meath Ireland
In all the years that i have fished Mask this must be the worst, it has become very difficult to contact fish on the lake...2 years ago we had good fishing with several fish in the 4lb mark. On monday we had good fishing on dry fly 5 fish up to 3 lb but this was on the Corrib, yesterday we fished Mask and left it at 5pm not having contacted a single fish...i wonder what the problem is?, its not so many years ago when Mask fish were free takers...i give up in despair....J
 

fluffba

Member
Points
1
Location
Newport-on-Tay
Fished Mask four years ago from Isham Angling, Dringeen Bay and rose a couple of fish only in a week.
Have very recently booked a week at the end of July 2018 so I hope it is a lot better then.
 

jemo

Well-known member
Points
16
Location
Co. Meath Ireland
Hi Fluffba, i have been fishing Mask for years and the fishing has been consistently good until this year. We had good duck fly fishing early in the season but it got progressively worse after that, its as if the fish have changed their feeding habits....but remember next year is another year so lets look optimisticly at the prospects....J
 

brackwansha

Well-known member
Points
8
Location
Ireland
I have been fishing Mask for many years and seen the same pattern. Early season has been good to very good at times and by May time the fishing is nowhere near what we experienced a few years ago. Perhaps a change to feeding patterns and fly hatches as result of weather, water quality changes or just down to our own experiences ?
 

black jungle

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Southern Ireland
I would agree with Brakwansha,I have been on Mask many times this season,The fishing at the start of the season fishing was good,Duckfly and Olives,But after that the hatches of fly became scarce and the fishing became hard..
 

sean freeman

Well-known member
Points
43
Location
Manchester
It has to be caused by agriculture to a large extent. With the lifting of milk quotas etc there’s a problem with the disposal of waste and pollution/byproduct in the industry, use of inorganic fertilisers and the spreading of slurry within reach of the loughs. More human habitation around the loughs means effluent has to go somewhere too and once these huge bodies of water start to become over enriched it is extremely hard to reverse the changes. The algal blooms on Carra seem to get worse and worse, Carra is my all time favourite lake but in the last few years there has been a noticeable decline.

Sean
 

jemo

Well-known member
Points
16
Location
Co. Meath Ireland
Sean i agree with you totally...Carra was our go to lake for years with its beautiful grilse like trout.On the long weekend of the Good Friday agreement in 1998 my partner and i had over 100 fish to the boat up to 3.75lb, since then it too has gradually gone downhill. The marl that gave it its lime green water has been invaded by weed from arterial drainage and the lake has become darker over the years...the days of the free rising trout have gone, the fish have changed their feeding habits and more is the pity...however all is not lost it has become a very good late evening lake just before darkness thats when the big fish move...let us hope that the authorities do something before its too late to preserve this jewel of a lake for our kids and their kids....
 

black jungle

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Southern Ireland
Yes Jemo,I would agree,The water quality in our lakes has deteriorated over the years,We no longer see the hatches of flies that were once there,Now faced with the explosion in the number of pike in our trout fisheries which are another serious threat to our wild trout fisheries.
 

fluffba

Member
Points
1
Location
Newport-on-Tay
I tend to agree about the agricultural explanation as we had the same problem in Loch Leven many years ago when the excess nitrates running off the fields increased the bottom feeding and reduced the trout on the surface. So badly,in fact, that rainbows were introduced to help catches but i'm glad to say that the loch has gone back to the original Leven brownies.
 

williamelfyn

Well-known member
Points
0
Lough Conn is not much better, Whatever rises seems to be below keeping size. After June very few boats out. Maybe this is a clue as to what is happening, friend of mine comes in and shows me a 14” trout with a roach part digested half its size that popped out of its mouth. Another clue from a reliable source, someone had a fish finder and was shocked to see hundreds of large fish in the deep trench at the top end of the lake. He thought they were salmon, I suggest that these are large trout, having grown to a large size from eating the thousands of roach and perch in the Lough. It would explain the change in feeding habits, traditional Irish drift fly fishing will only rarely catch these. No one fishes here at dusk, most fishermen have gone home by five o’clock. The people who troll for salmon pick some of these big fish up. Very few salmon are caught by fly these days. The trolling brigade have caught around 100 fish this season that is tagged fish not imaginary fish. Alternative reality seems to click in in this part of the World, almost as bad as Trump!
Conn is a shadow of its former self! Even my wife kayaking around the islands listened to a guide apologizing profusely for the poor fishing. At least he was being honest not the usual, you should have been here yesterday!
As a summary I would suggest that the fish are still there but a change in tactics is necessary, using zonkers as it goes dark or more simply throwing out a dead bait in the dark from the shore!
 
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williamelfyn

Well-known member
Points
0
Just as an addendum, Lough Conn has been saved to some extent by improvements in sewage systems and ironically by the stripped zebra mussel. The water has little turbidity, plenty of crayfish until those foreign crayfish spread across Ireland. There are stricken rules pertaining to sillage, fine if the farmers behave!
 
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