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Delphi Events Calendar October 2015

We’re not quite ready to go into hibernation here in the West of Ireland so there are still plenty of events going on to keep us going. As usual, lots going on in the line of Festivals; Arts, Films, TV, Walking, Comedy, Jazz and of course Hallowe’en. With the Galway Races and Connemara Sea Week thrown in for good measure, it’s fair to say October is a great time to plan a trip.

Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar October 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.


John Mills RIP “The Passing of a Great Friend”

John_MillsIt was with great sadness that on the 4th of September I was informed of the passing from this life of John Mills. He departed this life after a short illness, having just spent three days in hospital. Prior to that he was at home in Benburb, with family and close friends.

John had only left Delphi on the 1st of August after having spent a couple of weeks here with friends and family. During this time he also had landed his 200th Delphi salmon, of which he was justifiably proud. He had been in good form as always but was noticeably more tired than usual. Needless to say he left with a few fish in the bag!!

In Delphi terms John was one of the greatest anglers to have fished here. Both staff and customers were always delighted to see John arriving. It would have been unusual if John Mills didn’t brighten your day, with his wit and wisdom. John was a regular visitor to many of the salmon and sea trout fisheries in the west. He first fished here in the 1960’s with his father primarily for sea trout in those days. My own first encounter with John would have been in July 1987 when I ghillied for him and his wife Elizabeth on Doolough. I can’t remember how many trout we caught, but I do know that Elizabeth caught her first trout on an artificial dap in Fisherman’s Bay. It was hard not to like John and his family from that first meeting.

As a man he had a great ability to talk to anyone, it didn’t matter who or what they were. He was always up for a chat. On his last visit here I saw him on one occasion in deep discussion with Noel and Laurence about the state of the world and plenty stories from bygone years. He often told us of his time in the navy and the places he had visited and of course all the pretty girls he had met, which would always put a twinkle in his eye.

One of his great non-fishing stories was of his passing out as a navy cadet where he was interviewed by three officers and they gave him a scenario where the engines on the ship failed off a rugged coastline and there was an onshore wind. The question was what do you do? John’s reply was to put out the anchor, which was of course correct. Then of course the wind increased and it started dragging the anchor so what do you do now? John’s reply was to throw out the second anchor, again the correct answer. So the officers said that the wind increased even further and it started dragging the two anchors, what do you do now Mills. John’s reply was to throw out the third anchor (but of course there are only two). The officers asked John where he was getting the third anchor and his reply to them was the same place as they were getting the wind. He passed the exam with flying colours. The stories and tales were endless and he used to love regaling customers and staff.

Since 1992 John would have spent between four and five weeks a year fishing here at Delphi and he rarely went home empty handed. In my own humble opinion John was probably one of the best anglers to have fished here. His efficiency as an angler was extreme and he would often wander down the river a couple of hours late and have a fish within minutes. One of his great sayings was “Keep your flies in the water and you’d never know the minute.” If I were asked to design a prototype of a fly fisherman for young and upcoming anglers to follow I would probably base it on John Mills. He was equally effective on river and lake. He was more the old traditional type of fly fisherman, especially on the lakes where he always used a sink tip, no false casting and quite a short line. He knew the water extremely well and had great confidence in his own ability to catch fish. In my blog of July 25th this year, I referred to John as the Old Maestro on the occasion of landing his 200th Delphi salmon of the modern era and as his son in law Eddie mentioned at his funeral that he was very proud of the fact that he was the first Irishman to achieve this accolade. As I said that day he probably had a few more to add between 1960 and 1986! His tally ended at 202 for the modern era, the last being taken off Finlough, the same day that his grandson Patrick Conroy landed his first ever salmon with John on hand to give instructions.

We have had many phone calls and emails from people who would have met John during their visits here, expressing their sadness at his passing but cherishing the many happy memories they have of him.

One such email came from Nick Roth and he said: “Not very often I met John at Delphi, but it was one of the highlights when we were there at the same time and could listen to his stories and advice. And whenever I hear or read about the Willie Gunn I’ll remember John Mills”.

It’s probably appropriate at this stage that I quote a little piece from the Complete Angler written by Isaak Walton in 1654 speaking of his friend John Offley: (It could also have been John Mills)

“You are assured (though there be ignorant men of another belief) that angling is an art: and you know that art better than others; and that this truth is demonstrated by the fruits of that pleasant labour which you enjoy, when you purpose to give rest to your mind, and divest yourself of more serious business, and (which is often) dedicate a day or two to this recreation.

At which time, if common anglers should attend you, and be eye-witnesses of the success, not of your fortune but your skill, it would doubtless beget in them an emulation to be like you, and that emulation might beget an industrious diligence to be so; but I know it is not attainable by common capacities. And there be now many men of great wisdom, learning, and experience, which love and practise this art, that know I speak the truth”.

John Mills was the complete angler and I know that some of this wisdom and knowledge has been passed on to the future Mills generation who regularly joined him here and I sincerely hope will continue to do so well into the future. It was a pleasure and an honour to have known the man and I would like to express our sincere sympathies to Alexander, Paddy, Walter and Jayne and all his extended family.

We will all miss the fisherman and most especially the friend.




Delphi Events Calendar September 2015

Can it really be September so soon? With a Food Festival and Chamber of Music Festival in Westport, the Autumn meeting of the Galway Races and International Oyster Festival as well as the Leenane Autumn Festival to mention just a few attractions, if you’re planning an early Autumn break in the West of Ireland there’s a great variety of events to choose from. And of course, whatever you choose to do, there’s always the wonderfully warm Delphi Lodge “welcome home” upon your return.

Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar September 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.


















Early Autumn Package

Enjoy an early Autumn break at Delphi Lodge. During September and October we’re offering a very special package indeed.

Enjoy two nights’ Bed & Breakfast in a Classic Double Room with one Evening Dinner for two at €265 per person (sharing). Or why not stay three nights for €425 per person (sharing), Bed & Breakfast including Evening Dinner on two nights. A fine saving of 25% on our usual B&B rates, we trust you’ll agree.

To check availability or find out more details simply call Carole or Anne on +353 (0)95 42222 or email info@delphilodge.ie. We’re always happy to hear from you.














Delphi Events Calendar August 2015

Here we are in August already. Unbelievable. If you’re planning your visit to the area or being spontaneous, you might like to know what’s going on in Connemara, Galway and Westport – all no more than a few shakes of a Connemara Lamb’s tail from the luxurious comfort of Delphi Lodge. This month you can bike, hike or drive around Clew Bay’s Beautiful Gardens, there’s scuba-diving, arts, music, horse-racing, horse and dog shows, food (always food), marathons of all descriptions to run off the food…we have it all and we’re only delighted to share it with you. See you soon.

Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar August 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.



Delphi Events Calendar May 2015

May already and with another Bank Holiday to start us off, there’s no shortage of festivals and events taking place a mere hop, skip and a jump from the tranquillity of beautiful Delphi Valley.  May is the month of Walking Festivals (Leenane Walking Festival taking place this very weekend to name just one), ‘Challenges’ of all descriptions whether you like to bike, run or hike, and Music, Food and Film Festivals for those who prefer to take things a little easier. May is also the month of the annual Famine Walk in commemoration of our heritage and history.

For more details of what’s going on in the Connemara, Galway and Westport area, here’s this month’s event calendar. We look forward to seeing you.

Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar May 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.



















Delphi Events Calendar April 2015

Room10_2368April has arrived here in Connemara and with the Westport Easter Walking Festival and Galway Food Festival to name just two of the various festivals taking place there’s plenty to cater for all tastes and interests. To take a look at the “goings-on” in April look at our events calendar here.

Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar April 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.



Delphi Events Calendar March 2015

Connemara lambs “a leaping” in the fields – a sure sign that Spring is here and last Friday saw the start of our main B&B Season with a lovely mix of regular Delphi Guests and First-timers sitting down together for a feast of Duck Rillettes, Seared King Scallops and Tart Tatin. With St. Patrick’s Day, a Walking Festival at Croagh Patrick, Regattas, Runs, Film Festivals and more this month, it’s fair to say there’s a lot to keep you entertained. And of course, there’s always that warm Delphi Welcome awaiting you. For more details of festivals and events in the area take a look at this month’s Event Calendar.

Here’s what’s going on in the region in the coming month.
Follow this link to take a look at our new Events Calendar March 2015.

Bookings can be made through our website or by telephoning the office on +353 (0) 954-2222.


Valentines’ Day’ Fish

The first signs of Spring are everywhere here at Delphi today and no better way to celebrate this than by landing a beautiful fish from the Bundorragha River.

Michael Wade did just that at 13:45pm today. Caught on a Delphi Collie from the Whin Pool and weighing in at 10lb14oz. A great fish on a wonderful Spring day!















Blast and Especially Cast Exceeds All Expectations

Delphi_Shoot_1240_1When I wrote my last blog and was waxing lyrically about the possibility of landing a fresh fish on February 1st, it was as much in hope than anything else. There is always great expectations at the beginning of any new season but what transpired here at Delphi today was beyond mine and I think most people’s wildest dreams.

A regular and experienced group of Germans who travelled from Bavaria are to say the least living in a dream this evening as between them they landed 4 springers today. The previous record for opening day was in 2001 when 2 fish were landed, so needless to say I am a little lost for words myself at this moment in time. Our 10 year average for the month of February is actually less than 4 so this year it has been achieved on the first day. It is truly incredible to land 4 spring fish on the fly in the month of February. I may be wrong but I would imagine that these are the first fly caught fish in the country this year.

Three fish were landed by very experienced anglers. The first and second were in the Meadow pool, weighing in at 5lbs5ozs and 11lbs1oz, both taken on Willie Gunn tubes. The third was caught in the Horseshoe pool and weighed in at 7lbs12ozs and was taken on a Delphi Collie.

The fourth fish of the day was taken by Andreas Durr, who managed to land his first ever, a lovely fish of 6lbs11ozs from the Kings pool on a Willie Gunn tube. Needless to say everyone was delighted for Andreas because the first salmon remains with you forever. It was indeed very fitting as Andreas’ son, Florian, with the last shot of the 2014/15 shooting season shot his first ever woodcock. It is a truly memorable occasion and one which they will both remember and cherish for many years to come.

As my heading suggests the “Blast” was also good, with plenty of woodcock flushed. I was even surprised myself as the previous few weeks the birds seemed to have scattered quite a bit, to where I don’t know. But for those of us who cherish this elusive and majestic bird, we all know that woodcock are impossible to figure out and that’s the beauty of them and hopefully they will never change in this regard.

I did say we saw plenty, great sport was had, plenty of shots were fired and we bagged a few as well, but on balance I think you could say that the woodcock won this one.

Even though the “Blast” was good as I have said earlier it was the “Cast” that exceeded all expectations. At this juncture it’s probably worth noting that we have plenty of availability for February, so if I were you I’d get on that phone pretty quick as days like these don’t happen too often!! D.McEvoy