Last year I described February 2013 as “A Month of Two Halves”; this year there were no halves at all. “Wet, wet, wet” springs to mind as a way of describing the month. We now have had three incredibly wet months in a row, unprecedented I would say.
In December, January and February we have recorded 503.6mms (19.82”), 523.3mms (20.6”) and 497.7mms (19.59”) respectively. This is almost 50% of what we would record in a wet year.
Needless to say from an angling perspective there was plenty of water to put it mildly. The lowest the river got to in the month of February was 55. What this basically means is that fishing is extremely difficult as most of the time people had to fish with sinking lines and cooper tubes. Lower water, say 20 to 35 early in the year will slow fish down and therefore make them easier to target and catch. High water on the other hand allows them to run straight through unhindered.
We did however have a number of serious salmon anglers who fished hard, including a Bavarian party who partook in the blast and cast, Jack Browne, Hugh Brennan, the Sutherland party, Gerry Fitzpatrick and his crew, David Allcutt, Alan Molloy and David Dunne. They all tried hard but I’m afraid to no avail.
We did however manage to land two fish for the month. The first was taken by Westport angler David Duffy, who by his own admission would not be an expert river angler. He was however under the watchful eye of one of Delphi’s finest salmon anglers, Peter Joyce. David managed to hook and land a fine fish of 11lbs14ozs in the Meadow pool on a Willie Gunn. Needless to say David was delighted and all I can add is well done.
Our second fish for the month was taken off Finlough. It was a first ever salmon for 17 year old Colm O’Leary from Ballina, Co. Tipp. It weighed in at 9lbs11ozs and was taken on a Collie Dog. What made it all the more special was that all the family were in the boat. This will definitely be a fish that will be remembered by all concerned.
That brought total for the month to two which is the same as last year. It must be said that all who fished enjoyed themselves thoroughly as there is something special about salmon fishing early in the year.
It’s only today that the river is back down to 55 which bodes well for an experienced group of anglers, who have just arrived to fish for the next week, that is of course provided we don’t get another deluge of rain. Hopefully I will have great things to report in the next few days. D.McEvoy