Once again May has proven to be an excellent month for spring salmon here at Delphi, with a total of sixty fish landed and of course there was also Tony Barrett-Jolley’s cracking fish of 20lbs11ozs. As I have mentioned before there have been good numbers of fish running since February. From my own observations if anything more fish seemed to run in May and even though catches were excellent there were times when salmo salar humbled and infuriated even the best anglers.
Water conditions throughout the month were generally good, with a total of 212mms (8.35”), but it must be noted that temperatures were well down. This was especially evident with people who were unaccustomed to lake fishing when they would look at me in total disbelief with the amount of clothing myself and the ghillies insisted they wear before venturing out on the water.
The first couple of days in May were quiet with temperatures both air and water having plummeted a few days previously. Fishing improved dramatically in week 19, with thirteen fish landed. The best of these was a fine fish of 12lbs12ozs taken by Jacob Tax from the Rock pool on a Willie Gunn. There was also great celebrations when Ben Duffy managed to land his first ever salmon, again from the Rock pool on a Willie Gunn and weighing in at 6lbs6ozs.
Week 20 saw the return of group of serious anglers, (but who also enjoy the social aspect of the week). There were a total of eleven fish landed for the week but the highlight without doubt was Tony Barrett-Jolley’s fish of 20lbs11ozs from the Rock Pool on a Gary Dog. Great celebrations followed and it is now the biggest fish of the modern era. I will post a blog specifically on this fish and I have also obtained a copy of the correct big salmon Delphi records.
Week 21 saw fourteen fish landed in difficult conditions with Doolough being unfishable on a number of days. It was also bitterly cold with some serious showers of hailstones on numerous days. Mikko Lofgren from Finland had an excellent week, landing five fish all bar one on a General Practitioner. Adrian Barry from Ballina had a morning to remember on the river, landing three fish including one beauty of 14lbs6ozs, which he hooked in the Whin and landed in the Meadow.
Week 22 was the most prolific of the month with twenty one fish landed. Seven of these are included in my last update. David Plumpton had his second fish of the week off the Meadow pool on a Francis of 7lbs7ozs. Young Alexander O’Sulluvan had a nice sea liced fish of 4lbs8ozs on his last evening from the Deadmans on a Delphi Collie.
The 28th saw four landed with the Wymes family accounting for three of these. Two were from the Rock pool and one from Finlough. Bertrand Fenart also had one from the Whin pool on an Ally shrimp.
The 29th saw five landed. Not to be outdone by her husband John who had a fish earlier in the week Felicity Bartleet had a nice fish of approx. 6lbs at the Split Rock on Doolough. John and Angela Mitchell were evenly matched landing a fish each off the river. John’s was approx. 8lbs from the New Island pool on a Delphi Collie and Angela’s first ever was a fish of 8lbs5ozs from the Waterfall also on a Delphi Collie. Steve jones also landed one in the New Island on a Delphi Collie of 6lbs11ozs. Fish of the day and the week was Paul Wymes from the Deadmans of 12lbs3ozs taken on a Red Francis.
Paul had another on the 30th of approx. 8.5lbs from the Quarry also on a red Francis. Husband and wife team of Martin and Barbara Ceillier had one each off Finlough of 8lbs15ozs and 8lbs2ozs respectively on a Willie Gunn and a Red Francis. Final fish of May was taken by John Bradley in the Whin pool on the McCormack fly weighing in at 5lbs11ozs.
That brought the total for the month to 60 and the year to date to 106.
June got off to a flyer this year with twenty fish landed in the first 7 days. It was helped by a massive flood on the 1st which put the river to 90.
As a result we landed seven fish on the 2nd. Fermin Echegoyen from Spain was first off the mark with a fish of 6lbs5ozs from the Fallen Tree on Fin. The fish was taken on a Cascade. The Moore party had five fish in the morning off the river all with sea lice. Sam Moore had two and Raymond Haughey, Ian Campbell and John Leitch all had one each. The fish weighed in at 9lbs7ozs, 9lbs, 9lbs4ozs, 9lbs and 6lbs8ozs respectively. The came off the Whin, Waterfall, Rock and Meadow and were all taken on a Bann Special bar one which was on an Ally shrimp. Vinnie McCabe also had a fish in the afternoon from the Horseshoe of 9lbs6ozs on a Cascade.
There were four landed on the 3rd. Bill Middleton had a cracking fish of 11lbs2ozs from the Meadow pool on a Collie Dog. The Moore party accounted for the other three with Sam having one of 7lbs2ozs from the Whin on a Bann Special, Colin Lowson one of 7lbs13ozs from the Quarry also on a Bann Special and Ian Campbell from the Meadow of 6lbs8ozs on an Ally shrimp.
There were three on the 4th, with Fred Eberle first off the mark with a cracker from the Whin pool of 11lbs12ozs on a Willie Gunn. Lukas Steinmann then had one from Fin of 3lbs9ozs also on a Willie Gunn and finally Sam Moore had his fourth for his stay from Weedy Point on Fin of 10lbs4ozs on a Black Pot Belly Pig.
Two were landed on the 5th with Ray Barlow having one from the Rock pool of 8lbs8ozs on a Collie Dog. Manfred Wolf had his first of the week with his last cast, again from the Deadmans on a Delphi Collie of 8lbs14ozs. Manfred was so relieved that after I took the hook out of the fish he managed to hook himself in the finger, which I duly extracted.
There were two on the 6th with Ciaran Boland landing a nice fish of 9lbs4.5ozs from the Grilse Pool on a Delphi Collie. Ray Barlow managed to land the second of his stay of approx. 9lbs from Morrisons on a Collie Dog.
Yesterday belonged to the Mills family with both Alexander and John having one each. Alexander had his from the Whin pool on a Willie Gunn, weighing in at 7lbs8ozs. The old maestro himself John was efficiency personified. He fished for about two minutes before hooking and landing a sparkling sea liced fish of 6lbs2ozs in the Holly on a Willie Gunn. (Not bad for an 86 year old.) John is surely one of the most efficient salmon anglers I have ever seen here at Delphi.
The river is now at 35 and we are at last seeing some glimpses of summer appearing and hopefully the good fishing will continue for another while yet. D.McEvoy