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Stunning Day To End The Fishing Season

DL0510_0634Well another fishing season has come to an end here at Delphi and the 30th of September was a stunning day to finish on. It was in fact one of the most beautiful days of the year so far. Fog and low mist early on and then it was burned off by magnificent sunshine later on. Add in the autumnal colours and it just makes this valley stunningly beautiful.

There was a great party atmosphere, the only downside early on being the midges which were absolutely dreadful. There was a great bbq at lunch time, expertly cooked by Mick Wade and myself, with all food disappearing in jig time. Needless to say there were a few beverages thrown in to add to the party atmosphere.

We also managed to land seventeen fish which brought our season total to a very respectable 392. DL0510_0631Included in these were a number of first ever salmon, with four year old Lili Reid landing and releasing a nice grilse of approx. 3.5lbs in the Turn pool. Tim Rogers of Clew Bay Critters fame also managed his first ever, a fish of 3lbs3ozs from Finlough. Sarah Sense landed the last fish of the 2015 season and her first ever, a fish of 7lbs11ozs from Finlough. Sarah our sous chef Joe Jewell’s wife is also expecting their first child in November, so it will be a fine baby if it’s the same weight as her salmon!

The first few days after the fishing season closes are always a bit surreal, going from talking to anglers for three or four hours a day to absolute calm and no anglers to talk to at all. The first week or so I tend to wander around like a lost soul (although some might say I’m like that all the time!!) and then one gets into rhythm of autumn and winter work. DL0510_1316There is a lot of tidying up to be done in the next few weeks and things that are difficult to do in the season. We will also be sitting down to put together our annual newsletter and then the hatchery work and shoots start in earnest, when there basically aren’t enough days in the week. Then before you know it the 1st of February is here and a new season is upon us again.

At this stage I would like to thank all customers, shareholders and staff for all their help and support throughout the year. I’ll keep you all updated in the next month or so as to what’s going on in Delphi so that you don’t forget about us altogether!!



















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.


The Highs and Lows of Salmon Fishing

DL_270915_1331The heading on this blog refers to Mike Shortt, who on the 22nd landed a magnificent fish of 14lbs11ozs from the Turn pool on a Comet. It was Mike’s largest Delphi salmon in his 30 years fishing here. Two days later he managed to stumble getting out of the boat on Finlough and fell into the landing net. His supposed friend and fishing partner, Mark Corps then proceeded to take a few photos of Mike in the landing net. Gladly Mike was uninjured (physically anyway) and he saw the funny side of the episode, as both he and Mark were in stitches of laughter. This definitely is a first ever for Delphi.

Since my last fishing update we have managed to land eighteen fish. At the time of writing my last update, we had just experienced the biggest flood of the year. DL_270915_2934As I said previously we recorded 51.8mms on the Monday morning. Just for the record a weather station in Claddaghduff near Cleggan actually recorded 125mms the same morning.

Kit Westropp kept up the family tradition when he landed a fish of 3lbs4ozs on the 14th from the Grilse pool on a JW nymph. His cousin Richard Vaux managed one off Fin in the afternoon of 5lbs13.5ozs on the same fly. Jack Browne had three on the 15th, one of 4lbs6ozs and the others, both of approx. 6lbs, all on a Willie Gunn from Finlough. Paul Sims had the fish of the week when he landed a fish in the Stream on Fin of approx. 12lbs on a Claret Dabbler.

There were three on the 20th, all off Fin. Barbara Ceillier had one of 3lbs2ozs on a Tosh, Mike Shortt, one of 2lbs4ozs on a Collie Dog and Mark Corps, one of 7lbs11ozs on a Red GP. DL_270915_1326Two were landed on the 21st, with Martin Ceillier landing a fresh fish of approx. 2.75lbs in the Whin pool on one of Barbara’s Willie Gunn needle tubes. Mike Shortt had one off Fin on a Minkie of 3lbs11ozs. On the 22nd he landed his big fish. He had another on the 23rd in the Bridge pool of 5lbs10ozs on a nymph. He followed this up with one off Fin on the 24th on a Collie Dog. Mark Corps also had one on the Deadman’s of 5lbs6ozs on a Golden Reach. He then landed two on Friday, both from the Turn pool, the first of 3lbs15ozs and the second of approx. 4lbs, both on a nymph.

Finally on Saturday, Pat Cassidy from Monaghan landed a fish of 3lbs14ozs from Finlough on a Collie Dog. That now brings our total for the year to 375, DL_270915_105so we’ll have to make a big push in the next few days to try and hit the 400, which may be difficult as the water has now dropped to 20, but as John Mills used to say with fishing “You’d never know the minute”.






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.




Sunshine to Rain

DL_140915_038Apologies for not updating you all for a couple of weeks. Fishing was quiet the first week in September and then Delphi lost one of our great friends, John Mills who passed away after a short illness. To honour the man we knew I will write a separate blog in the next few days because we will all miss him around here, not just for his fishing ability but just for being himself.

DL_140915_1316Fishing the first week in September was slow with the water running off steadily during the week. The only fish landed was a first ever salmon taken by Sharon Firn in the Road pool on a beaded Nymph. The fish weighed in at 3lbs14.5ozs and needless to say Sharon was delighted with her catch.

Even though water levels continued to decrease till last Friday, twelve fish were landed in this period. Mark Corps had the lions share with nine, all off the river, three on a Corps nymph, three on Corps shrimp and three on a Collie Dog. The fish ranged in size from 12lbs11ozs to 3lbs. Mike Shortt had two, one off Finlough of 3lbs8ozs on a Somers Shrimp and one off the Turn pool on a Corps shrimp of approx. 10lbs. Henri Pescarolo also had a fish from the Quarry pool of 3lbs4ozs on a Stoats Tail.

DL_140915_1310By Thursday evening the river was at 8 on the gauge. Then the weather changed slightly to say the least. By Friday evening the river was at 100 and then with more rain yesterday afternoon and last night it was at 110 this morning. This time of year we check the rainfall at 10am and since Friday morning the readings have been as follows, 20mms, 73.5mms, 1mm and 51.8mms this morning, i.e. a total of 146.3mms in the four days or 5.75 inches which even by Delphi standards is a lot. The whole valley was awash with water and people who had not experienced such rainfall here before were totally gobsmacked.

Fishing therefore was rather difficult on Friday, but we still managed to land two. Hamish Godman-Dorington had a nice fish of 8lbs4ozs from the Turn pool on an Ally shrimp and Mark Corps had one from Salmon City on Fin of 4lbs5ozs on a Cascade. DL_140915_092On Saturday the river was at 80 but despite this Hugo Pearson Wood managed to land his first ever, a nice fish of 6lbs9ozs from the Turn pool on a Willie Gunn. I also had one from Peter’s pool on the Middle river of 5lbs14ozs on a Willie Gunn.

There were four landed yesterday. George Craig had one of 4lbs on a Silver Stoat from the Mouth of the Glencullin river on Doolough. Hamish Godman Dorington had one of 4lbs15ozs from Peter’s pool on the Middle river on a Cascade. Jack Browne had one off Fin of 4lbs10.5ozs on a Willie Gunn and I had one in the Stream on Fin of 4lbs3ozs on a Willie Gunn copper tube fished on a sinking line.

DL_140915_065With the heavy rain last night the river was unfishable this morning. Jack Browne did however manage to land a fish of approx. 3lbs on a Willie Gunn casting from the road at the mouth of the Glenumera river on Doolough. Jack is an early and when he was waiting for me to get the boat ready, I suggested to him to fish the mouth of the river from the road as this time of tear especially, given the right conditions it can be very productive. Jack was surprised to say the least because he thought I was actually having him on.

I think the weather is supposed to clear now for a few days but there will be no shortage of water for the foreseeable future, so hopefully we can still manage to land some fish as we have an excellent team DL_140915_1318of experienced anglers here this week.









Angling Report August 2015

As is often the case with August the salmon fishing started brightly but the tapered off towards the second half of the month with the total catch for the month being forty five salmon. Conditions for the most part were excellent with again plenty of rain for one of our main Summer months. Total for the month was 173.8mms (6.84”). The river never went below 25 for the duration of the month and more often than not it was over 40.

As I said we had an excellent start to the month and the 1st was no exception with four nice fish landed. It wasn’t the biggest but the fish that caused most celebration was without doubt Jane Beattie’s fish of 6lbs8ozs off Finlough.

Coinciding with a huge flood on the Monday, week 32 proved to be the most productive of the month with twenty fish landed. The Beattie party accounted for four, Paul Wymes five, Urs six, Neville McConnell four and Conor O’Leary one. Biggest of the week fell to Paul Wymes from the Stream on Fin of 9lbs3ozs on a Foxford shrimp.

Week 33 was also quite productive with ten landed. Urs had three including the biggest of 10lbs1oz from the Turn pool on the Neighbours Cat nymph, Wayne Byrne had two in a day, Mark Corps also had two in a day, David Dunne had one and both Brian Forristal and Matt Gardinier had their first ever salmon.

In week 34 the Brennan party of Hugh and Peter Morris accounted for seven of the eight fish landed, the biggest of which was taken by Hugh in the Quarry pool on an Ally shrimp of 8lbs6ozs. Brendan Keenan also had a nice fresh fish of 4lbs in the Schoolhouse.

From then to the end of the month the salmon were really playing hard to get, with three more fish landed. David Allcutt had two, one off the river and one off Fin and Niall Green had a fish off Glencullin of approx. 3lbs. That brought our total for the month to forty five and the year to date to 335. Hopefully as is often the case in September the salmon will wake up a bit and be more considerate to those trying to catch them!! D.McEvoy




















Did I Say Blue Skies at Last!

DL3108_1308Well the blue skies didn’t last for long here at Delphi or anywhere else in the country for that matter since my last update. We have had 79.5mms (3.12”) of rain in the interim. The river has rarely fallen below 35 which made for lovely water but the fish were far from cooperative. There were also a few days were Doolough in particular was unfishable due to high winds.

As a result ten fish were landed in the intervening period. First off the mark on the 16th was Hugh Brennan who landed a nice fish of approx. 3.5lbs at Glencullin Point on Doolough on a Silver Stoat. Hugh was fishing with Peter Morris and they proved to be the dynamic duo for the week. They had two on the 17th, both off fin. The first was taken by Peter in Salmon City DL3108_0277weighing in at 4lbs7ozs on a Delphi Collie and Hugh had the second, also from Salmon City of 6lbs7ozs on a Cascade. Brendan Keenan also had a nice fresh fish off the Schoolhouse on the river of 4lbs on a Silver Stoat.

Peter Morris had his second on the 19th at the Harbour on Doolough of approx. 4lbs again on a Delphi Collie. He had another from Salmon City on Fin on the 20th. The fish was again taken on a Delphi Collie and weighed in at 4lbs12ozs.

Hugh Brennan managed to land two on the 21st from the river. The first was taken in the Quarry pool on an Ally Shrimp and weighed in at 8lbs6ozs. The second also on an Ally Shrimp was from the Grilse pool and weighed in at 4lbs5ozs.

The past week has been slow with three landed. David Allcutt had two. The first was a nice fish of 6lbs2ozs in the Stream on Fin taken on a Silver Stoat and the second was from Cooleens of approx. 5lbs again on a Silver Stoat. The third was taken by Niall Green at the Black Rock on Glencullin of approx. 3lbs on a Red Assed Green Peter.

We also had our sea trout specialists Tom and Shirley Morrison last week but I’m afraid they only managed to land four. Sea trout so far this year have been poor and well down on last year, not only here but on a number of fisheries.

With September starting tomorrow hopefully we will start to see more activity with the salmon as they often tend to become more aggressive later in the year.




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.


















Blue Skies at Last

DL_0275Well believe it or not the rain has finally ceased and we have even seen some blue skies here in Delphi in the last week. The midges have also made a dramatic comeback, eager to make up for lost time and they were as vicious as ever. The fishing has also slowed down with the fine weather and the salmon seem to be getting a touch of the blues, i.e. very uncooperative in other words. Having said that we did have some truly stunning days (for the year that’s in it) in the last week and one was privileged to be out and about in such beautiful surroundings.

We have landed ten fish since my last update. The first of these was taken by Brian Forristal, who landed his first ever salmon. The fish was taken on a Cascade in the Deadmans and weighed in at 4lbs4.5ozs. Urs had a fish that evening from the Kings pool of 3lbs14ozs on an Improved Helmore’s Hackle.DL_1303

We actually did get rain Sunday night and Monday morning and there was a good flow in the Glenummera at Doolough. Matt Gardinier was getting a lesson from me and because the midges were so bad on the lawn we adjourned to Doolough where Matt landed his first ever salmon, a lovely hen fish of approx. 8lbs taken on a Delphi Collie and duly returned to hopefully further its journey up the Glenummera in December to spawn.

On Wednesday Wayne Byrne who is home on holiday from the UK managed to out fish his brother Gareth, when he landed two fish. The first was 8lbs5ozs taken in the Turn pool on a Gold Headed nymph and the second of 4lbs8ozs from Boat Point on Finlough on a Yellow Flame Thrower. On Thursday Urs had one of 2lbs3ozs on a Daddy Long Legs from Boat Point on Fin and on Friday he had another, this time a fine fish of 10lbs1oz from the Turn pool on a Neighbour’s Cat nymph. (I hope the neighbour has a new cat at this stage!!)

Finally yesterday there were three salmon landed. Mark Corps had two from the Turn pool on nymphs, one of 8lbs5ozs and one of 4lbs12ozs. Finally David Dunne also had a fish of 6lbs off Finlough on a Willie Gunn.

DL_1608_2015There are plenty of fish in the system now but they are a little bit difficult at the minute, but it looks like the weather will break again on Wednesday which will hopefully liven them up again and draw a few more fresh fish in.
















Fish Taking Slower but Still 20 for the Week

DL08082015_1305After the highs of the previous week the salmon brought all our expert anglers back down to earth this week, proving a little harder to get. We still however managed to land twenty for the week, despite Monday being more or less unfishable due to high winds and rain.

We drew a blank on Sunday last which was the first fishless day for some time. Monday we had one before the madness started. William Beattie landed a magnificent sea liced grilse of 7lbs6ozs in the Horseshoe on a Willie Gunn. Then the wind started to increase and we had over 28mms of rain with the river rising to 90.

There were five landed on Tuesday with Paul Wymes landing four. One was from the sluice at Doolough of approx. DL08082015_13013.5lbs on a Foxford shrimp and two from the Middle river, one of approx. 4lbs on a Willie Gunn and one of 4lbs3ozs also on a Willie Gunn. He then got one from the Stream on Finlough of 9lbs3ozs on a Foxford shrimp. Urs also managed to land a fish of 8lbs on a Delphi Collie in the Quarry pool. Urs and Paul (The Dream Team in Delphi Fishing Circles) did share a boat on Finlough in the afternoon and blanked, so they are human after all, (even though Paul did land the 9lbs3ozs fish later in the stream.)

We landed three on Wednesday, with Neville McConnell bagging all three off Finlough. They were all taken on a Green shrimp and weighed in at 3lbs2ozs, 4lbs3ozs and 3lbs13ozs respectively.

The 6th was the turn of the Beattie party to keep the catches going with three for the day. William had one from the Quarry on a Bann Special of 4lbs. Gareth had one from the Rock pool of 4lbs5ozs on a Gary Dog and Oliver Ross had one off Fin of 1lb14ozs on a Green Shrimp.

There were four on the 7th with Urs landing landing two, one of 3lbs on a Recycled shrimp from the Whin and one from the Bridge pool of 3lbs8ozs on a Bann Special. Neville McConnell had another off Fin on a Green shrimp of 4lbs12ozs. Conor O’Leary had a nice fish of 2lbs15ozs from the Rock pool on a Bann Special.

Finally there were four yesterday. Urs had three, one of approx. 4.5lbs from the Whin pool on a Delphi Collie and two from Boat Point on Fin, one of 8lbs4ozs and one of 2lbs12.5ozs both on a Willie Gunn. Paul Wymes also had a fish off Fin of 5lbs8ozs on a Curry’s Red shrimp.

With more rain last night and today the river is still in perfect order so hopefully the fish will keep coming!!