Well once again another fishing season comes to an end here in the West and as usual fishing picked up in September with 37 fish landed. There were plenty fish in the system but as is often the case they were not overly cooperative. The weather was September like with a mixture of everything.
Not surprisingly it was the usual suspects who managed to land most of the fish. Brendan Wilson had the first fish of the month on the 7th from the Horseshoe on a Roy Wilson conehead shrimp of approximately 4.5lbs. We then had a number of the original syndicate members and the Corps party who fished hard and the social aspect of the week was equally important. They landed nine salmon in total for the week, six from the river and two from Finlough. Mark Corps had six, Chris Crome-Hawke one, Niall Creighton one and Mike Shortt one. Sea trout were disappointing with about 25 landed, with Tom and Shirley Morrison accounting for a dozen of these.
The following week saw the return of the Westropp family and the Browne party for ten days. The Westropp’s had two fish off the river, both on Zonkers. Kit had one from the Turn Pool of 4lbs6ozs and Edward had a cracking fish from the Road Pool of 10lbs3ozs. The Browne party had eight fish for their stay, with five off Finlough and three off Doolough, all on Stoats Tails and Willie Gunn’s. There were also about twenty sea trout landed. Sea trout numbers are down this year but September was definitely better than the previous two months. There will be a detailed analysis of sea trout catches later in the annual newsletter.
On the 29th we played host to a small group of children from inner city Dublin who had fundraised to come to a beautiful part of the West and experience a days salmon fishing. Two of them were duly rewarded by catching their first ever salmon. Rhys Creane and Abbie Butler had one each of 4lbs and 3lbs12ozs respectively. A great day was had by all and the children thoroughly enjoyed their experience.
The 30th was the usual day for locals, children and staff. There were fifteen fish landed in total in weather conditions that deteriorated as the day progressed. First ever salmon were landed by Juri Kononenko, Diarmuid Callahan and Arabelle Wymes. Fish were also landed by Celia Page, Robert Gillespie, Michael O’Kane, Valerie Wilson, Jack McEvoy, Sarah Carroll and Paul Wymes. There was also the usual BBQ at lunchtime which was definitely more of an attraction to some than the fishing. The September total brought our total for the season to 247 salmon. A much more detailed analysis and breakdown of which will follow later in our annual newsletter.
On a development note we had been approved for funding under the Salmon Conservation Fund in late 2017 and the project finally came to fruition earlier in the month. A bend on the Lower Glenummera that was being badly eroded, was repaired using soft engineering which is a relatively new concept. The process basically involves laying a toe of rock armour which is then covered in top soil and a Geo Core mat, which is then reinforced with Willow panels pinned to the bank. These willows will duly bud and root in the bank. It was all topped off with top soil and geo core matting and then deep rooted grass seed is spread which helps bind the bank. A company called Rivus carried out the work and it is impressive as shortly after completion it survived the biggest flood of the year and should provide a more stable spawning and nursery area for salmon and sea trout. D.McEvoy
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