65 for September in a Year to Remember

Well that’s another fishing season over here at Delphi and it certainly has been one to remember. Little did we think this time last year that a Virus would have created so much chaos throughout the world but it has and continues to bear it’s teeth. Hopefully this time next year, it will be confined to the history books.
Well, with the system generously  stocked with salmon we did rather well for the month of September, with 65 fish being landed. Finlough is stuffed with fish and this was reflected in the catches with 58 off Fin, 3 off the River, 3 off Doolough and 1 off Glencullin. If one wanted to count fish on Fin a clicker was essential, unless you were really proficient at counting in your head. On one afternoon session, I clicked 303. Needless to say they weren’t always cooperative but some days proved more successful than others. September was the driest month since May with only 274mms(10.78”), with a number of fine dry days from the 11th to the 21st, which it must be said was most welcome. There were actually 37 fish landed up until the 19th, at which time the fish seemed to turn off completely until the 25th, from when we had another 7 until the 29th and then 21 on closing day. Delphi Collie and the Collie Dog once again proved the most successful patterns and of course the menu changed on the 30th to something completely new. Obviously, the 30th was a much quieter affair this year, with some local school goers and a few friends, with no BBQ due to Covid guidelines.
That brought our September total to 65, which rounded off the season nicely at a grand total of 373, the highest since 2015. This was an excellent return considering we lost two and a half months of angling due to the pandemic. Our Grilse run was well up on previous years, with all anglers commenting on the volume of fish in Finlough. It appears that most systems around the country have experienced a similar trend and of course many are asking why. There are three main theories being put forward. Firstly many people believe that illegal exploitation at sea was almost non existent this year and therefore salmon had safe passage to their native rivers. Secondly, the Greenland Salmon Conservation Agreement was instigated in 2018 with the Faroese and Greenlander Salmon Fishermen, which should greatly reduce exploitation rates on the feeding grounds. Thirdly, the scientific view is that marine survival of the smolts that migrated in spring 2019 was very high, which led to the excellent 1sw returns of 2020. Which theory is right? Maybe it is a combination of both. It will be interesting to see what the Spring Run of 2021 will bring, as these fish will have completed their outward migration in spring of 2019, i.e. the same year class as this years Grilse. Only time will tell. Personally I would be quietly confident of a very good Spring Run here, so get in early and book now!! If it’s not you can all hold me accountable!
Sea trout were once again disappointing with 70 landed for September, up to 2.5lbs. Our total for the season was approximately 200, which is up on last year, but still poor enough. All we can do is live in hope.
At this stage I would like to thank everyone for their support and patience throughout a very difficult year for all, and let’s hope that next year will be better. D.McEvoy

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