Catch Me if You Can

Teal  'It's been a hard day!'Salmon are playing hard to get at the moment. They are being rather sulky and annoying the hell out of keen anglers who often become increasingly frustrated as the salmon often seem to do cartwheels within casting distance of an angler saying “catch me if you can”.

In fairness the weather has not been ideal for salmon fishing, with relatively calm conditions and water getting low. We do have a nice drop of fresh water today so hopefully it will wake the beasts from their slumber. (Bit like Teal my pup in picture)

Since my last update we have four salmon landed. On the 23rd Hugh Brennan was the first on the mark with a fish of 3lbs8ozs off Fin on a fly that had brought him success all week the Bann Special. Ian Edgar then had one of 4lbs14ozs on the 24th, off Finlough again on a Delphi Collie. On Sunday 25th William Sleeman had a fish of approx. 3lbs off Doolough on a Silver Stoat.

Finally Freddie Jago managed to wangle one out of the Turn pool of 4lbs6ozs on a Cascade conehead. There were a few more fish lost in the river and Doolough proved to be the most active with a few salmon being risen to the wets and the dap.

Freddie Jago 27 AugWe also had our long time sea trout specialists here this week, Tom and Shirley Morrison who managed to land 17 trout in four days to 1.5lbs. This was disappointing but conditions were mixed. Having said that given their experience one would have expected more. They were however out fished by John Sommerville, Joe Creane and Andrew who had 11 to 1.5lbs last Friday.

Hopefully the drop of fresh water today will stir the fish up and they won’t be as annoying to those enthusiastic anglers. As I don’t have too mant fish to report I have added a small piece by Mark Corps of IFI about one of his many salmon caught on the beaded nymph.

“Have you noticed that anglers are drawn to bridges over rivers much as moths to a flame? Works for me! I always stop in the lay by next to the ‘road pool’ to take a look over the bridge trying to spot fish. Not sure why but anyway. Downstream one can nearly always see the odd tail sticking out from under the bridge; however I have not had much success in luring fish from here. Upstream the occasional fish can usually be seen against the large boulders.

Parking in the lay by with the intent of looking over the bridge in July I realized that in the low, clear conditions I could see a large shoal of fish in the road pool. I had planned to go down to the ‘Turn pool’ to try to winkle a fish out on a beaded nymph. Tackled up for that, I thought I would give it a go for these fish. I targeted several individual fish but after 3 or 4 casts at each they had the good sense to move off. The large shoal was being somewhat reduced (where do they vanish too?) by the time I found a taker.

One minute the nymph was drifting down the current toward the fish. Inches from its nose I saw the white of its mouth and lifted to find my rod become alive. Hooked the fish headed upstream doing a cartwheel just to show off. Not large but a good fresh fish around the 5lbs mark never the less. I kept pressure on the fish and as he was upstream of me he quickly tired.

Playing a fish by the side of the road I inadvertently attracted the attention of a passing family who stopped their car and started ‘papping me.’ With the fish tiring I got out my net and with little fuss the fish slipped in. Back up the bank I looked for the adipose. And as is often the case for me I found it. Quickly unhooked I took the fish back to the water. My new friends then started firing questions at me. The first two being What species was the fish I had caught? and Why was I putting it back?

Though a relatively quick fight, with the water so warm the fish was slow to recover. In fact I was concerned it was not going to! It must have taken nearly 10 minutes in which time I had informed the family of most aspects of the salmon’s life cycle and other salient fishy facts. With the water low and clear I watched my victim sulk on the bed of the pool for a few minutes whilst answering more questions. The fish appeared to have recovered and in a lull in the inquisition I took the opportunity to wander off to try to find a fish (sans adipose) and an audience free pool.”

Courtesy of Mark Corps.