Flickers in Dreamland

Well, June is already upon us and four months of our fishing season are in the rearview mirror. The season to date has been slow, with 25 fish landed to the end of May. Spring fishing around the country this year has been poor, with many fisheries only seeing decent numbers in the past week. Catches in the first four months of 2017 here were actually lower with only 23 fish landed.

Hopefully now we have turned a corner and we should start to see fish numbers improve in the next few weeks. There were six fish landed in May, although conditions were difficult throughout with rainfall only amounting to 64.15mms(2.52”) and the gauge between 15 and 0 for most of the month with a slight increase in the last week when we got a small fresh. With the low rainfall we actually had some beautiful days and obviously magnificent sunsets, one of which was captured by Liam Gavin from the top of Ben Gorm looking North towards Clew Bay in the distance.

Dwight Atkinson was first off the mark on the 7th, with a fish of 9lbs from the Deadman’s on a Green Highlander. There was a lull then until Enrico Fantasi, one of the Sutherland party had a fish of 7lbs2ozs off Finlough on a Badger on the 23rd. We were then privileged to welcome back the City Flickers for 8 days fishing. City Flickers is a club of young men and women living and working in London who are passionate about fly-fishing. The Chairman and one of the founders of the club is Lucy Mantle, Peter and Jane’s daughter who was raised here in Delphi. It is fantastic to see a group of young people (all under 35) so enthusiastic and I’m glad to say that they were duly rewarded on this visit as they landed four fish between them. To make it even better three of them managed to land their first ever salmon. We were all delighted for them and it’s important to remember that young people like these are the future of this great sport.

It was indeed rather appropriate that Lucy Mantle would start the ball rolling on the 27th when she landed her first ever salmon, a fish of 8lbs6ozs in Gough’s Bay on Finlough. The fish was taken on a Vam Beck and the cries of joy could be clearly heard at the Lodge. The following day there were two more First Evers for the Flickers. Kitty Grubb had a grand fish of 9lbs11ozs off the Stream on Fin on a Delphi Collie. A number of people including myself bore witness to the battle and it was memorable to say the least. Not to be outdone by the ladies Henry Clayton-Hatfield landed a fish in Gough’s Bay later that evening of 9lbs1oz. This was also on a Delphi Collie and once again there were great celebrations. 

Lucy and her crew departed Delphi on cloud 9, and 6 more Flickers arrived full of enthusiasm. Simon Holme wasted no time as he landed a cracking sea liced fish of 10lbs, on the 30th, again in Gough’s on a Black Francis. At that stage the water started to drop off again and a couple of fish were lost but none landed. That brought our May total to 6.

John Costello from the US continued his excellent record at Delphi when he landed our first Grilse of the year, a fish of 3lbs6ozs on the 5th of June from the Whin Pool on an Allie Shrimp. Since then the water has dropped off to below 10 but it looks like we might get some rain in the next few days and hopefully we will see an influx of fresh fish into the system. D.McEvoy