August in the West of Ireland in quite often a difficult month for the pursuit of Atlantic Salmon. Weather, more often than not plays a huge factor and normally what happens is that fishing starts off fairly good and then towards the second half of the month it slows down dramatically. This year was no different with 37 fish landed by the 12th and then the fine weather set in and temperatures both air and water soared, with air, reaching 29.1 on the 13th and water hitting 21.5 on the 17th. Added to this rainfall only amounted to 106.6mms (4.2”). There was 40.5mms on the 1st and then very little till the 17th to the 22nd with 52.7mms. As a result, water levels rose to 65 on the 2nd, dropped off to -3 by the 18th rose again to 20 and then dropped off fairly quickly and was at 0 by the 31st. This is not what one would classify as ideal fly fishing weather. Generally, the fish get the August Blues in the second half of the month. We did however finish with 42 landed, which is 1.7 below our 10 year average. Despite the slow fishing in the second half of the month Delphi was still as always a stunning place to be.
Week 31 was the first week of the month and we had a very experienced group of anglers. As a result of this and the favourable conditions, there were 16 fish landed in the first 6 days. The usual suspects were again to the fore with the Beattie party having 6, the Finnegan party 4, David Flynn 2, John Taylor 1, Urs 1 and Donal Gleeson and Kevin Fagan both landed their first ever salmon, both from the Grilse Pool on Delphi Collie’s weighing in at 2lbs7ozs and 2lbs12ozs.
Week 32 saw the water slowly dropping off from 26 to 4 but despite the low water we managed to land 23 fish. Once again it was the usual suspects to the fore with the Beattie party landing 15, Luke Drea 5, Michael Wade 2 and a blast from the past Christopher Jarman who was on a flying visit showed us that he still has what it takes when landed a fine fish of 9lbs2ozs from the Turn Pool on a Nymph. The fine weather then really set in and as a result we only landed 3 for the rest of the month. Felix O’Mahoney had 2 including his first ever on the fly from the Whin Pool on a Willie Gunn weighing 2lbs12ozs. Finally, Luca O’Connell managed to land his first ever salmon, of 3lbs2ozs in the Bridge Pool on a Nymph. That brings our total for the season to 261.
Sea Trout are not bad this year and anyone that specifically targeted them had good success, with the exception of the week with the really high water temperatures. There were 90 landed and once again the dynamic husband and wife duo of Tom and Shirley Morrison showed their expertise having 27 in two and a half days and the Greene Party had 15 in two days. Most are in excellent condition, with the biggest being 2lbs. I would expect that it will pick up in September as temperatures drop and the weather starts to get Autumnal, which it already has.
On a very important Environmental and Conservation issue, I’m Just including a note from Niall Greene Of Salmon Watch Ireland who at the moment have a case in the High Court regarding the Bantry Bay Salmon Farm. While this may not have an impact on fish stocks here, Mowi have an application in for a farm in Ballinakill Bay which, definitely would have an impact on stocks here. This is a note from SWIRL looking for support.
“As you may know Salmon Watch Ireland (SWIRL) have a case in the High Court for the judicial review of the decision to award a licence for a new open cage salmon farm in Bantry Bay. If successful, the case could seriously disrupt the awarding of any new licences and the granting of extensions to existing licences. SWIRL faces significant legal costs in pursuing the case and is seeking contributions from everyone concerned with the impact of open cage salmon farming and our severely threatened wild salmon and sea trout. Delphi Lodge have already contributed, and I would urge all our friends to do likewise. You can easily do so through the Donate Now function on the homepage of www.salmonwatchireland.ie or by a crossed cheque sent to Bob Weymss, Jerpoint Hill, Thomastown, Co.Kilkenny”.