Well we have now passed the shortest day of the year, although it certainly doesn’t seem like it around here in the mornings. This morning at 9am I had to use a torch to see the temperature gauges in the weather station, (of course it’s nothing to do with my deteriorating eyesight!!)
As usual since my last blog we have been flat out here with Winter work, predominantly netting, stripping (fish that is) and a couple of shoots thrown in for good measure. The netting was actually more successful than expected as we caught up more than 650 fish. There were some crackers but again no 20 pounders, so we’ll have to wait for another year.
Sea trout spawning was quite good but as per usual this followed the weather patterns. There was little or no spawning till the end of November as the month up until the last few days was relatively dry. There was some rain before the 15th but it’s nearly always after that that sea trout start to spawn. Once they started towards the end of November spawning activity has continued at a steady paces, with plenty of mild soft days, especially in the last two weeks. Sea trout at this stage are all but finished but the salmon who start later will continue for another week or two. Some years they will go well into January especially in the tributaries such as the Glenummera which is rather water dependent.
Our shoots were also successful with the guests thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to see the elusive woodcock and getting a chance to bag one or two, although we get more mileage out of it when they miss! The two shoots ran back to back, so we had six days straight after which both men and dogs were rather like a spawning fish i.e. spent and drained of all energy. It gave me a great satisfaction when one of our beaters who has done the Tour of Ireland cycle race a couple of times even admitted to being tired.
I’m sure now it won’t be long before a few fresh fish start to sneak into the system and in just over five weeks we’ll be trying our luck for one of those elusive fresh one’s again. You’ll all have to start thinking about flies and tactics again shortly, even though I’m sure some of you already have.
At this stage I would like to thank you all for your support during 2014 and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year from all at Delphi Estate and Fishery. Here’s looking forward to 2015!