May 2017 was certainly not one of our best here at Delphi with only three fish landed for the month. I suppose there a number of contributing factors. Low water levels certainly did not help especially in the first part of the month. We had twelve continuous days at the start without any rain at all. This added to the extremely low rainfall in April meant that by the 12th of May the river was about -15. For the remainder of the month we got bits and pieces of rain but with the system as a whole being so low the river struggled to go above 30. Total rainfall for May was 96mms (3.78”), which is also well below average.
The poor grilse run last year, (which are the same year class as this year’s springers) seems to be followed by a poor spring run this year. Obviously, there is still hope that some may run late. There may be a number of contributing factors, some which we are unaware of, but 2015 was a very bad year for sea lice in Killary Harbour. Basically what this means is that the smolts that ran out in 2015 would have had an extremely difficult time going out due to elevated sea lice levels. For those interested Paddy Gargan of IFI has just released a paper which documents the impact sea lice can have on outgoing smolts. The link for this – click here – It makes for rather interesting reading.
Of our three fish in May two were taken in week 20. The first of these was 7lbs7ozs taken by Peter Milne at the Bridge Pool on a Cascade, with Hugh Brennan, John Tappin, Leigh Hookes and Robbie Burton all giving advice. The following day Christopher Jarman had a fish of 6lbs5ozs from the Horseshoe Pool on an Agnethna. The following week I saw a numerous good fish entering the system but they were playing hard to get and evaded everybody. The final fish of the month was taken by Bertrand Fenart in the Whin Pool on a Silver Stoat weighing in at approx. 2lbs.
On a more positive note we have made a very encouraging start to June with fourteen fish in the first ten days, and, we had quite a bit of broken weather with the system as a whole slowly being topped up after the long dry spell. These were all grilse bar one cracking fish taken by Urs of 16lbs6ozs. Bertrand Fenart got the ball rolling on the 1st with a nice sea liced grilse of approx. 5lbs off Doolough. Giles Rawlingson have his first ever salmon on the 2nd, a grilse of 3lbs5ozs off Doolough. Holger Peres, from Munich also had his first ever on the 3rd, a nice grilse of 5lbs2ozs off the Grilse Pool on a Foxford Shrimp. There was also another first ever on the 5th when Niall Bollard had a fish from the Whin Pool of 4lbs9ozs on a Bann Special. Fred Eberle had one of 3lbs10ozs off Finlough on the 6th on a Red Shrimp. Brendan Keenan had a great morning on the 7th with two fish of approx. 2lbs and 1.75lbs on a Willie Gunn Variant. Manfred Wolf had one from the Turn Pool on the 8th of 5lbs9ozs on a Willie Gunn. The dynamic duo of Alan Molloy and David Dunne had three on the 9th, Alan landing a lovely fish of approx. 7.5lbs from the Whin on a Willie Gunn and David landing two off Fin in the afternoon of 2lbs7ozs and 4lbs6ozs, both on a Silver Stoat.
Urs Leibundgut was over for the weekend wiith some Swiss friends celebrating three 6oth birthdays in the same year, and he got a wonderful birthday gift, landing two before breakfast on the 10th. The first was a grilse of 3lbs1oz and the second fifteen minutes later was a magnificent fish of 16lbs6ozs. Well done again Urs. Both fish were from the Turn Pool and both on Cascades. Mark Corps finished off the day with another off the Turn Pool of 3lbs6ozs again on a Cascade.
Hopefully this is the start of a good grilse run and if anything it seems to be a little ahead of previous years as regards timing or the run may be greater. There are some rods available over the next two weeks so give us a call. D.McEvoy