Well as always, the end of the season wasn’t long about coming around. In some ways you wonder where it went. Spring was difficult as we experienced two extremely dry months in April and May. Our grilse ran in good numbers and if anything, I think they started a little earlier than previous years. At times they weren’t the easiest to catch, but that’s salmon fishing.
Since my last update we have been rather busy and we continued to catch some fish. Conditions throughout the month were generally good with 211mms (8.31”) spread fairly evenly throughout. We also had a few stormy days as the tail end of hurricanes raced across the Atlantic.
Week 38 saw the return of some long standing anglers and it was the usual suspects that were again to the fore. Paul Sims was first off the mark on the 18th, with a nice fish of 4lbs1oz off Finlough on a Willie Gunn. He was closely followed by Jack Browne who had two fish of approx. 3.5lbs off Doolough in the afternoon on a Stoats Tail. Mike Heckler had one on the 19th off Finlough of 2lbs13ozs on a Claret Bumble. There were three on the 20th, with Jack Browne having two off Finlough of 3lbs14ozs and 4lbs7ozs on a Willie Gunn. Paul Sims had one of 4lbs4ozs off the Meadow Pool, also on a Willie Gunn. There were four on the 22nd . Edward Westropp had one of 4lbs9ozs from the Turn Pool on a Zonker. Steve Heckler had one of 5lbs from Finlough on a Silver Stoat. Christian Fortune had one of 4lbs12ozs off Finlough on a Delphi Collie and finally Paul Sims had a nice fish of approx. 6lbs from Fin on a Claret Dabbler. James Kenny finished the week off with a nice fish of approx. 6lbs from the Quarry Pool on a Zonker.
We then had a group of twelve Germans organised by Russel Whiteman for two days. They were all relative beginners bar one. Fish proved harder to get, although they did meet a few. Despite no fish they enjoyed their visit thoroughly. Chris Barry from Sydney, a regular for the past few years, managed as usual to land a nice fish, of 4lbs14ozs from the Grilse Pool on a Woolly Bugger. Luke Drey had a fish the same day of 4lbs off Finlough on a Green Peter. We also had a very pleasant group of six ladies from the US, who were accompanied by their mentor Abigale Schuster. It must be said they experienced some dreadful weather but we kitted them out and they set forth and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They also managed to land six fish, Abi Schuster having two of approx. 3lbs from the Meadow Pool, including her first ever and Kelly Rollin also landing her first ever and three more. The fish were landed in Meadow, Whin and Waterfall and were all approx. 3lbs. All these fish were taken on a small Willie Gunn copper tube. Paul Smyth also landed a fish of approx. 3lbs from the Meadow Pool on a Cascade.
As usual the 30th of September, the last day of the season is a party day for locals and children to try their luck. On such an occasion all methods are allowed and the day was indeed a great success. Ciaran Boland organised a number of young guns and minders from the Moy Catchment and they had an absolute ball. There were 37 fish landed for the day, with numerous first ever salmon. These included Mimi Borisova, Tom Woods, Tom Smyth, Ben O’Connor, Kyle Bowes, Michael Smyth, Liam Smyth, Anthony Mullen, Mark Rowley, Anna Gillespie, Megan Gillespie and Holly Rima. Many of the younger anglers also received an insight into the lifecycle of Salmo Salar and the processing of ranched micro tagged salmon.
The final day brought our total for the month of September to eighty salmon and for the year to 265, which considering the bad start was quite good. The good return of grilse should bode well for next Spring, if my predictions are right. Here’s hoping. At this stage I must also thank all involved for their support, hard work and help throughout the year. Hopefully we’ll see you all again next year. D.McEvoy