The Cuckoo is Back

Well, it’s a sure sign that Spring is here when the Cuckoo can once again be heard in the Delphi Valley. The Cuckoo made it’s appearance on the 20th and Swallows were seen the following day on the river. The lambing season is in full swing and there are plenty to be seen throughout the countryside and at this stage their road manners are not very good! With regard to the Cuckoo it’s amazing the number of guests we have here that have never heard it. We currently have two anglers from north County Dublin who record the Cuckoo so they could play it back for their grandchildren.

The fishing has been steady but not spectacular, with 27 fish landed since my last update. The month to date has been relatively dry with only 102.8mms (4.05”), with the result that water levels throughout have been relatively low. The highest the river went to was on the afternoon of Sunday the 17th, when it rose from 18 the previous day to 28 that morning and then 60 by 3pm.

Because the system was so low it was back down to 40 the following morning and with little or no rain since, it is now at 5 on the gauge. Hopefully, there is a chance of some rain this weekend but the easterly airflow is very difficult to shift this time of year. Week 14 was particularly good with 11 fish landed.

Tom Walsh was first out of the blocks with a fish of 8lbs13ozs off Finlough on a Tosh. This was followed up shortly afterwards by Paul O’Malley who landed a cracking fish of approx. 14lbs in the Whin Pool on a Willie Gunn. Peter Joyce had one from the Meadow Pool 30 minutes later, on the same Willie Gunn.  

The 6th was a red-letter day for David Flynn who landed three in the morning on the River, of approx. 5lbs and 7lbs from the Meadow and New Island respectively, both on a Sunrae and then one 9lbs9ozs from the Holly on a Monkey Dog. Granville Nesbitt had a lovely fish from the Whin in the afternoon of 10lbs6ozs on a Willie Gunn.

There were 4 on the 7th , with Ben Morizot landing his first ever of 8lbs13ozs from the Turn Pool on a Red Francis and he followed it up with a second fish off Finlough on a Tosh of approx. 8lbs. Niklaus Rothkotter had a fish of approx. 8lbs from the Whin on a Willie Gunn and Danny McLaughlin had one from the Deadman’s of 8lbs4ozs on a Delphi Collie.

There were 10 landed in week 15 with the dynamic duo of Seamus O’Neill and Tom McManus having one each from the Whin of 9lbs and 8lbs15ozs, with only a centimetre in the difference too on a Black Shrimp and a Willie Gunn. The Beattie party then got into the swing of things, landing 4 fish in three days off Finlough, with Oliver Ross and Peter Donnelly sharing the spoils with 2 each.

Vinnie O’Connell and Kevin Finnegan had a fish each off Finlough within an hour of approx. 10lbs and 7lbs11ozs on a Fane Special and a Collie Dog.

David Allcutt, one of a party who have been visiting for the last 25 years managed to land a 10lbs5ozs fish in the Meadow on a Delphi Collie.

As is always the case with this group the social aspect of the week is as important as the fishing, and we were delighted to welcome them back for their normal week after a three-year absence. Barbara Ceillier finished the week off with a fish of approx. 7.5lbs from the Waterfall on a Cascade.        

The sun came out in week 16, and as a result the water dropped off rapidly. We did however manage to land 5 fish in very difficult conditions. Our long serving regular, Angus Sutherland was first off the mark with a 7lbs1oz fish off Finlough on a Clousta Blue.

The following day Gareth Byrne managed to land the second biggest of the year, a fish of 13lbs12ozs from the Turn on a Cascade conehead. Mossy Browne from Waterford managed to land two from the Whin on consecutive days of 10lbs4ozs and 8lbs12ozs, both on Delphi Collies. Paul Hollinger had a fish of approx. 7lbs off Finlough on a Sunrae.

Finally, the ever reliable Seamus O’Neill managed to land a fish of 7lbs12ozs in bright sunshine from the Turn Pool on a Ballynahinch Badger to start week 17 off. That brought our total for the month so far to 27 and 58 for the season.

Conditions were extremely difficult from then on and it must be said that all anglers tried their best, not least those on a Fly Fishing Course with Glenda Powell, but alas the fish whilst clearly visible in certain parts of the river were not for tempting. Whilst it is disappointing when we get weather like this, I would like to thank all those hardened anglers who have been with us in the past week and still kept smiling and enjoying themselves. It certainly makes our job a lot easier. Thanks. D.McEvoy