Harry reflects on his 2016 Salmon fishing season and how the Salmon keep re-writing the rule book!
They say salmon fishing is all about experience and after spending more years then I can remember trying to catch one, last year I was lucky enough to catch two good fish in the same season. For the first time I thought thing were finally fitting in to place and I had cracked it and could class myself as a salmon angler.
Totally Addicted To Salmon
Unfortunately the season had to come to an end, but it had left me totally addicted to this wonderful sport and the salmon, the king of fish as they are known. It did allow me to go back to my match fishing which I also love, but the salmon was never far from my mind, which was made worse every time I had to get my match gear out of the garage and pass over my salmon fly rod, just to rub salt in to the wound!
Back to Blackwater
The rivers in Lancashire tend to be late end rivers and don’t really come alive until after July and even then, it depends on how much rain we have had to bring the fish up the river. I couldn’t wait till July came around, so a plan was hatched between myself and Chris to pay another visit to the river Blackwater in Cork, Ireland, as we had fished it the previous year, only for me to come home fishless.
As we drove down to the Blackwater on that first morning, the river looked in great condition, much better than it was the year before, so to say my confidence was high was an understatement. A warm welcome is always on the cards at the Blackwater salmon fishery and after a quick brew and a chat with Glenda and Noel, it was down to business. On that first day I managed to hook and unfortunately loose three fish, but this didn’t put a dent in my confidence at all, as I wouldn’t normally get that in a season, never mind a day!
At the Lug
We were up early the next day and it was down to the ‘lug’ pool as it is shaped like an ear. I was advised to fish a short line to start with and work my way out. Now for some reason every time I get a take it’s when I am not concentrating on the job in hand. I can be admiring the wildlife, chatting to a passer-by or looking at a fish that had just jumped and that’s when I get the bite. That day was no different there I was happily chatting to Noel up the bank when I feel the rod get pulled round and line coming off the reel at rate of knots. After a great fight from what wasn’t a huge fish, I had caught my first Irish salmon and a memory was made right there, one which I will never forget. I went on to catch another three fish over the next couple of days to wrap up what was a great fishing trip and I will be back next year.
Back home, the rest of the season was not quite the same however – there was plenty of fish in the river but for some reason I didn’t manage to hook a fish even on the last day of the season when on one pool there was that many fish coming through, it looked like a dolphin show. We joked with one angler that we hadn’t had any fish but we assured him we had read the book, to which his reply was we needed to watch the DVD, such is a salmon angler’s sense of humour! Well that was it for another season and one thing I learnt was that salmon keep re-writing the rule book but I won’t let that put me off, so here’s to next season.
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