Where One Season Closes Another Begins…
I’m relaxing at a good friend’s house in Fairlie in New Zealand’s South Island where the season is just 2 weeks old. I had a good hard day on the river fishing through a tough gorge but before I talk about that I want to mention the season finale in Ireland..
John and I had an eventful day on Kylemore about a week before the end. I may have had a hat-trick of hat-tricks.. John is not sure! Here’s what I think..
1. I landed 3 trout together, all little ones but 3 none the less. It’s only the second time i ever did that. Pitty i didn’t have 4 flies on!!
2. I hooked what I believed to be a Grilse, Landed what I believed to be a large seatrout and released what john believed to be a brown trout!
3. I had the 3 salmonid species over the course of the day (assuming #2 was a seatrout!)
The most notable event of the day was when we were about 100m from the end of our drift, we saw a salmon jump. A short time later another. They were very quiet all morning so this was encouraging. They continued to move until we finished the drift. We went back up to drift over the more active water, John had seen 2 salmon/grilse move very close together so we tried to drift onto that very spot. We were successful as it turned out. A good fish rashly crashed through my flies, all fins and tails and madness but no hook up. A cast or 2 later a super fish came across the water with it’s back out like a rising submarine in what felt like slow motion, I waited for the line to go but it didn’t, and again, no hook up. 3 minutes later a solid subsurface take and after a scrappy battle and a couple of runs I landed a small grilse. Then it went dead.. totally dead. I often heard anglers talk about Fish turning on and off and I have witnessed it many times myself, but never as definative as this.
I don’t know why all the fish came my way on this day but it’s not uncommon when fly fishing from a drifting boat that one angler gets the majority of action even though both anglers are fishing similar flies and lines.
Lough Inagh had to be the choice for the last day of the season. Each year Colin, The fishery manager, Invites friends of the fishery to come and fish the final day on river and lake. We have a competition, then to the bar for a top class meal followed by the prize giving. The aftermath continues into the small hours…
I was going for 3 in a row in the competition but came last! Some days nothing works.. My boat partner Will had a superb grilse which was the 133rd and last of the 2011 season.
Sincere Thanks to Maire, Dominic, Thomas and Colin for an epic season! (And Brian Regan.. I owe you one!)