[ August 2008 ]
Peter Mantle reports that the lateness of the grilse run and the spectacularly soggy weather made for record-breaking salmon catches at Delphi in August.
This years August catch of 135 salmon beat the previous record set in August 2006 when 119 salmon were taken. It brings the total salmon catch for the season up to 357, which is respectable but far from being the really big tally that had been hoped for in the wake of the drift net ban.
That said, the salmon run this summer was very good indeed, but it came very late, with the peak at the end of July and in early August. By that time, however, many of the top anglers had been and gone and the weather had become sultry and far from ideal for salmon fishing. The catches do not therefore reflect the size of the run.
The heavy rains in mid-month (and thereafter) did at last put a stir on the fish and, with fresh fish continuing to run in for most of August, steady catches were made. No blank day was recorded – even at the height of the huge floods, which twice temporarily cut Delphi off from the outside world and caused several small landslides in the valley. There are few fisheries that so consistently deliver salmon to the fly in such extremes of weather.
Highlights of the month included Peter Gosson’s 151/2lbs salmon from Finlough (his first ever salmon and the biggest Delphi fish for four years); Paul Wymes’ ten salmon in three days; Urs Leibundgut’s 300th Delphi salmon, one of seven fish caught by him over six days; the five salmon taken by participants in Peter O’Reilly’s advanced flyfishing course; the fourteen seatrout from 1lbs to 21/2lbs caught by Tom & Shirley Morrison on Glencullin Lough; Hugh Brennan’s 7lb trout from Doolough and his seven salmon in six days; Mike Shortt’s seven salmon in six days and Peter Joyce’s seven salmon over various days in the month.
The month also witnessed Kieran Fitzgerald (Dublin), Pino Maisano (Italy), Crispin Nieboer (London), David Walmsley (Lancashire), Palmer Kauffman (USA), Charlie Barton (London), Gareth Carr (UK) and Ken Patterson (Dublin). Twelve-year-old Ninian Wilson (Scotland) and Joe McGoldrick (Dublin) all catch their first ever salmon on fly.
The total rainfall for the month was 390.8mm or 15.4 inches, compared to the 20-year average of 216mm or 8 1/2 inches.
It seemed even wetter.
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