[ May 2009 ]
Barbara Ceillier’s 7 lbs salmon from Doolough on Sunday May 28 was not only her first ever salmon but also the 100th springer taken at Delphi in May reports Peter Mantle.
This has been the best ever spring fishing at Delphi and the May catch total is a record not just for May but for any of the spring months. The May catch brings the total for the season to date to an unprecedented 206 salmon.
Delphi normally hopes to have 100 salmon caught between February and the end of May (not just in one month). Over the past twenty years, this ambition has been achieved considerably less than 50% of the time.
The previous best-ever spring fishing was in 2004 when 170 salmon were taken by the end of May. In no other year has the total even topped 150 fish.
At times the spring fishing was like grilse fishing, with fish showing all over the place. There were even two double hook-ups on Finlough, where anglers had two salmon on simultaneously, one on their tail fly and one on the dropper fly (in each case, only one was landed).
Reasons for the good run are hard to identify. Three quarters of the salmon caught at Delphi so far started life in the Delphi hatchery, but that has been in operation for the last 19 years. Efforts in recent years to boost the proportion of springers produced may be succeeding.
But even the wild component of the springer catch (over 50 fish) was exceptional by Delphi standards and some other Irish rivers have also had good catches (although this has been far from universal).
Another helpful factor – the local salmon farm did have low lice levels in the spring of 2007 when these fish were migrating out as smolts, which clearly boosted marine survival.
The best fish of the month, at a shade over 14 pounds, fell to Mick Stuart on Finlough.
The top rod of the month was Pul Wymes from Dublin who contrived to catch 13 springers over the course of 3 short visits to Delphi. Fellow Dubliner Steve Jones had six over two visits.
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