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7 May 2010

Strangford (1)


Just returned from Strangford Lough, where the wind blew from the north and where there was a hard, cold, glittery light. My catches (CBMcC) were almost non-existent, but I learned a great deal about this sensitive and lovely environment. One thing which delighted me was to catch (and of course, release) two tiny juvenile sea-trout which had clearly run into saltwater as smolts mere weeks before. The fact that these important fish are all wild and healthy is in my view hugely significant, and a tribute to the potential of Strangford as an environment in which totally wild sea-trout can grow and thrive.

Many warm thanks to all those who supported and helped my travels, and particularly to Stephen Kennedy, whose knowledge of the lough is unrivalled. Stephen is also the instigator of the Dibney River Conservation Trust and the forthcoming Irish International Fly Fair at Killyleagh (http://www.irishinternationalflyfair.com/).

Strangford (2)


Wild light on a beautiful and remote part of Strangford Lough.

2 May 2010

Safely released

A cracking underwater release shot of a pristine Irish sea-trout at the end of a cold and grey March.
Angler: Chris McCully.
Image: James Sadler.


Fin-perfect

Chris safely lands another fine sea-trout. This time from the Gweebarra Estuary.
Image: James Sadler.


A bonnie sea-trout

This one was taken by Chris on the last day. It eagerly grabbed hold of a free-lined sand eel within a few feet from where Chris was standing. [Chris writes: This fish puzzled me. It was relatively silvery and in fairly good condition, so I wondered whether it was a sea-trout which had skipped a spawning year or a veteran which had spawned the previous November and returned immediately to the sea, feeding thereafter in saltwater during the winter period. I wrote to Ken, who knows everything: sea-trout only very rarely skip spawning years, he wrote in reply, and it seemed likely to him that this fish is that veteran who spawned in November 2009 and returned immediately to the salt. So there you are.]
Angler: Chris McCully.
Image: James Sadler.


One last run

A good Erne sea-trout makes one last turn right before the end of its tussle. Note the sand eel in the side of its mouth.
Image: James Sadler.


Picture perfect

A small break in the weather on the beautiful Erne estuary at the end of March.
Image: James Sadler


Sea-lice damage

Notice the sea-lice damage along the back of the dorsal fin.
Angler: Michael Patton.
Images: James Sadler.



More from the Erne

A lovely sequence illustrating the sand eel rig, the epic battle and smiling release of a stunning Erne estuary sea-trout.
Angler: Michael Patton.
Images: James Sadler.