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25 Aug 2010

Delphi and the West 2010: Feel my Goat's Toe

In mid-August we travelled to the Irish West, enjoying white-trout fishing at Delphi, Kylemore, Glencar lake and the Ballysadare estuary (Sligo) and the Owenduff estuary in Mayo. It was a grand week. What follows is a very brief photographic tour of some highlights of these angling travels. At present I'm writing up four feature articles about the trip, which I hope will eventually appear in Trout and Salmon, so I urge you to look out for these features in future issues.

The shot shows white-trout flies, among which is the Goat's Toe (that big straggly thing with the red posterior) clicked into Peter Joyce's hat as he very expertly gillied us on Doolough, the largest lake of the Delphi system. Tough white-trout fishing, partly on account of the weather, which was either burnished and windless or drenched and wind-stricken.

The Middle Lough, Kylemore

The Kylemore Abbey fishery still has a run of white-trout, though the fishing's not quite what it used to be in the pre-salmon-farm years. Nevertheless, we encountered a run of white-trout and some salmon in a two-day period, and the Dawros river (please see below) is a gem for salmon.

Dawros salmon

Occasionally our white-trout travels include encounters with salmon and grilse. Here's a pristine little grilse safely in the net on the Dawros river, part of the Kylemore system in Connemara. Angler: Gardiner Mitchell. Netsman: Geoffrey Fitzjohn.

Fishing under Ben Bulben

We enjoyed a couple of grand days on the Ballysadare estuary (pictured) and Glencar lake. I suspect that the estuary would fish best at dusk on the first couple of hours of a rising tide. Super place - terns squalling over sandeels, oystercatchers, the push of the incoming tide...and white-trout.

White-trout tackle

Hardy Marksman Drifter 10-foot #6; Marquis #7 reel (second-hand, thirty years old, and as good now as on the day it left Alnwick), box of flies.... And away you go.

Playing a Glencar white-trout

We caught some good fish on Glencar lake: white-trout to 2lb. and a leash of lovely wild brownies to 12oz. Here's Gardiner Mitchell playing a white-trout.

In the net

A Glencar white-trout of around 1.5lb, safely netted.

On the Owenduff

The Owenduff in Co. Mayo is a lovely spate river which fishes for white-trout (and salmon). We enjoyed some good fishing on the estuary. Here's Gardiner Mitchell playing a white-trout.