A BANGOR man, William Rainey, has caught the first salmon of the season from the river Drowes in county Leitrim. The 8lbs sea-liced springer was taken on William’s first day fishing this year and fell to the worm. Hopefully his catch signals an end to one of the poorest starts to the season in living memory.
The first salmon of the season was caught on February 1 at the Careysville fishery on the Munster Blackwater and the first fish to fall to the fly came from the Delphi in Connemara on February 13.
It has taken six weeks for someone to break the duck in the north. The Drowes usually produces the first salmon of the year and often on opening day January 1.
This is the latest in the year that a first salmon of the season has been taken from the river and also the lowest water level in which a first salmon has been caught at just 0.488 metres on the gauge, summer levels, according to the fishery.
A spokesman said,
“Fishing prospects looked poor on the morning with very low water levels and a biting north east wind. However William and his fishing friend Karl saw a number of fresh running fish which may signal an improvement in what has been a worryingly slow start to the salmon season throughout the country.”
As a measure to encourage the catch and release of more spring fish, the fishery will offer a free day’s fishing to all anglers who catch and release a fresh wild salmon and verify it with photo or video from now until May 1. Anglers who release a fish will fish for free on their next visit to the fishery. Season ticket holders will receive a voucher, equivalent to the cost of a day’s fishing, for esach verified catch and release salmon up to May 1.
William’s catch hopefully means a growing run of salmon through the Drowse and into Lough Melvin which opened for salmon fishing on February 1. The River Finn, in Donegal opens on March 1, and the rest of the Foyle system on April 1.
Meanwhile there are just three days left to bid for lots in this year’s online auction held by the Atlantic Salmon Trust. With over 170 lots to choose from, spanning some of the most stunning locations in the UK, there’s sure to be something to suit your taste. If you end up with a winning bid, you’ll enjoy some of the best fishing and shooting experiences available in the UK, and you’ll be directly helping the Atlantic Salmon Trust in its mission to save wild salmon. Visit http://auction.atlanticsalmontrust.org/lots.html