Sunday, 8 June 2014
During the last two weeks the water levels were very low and only the odd fresh fish was being seen at the Dam fishery but as soon as the water was released fish started to arrive but unfortunately many were coloured, these fish having entered the river weeks earlier had stayed in the lower beats till the water levels allowed them to run. The fish were only nipping at the spinners as they had been fished over by many anglers down stream before arriving at the dam so they knew the game very well and probably could even tell you where your spinners were made. There were a few large fish throwing and i estimated that some were definitely over 20 lbs but they were very dark and heading upstream above the dam. I hooked the fish in midwater because the spinner didn't have time to get down under the very fast current and with a few head shakes the games were on. A very strong salmon of about 11lbs short but very stocky and these are the best fighting fish as they are very dogged and fight deep and as you can see in the video it tore line off the clutch with ease. The fish was just in off the tide as it had sea lice on it and the scales were still soft and falling off in my hands, a sure sign of tide fish. Removing the size 4 black and silver flying C i released a very strong fish back into the river. There were a few grilse seen down river so hopefully we should see some arriving at the dam soon but last year they were few and far between with mainly the larger salmon being caught. When the main pods of fish arrive at the Kingsley Weir they either wait for high water or the odd few run the side wall or fish pass and head up river but then they split up either going up the Shournagh River or the Bride and the rest then heading to the upper reaches of the Lee with a few eventually heading up above the Dam itself. The earlier fish usually travel the most so these fish are always going above the Dam but as the season progresses the later fish are destined for down river or one of the two main tributaries so as i have said before the Dam doesn't really get a back end or September run but it does get a small summer salmon run just after the grilse run peters out in mid to late July. Hopefully we will get a chance to put a fly over some grilse in the coming weeks as they are a great fighting fish and great sport on a small fly rod.