It has been quiet all week. Work has taken me up to Belfast and then hours in front of the computer screen, severely curtailing my fishing. Late August and that nagging sense that another season is slipping away from me pervades my thoughts. Ben had some success on Lough Innagh but I couldn’t make that trip so I was itching to get out and do some salmon fishing. Conditions were not great though on Saturday and we settled for a morning on the Cashel River.
This is unusual fishing as we troll a slow section of a river. I baled the 17 footer and we loaded up before driving under the bridge and up river. Baits we left streaming out behind us and we settled into the day, ignoring the mist which left everything damp to the touch. Rapalas were the first lures we tried, a rather natty silver lad with a red tail on the end hook on one rod while I tried my favourite orange and gold floater.
We were soon in action, one rod giving a good solid thump as something fishy grabbed the Rapala as we rounded a bend. It was soon obvious this was no salmon as a small Pike thrashed on top of the water.
The river is full of these pests. Some days it can be a case of a Pike every few minutes and we can only guess at the huge toll of salmon smolts this infestation takes every season. We boated a few more on Saturday but none of any great size.
We kept this one and then resumed fishing. The weeds were very thick and the lures became snagged occasionally. Even the engine fouled sometimes in the weedbeds, necessitating a stop to clear the propeller.
You can see from the photographs why we troll this river. The banks are heavily overgrown and access is virtually nil. Fly fishing is not an option with the slow, deep water and no room for a back cast due to the trees and bushes.
We fished as far upstream as was possible before the weed became too heavy and we retreated back downstream. Under the bridge again we fished all the way down to Lough Cullen.
I used the quiet time to fix a damaged plug. This old lure had received some damage from pike earlier this year and the hooks were in poor shape.
The loop for attaching the line was out of alignment, causing the plug to swim on its side. Some delicate work with a pliers sorted that problem and the lure was returned to the box for another day.
Around 2 pm we called it a day. Half-a-dozen pike was all we could manage between us and not even a sight of a salmon. Maybe next week……………