I took a couple of days off work, initially to fish the Burke competition down in Clonbur but when that was cancelled I switched to salmon fishing and headed for the Moy and lough Beltra.
Despite good conditions Tuesday was fishless for me and Ben. Micksy Clarke landed a sea liced springer for the EMAA water but we saw or touched nothing on the same stretch. Beltra was similarly dour despite a nice wind and great overhead conditions.
Wednesday morning and we decided to repeat the same choices as yesterday. Off we went to the EMAA waters and commenced operations just before 10am. By noon we had seen no signs of fish but my confidence was high as the river was in excellent order for spinning (but too high for the fly) and there were one or two salmon around.
Ben was fishing opposite me while I spun through the good lies below the bridge. A fish grabbed the Flying C and the battle started! He headed off down the river and I had to apply a huge amount of pressure to turn him before walking him back up in the pool and safety. He tried one more time to exit the tail of the pool but I was able to apply side strain and put him off balance. The old ABU rod was bent over and the drag on the reel was wound down to keep in control. Ben made his way over to me and after some more short runs the fish tired and came to the net without too much fuss.
The fish was very fresh but there were no sea lice present. It tipped the scales at exactly 10 pounds. As you can see from the photo, he was a very handsome fish with broad shoulders. He took a 20 gram black flying C
Other anglers appeared and so we called it a day on the Moy and headed to Beltra where we fished hard in the afternoon but without rising any salmon. Ben rose a few small brownies and I landed a small, thin seatrout kelt before I called it a day and packed in. To be honest, my heart was not in it after landing the salmon earlier in the day. Anyway, I had a few things to do in town so I made my excuses and departed in the middle of the afternoon. At least I am up and running for the 2019 season!