Friday July 27, 2018

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The River ran dark as it carried the night’s rain from Co. Kerry and the mist was lifting as I

arrived at Ballyduff Bridge. My journey from Co. Kildare took only 2.5 hours and with directions from the management, I drove straight to the river where Len Tomlinson, one of the fishery managers met me. We took a stroll along the riverside where Len very helpfully, pointed out some of the lies, which I would cover later on. The river did need water as it was running quite low (as were most of the rivers in the country) but there were plenty of fish about and a good few catches for the week I was told. 58571I tackled up in the car park and made my way across the bridge and fished the far bank in deep water under the trees. Casting here was easy, nothing behind and what a beautiful place to be in doing something that you love. I fished a long leader of 15lb material on a floating line, fast tip and a size 12 Willie Gunn. I noticed a few fish moving under the bridge, which filled me with optimism. Another couple of casts under the far bank and I thought I’d move upstream. Then all of a sudden, my line stopped and there was that familiar, long pull, something heavy maybe? I tightened in to it but sadly, nothing there. 58581
I carried on back up to the top of the beat on the other bank where I was joined by Maurice from the fishery and two Frenchmen who are among the many regulars here at Ballyduff and had been on the river for the week and a very successful one at that. We took a break from the river in the well-equipped fisherman’s hut and spoke about our fish, caught and lost and then moved back to the water after a coffee and lunch. I carried on upstream to where groynes have been created. At this point I have to say that the Ballyduff Bridge Fishery has probably some of the best tended, bank-side and water features in the country. You can see the work and care that has gone into the fishery all the way along the beat. The river runs faster further upstream and I changed flies to a very small Allie’s shrimp, a size 10 I think. 58921There was movement in the water under the trees on the far bank so I spent a good 20-30 minutes casting here and once more, the line tightened as a fish connected. This one was hooked but unfortunately, not well enough as there was a shake, a splash and then loose line… Len was right, there seemed to be plenty of fish here.

I fished on until dusk and saw quite a few fish moving through the beat but still hadn’t had a fish until at last, just before sundown and the light faded completely, the slight draw downward of my floating line indicated there was something there. I tightened and felt the solid pull. Upstream the fish rocketed and then with a fast turn, back downstream beyond the riffles. The fish, around 8lbs was played for another 5 minutes until it was netted and released unharmed back into the dark water to continue it’s 586011
Unfortunately, I had to arrive at that ‘last cast’ scenario well before I wanted to but well after I could see properly in the darkness. I started my journey north to Kildare but the new season has begun with a bang I see in the reports.

Next time I get a chance to fish Ballyduff Bridge, I’ll be back and if you get a chance, I recommend you do the same. You won’t be disappointed!

Ballyduff Bridge Salmon Fishery, Raspberry Hill, Ballyduff Upper, Co. Waterford, Ireland

For bookings and all other information, contact:

Len Tomlinson on 00353(0)586 0897 or 079711 628880

email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Kay is a keen photographer, travel writer, sailor, diver and rock climber. Most importantly of all  Paul fishes  for Salmon and Trout inScotland, England and Ireland where he lives with his wife Alison and their son Charlie.

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