Record brown trout captured from Cong

 

The Cong river in Co Mayo has given up the largest brown trout ever recorded on fly in Ireland.

Stephen Walkden, originally from the UK and now living in Cong, captured the "fish of a lifetime", weighing in at 7.8kg (17lb 5oz), last Thursday week at 5am on a single-handed 11'6" fly rod, using a small Willie Gunn Variant salmon tube-fly. The capture was witnessed by two anglers.

"Almost every morning during the season I fish the stretch of river close to the castle. My best fish to date was 3.5kg," Mr Walkden said.

He moved from Lancashire seven years ago with his wife Sue and daughter Ella after having had some splendid holidays in Cong, according to John Fahy, of Cong Angling Centre. "There is no record of a brown trout of this size captured on fly in a river in Ireland since records began", Mr Fahy said. That fact is borne out by information supplied by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC). In 1967, Harold Turner caught a trout on fly of 4.7kg on the Kilcolgan river in Co Galway. Other notable catches were by Matthew Cunningham on the Shiven river in Co Galway (2.9kg); Christy Molamphy on the Shannon (4.2kg) and Nicholas Lambert in 1998 on the Cong canal ( 5.7kg).

"This fish seems to smash the river-caught record nationally, based on our records", said Dr Willie Roche, of the ISFC.

The magnificent specimen is to be mounted and displayed in Cong Angling Centre.