Specimen salmon caught on river Drowes for first time in 36 years

Angling: Local fisher Seamus O’Neill captured the 25lb fish last Monday

“It has taken 36 years for the river Drowes to record a specimen salmon (20lb-plus), but the wait was well worth it,” said an elated Shane Gallagher, following the capture of a 25lb fish from the river last Monday.

“Back in 1985 when Anton Basso caught a 25lb 8oz salmon on worm, I was only nine years of age,” the Drowes proprietor said.

The excitement unfolded for the captor Seamus O’Neill, as told by his close friend Ed Hanna. “Living locally in Ballyshannon, Seamus never actually fished the Drowes and anytime he did go fishing it was always a Rapala lure he stubbornly believed in.

“Recently I coaxed him along to try the Drowes and to put up a Black Flying ‘C’. Within five minutes he landed a 10lb salmon.” Needless to say he was sold – hook, line and sinker.

“We were back again last Monday to the Old Sea Pool and on the third throw, Seamus connected with something very big. Was it a rock? No, indeed, it was a very big fish and while it lay on the river bed for a while, it soon took off up and down the pool,” Hanna said.

It was all of 45 minutes before the fish was ready for landing and panic stations again set in as the 18-inch mesh net was too small. Luckily, one suitable was found nearby and the huge fish was safely banked.

Probably the sad part of this fantastic story is the fact the cock fish had swallowed the lure deep and only access was through the gills. The intention was to release the fish. Now it will be given over to a taxidermist and, no doubt, its memory will be on display for a very long time.

Gallagher added that the multi-winter fish looked fresh with no sea lice and the pool is only 50 yards from the tide. He also said that another salmon of 9lb was caught last Tuesday.

For bookings, contact the Drowes Salmon Fishery at Lareen Est, Kinlough, Co Leitrim on 071 984 1055 or 087 805 0806.

‘Something Fishy’ poetry competition

*Following the huge success of last year’s national school fun project, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Blackrock Education Centre are again holding the “Something Fishy” poetry competition, which is aimed at fifth- and sixth-class students in Ireland.

It is an opportunity for students to get creative at home and to learn more about fish and their environment while also being in with a chance to win some great prizes.

The competition is to write an “acrostic poem” in which the first letter of each line spells out a word. Each student is to spell out the word “Stream” to write their own acrostic poem.

Students are also encouraged to illustrate their poem with their own artwork. Only one entry is permitted per student and it is to be original work.

Closing date for entries is Friday, May 28th, 2021. Parents/guardians are asked to email entry to outreach@fisheriesireland.ie and to include student’s name, class (fifth or sixth), school name and address.

Entries will be divided into three categories: fifth class, sixth class and a category for entries in Irish. The winning illustrated poems will be chosen by a panel of judges.

Winners will be announced on June 18th, 2021, and prizes are as follows: 1st – fishing kit (to the value of €100); 2nd – outdoor field trip kit (to the value of €50); 3rd – goody bag (to the value of €30). Each category will have three separate prize winners who will receive the above prizes.

*angling@irishtimes.com.