Gearóid Muldowney and his cousin have a very productive day on Lough Beltra

We fished Lough Beltra on Sunday and had a great day. Lovely mild weather, overcast and just enough wind.

My cousin Brian Gannon and I started fishing at 9:00 and I hooked into this fish at 5:30.

The fish took a size 8 double Beltra Badger “style” fly. (I’m not familiar with the pattern, I didn’t tie it, does anyone know it)
I was using my late fathers single handed trout rod rated 6-8wt which should be put out to stud as I can ask no more of it, it preformed amazingly under such pressure. I hook into the fish at 5:30 and Brian netted him for me at 5:55.

The twenty five minute battle has left me battered and bruised. My right arm aches from locking my arm for so long and my left had is burnt and bruised from the handle hammering against palm side of my index finger knuckle as I tried to slow some of the fishes runs. I bought the reel the day previous for 14 euro and dressed it with 250 yards of new backing. I figured the only thing going in our favor that day was backing and plenty of it.

This is my first ever salmon, first time to fish lough Beltra and the first time to fish for salmon from a boat.
I’ve put in the hours over the past few years, mainly on the Moy. I fish for trout in rviers with the fly rod alot. I was particularly unlucky last season not to get a Salmon so this one was a while coming to me.

Gearoid Muldowney - Beltra Salmon
Gearóid Muldowney - Beltra Salmon

I have only one regret, he took the point fly, not the dropper which I had tied myself.
Lough Beltra is fly only and catch and release until 12th of May but as you can see the fish was pretty coloured anyway.
The fish was handled with great care and thoroughly revived (15min) before letting him go.
The hook itself was hooked on his lower jaw and there was no blood.
I’d like to thank Brian Gannon for netting him and staying calm even when I had to ask him to use the ore to try and unhook the muddler dropper from under the boat.

Its a miracle we managed to net him all. Our lines got tangled at on point. My line went around my reel just before he made his first run. The dropper fly got hooked under the boat for about 4min but the fish stayed on.

The fish was measured (lip to V) with a leather strap I had made for the net a few days previous and the leather was well marked.
The mark was made at 37inches and from photos I estimate the fish was 9-10inches deep (belly to fin). Unfortunately we didn’t have a scale and I didn’t think to measure his girth. The fish is estimated to weigh in the region of 16-17lbs and I can only imagine what he may have weighed when he first came into system.

Fish lenght 37″ 
Fish depth 9-10″
Estimated weight 16-17lbs
Fly Beltra Badger style double size 8
Landed on a 6-8wt, 10.5′ long, single handed rod
Hooked on Lough Beltra at 5:30 on the 5th May 2013
Revived and released at 6:15.
Caught by Gearoid Muldowney
Netted by Brian Gannon