Low water, together with our protracted spell of settled and relatively sunny weather, has given us an abundance of weed growth on both river and lake, making it all but impossible for James and myself to fish our favourite spots. Indeed, when we looked at the River Robe, where there ought to have been late-season trout, we found nothing of interest, apart from an elderly gentleman angler fishing expertly among a dense crowd of stunted perch.
Despite the frailties of age he picked one after another from the shoal to admire, before slipping each gently back into the water. Some had the beginnings of fungal infection around the dorsal area, which could be a precursor to the massive die-off that affects the perch population every second or third year. On the other hand, it may affect just a few individuals and leave the majority in relative health. Only time will tell.
I often wonder about all those little fish, each one of them living its own life in the only way it knows how. Do they have any identity? Do they think of anything at all? Are they possessed with any aspiration? Or do they merely live, thoughtless until the day of death?…

Mayo News 30/09/2014 Read the article ‘Perched at the edge of the trout season