Daire Lynch reports on a change of plans that resulted in a completely unexpected catch…

It was a lovely evening, the last one of March, I had just returned from Dublin and thought it a shame to waste the evening, so was going to head out towards Leenane for a spot of Huss fishing. But after the long drive already, decided to just go local. So, off to the Cong River, Co Mayo with just my backpack, landing net and a pocketful of pike lures  to see if any hungry esox were about after their spawning.

There was one fellow out fly fishing, in a hope for an early springer, but with the waters still very high, I didn’t hold out my hope for him. On I pressed, for an hour and a half, thrashing the water to no avail, seemed no fish about. I decided to head homeward as it was around 8pm and I wasn’t sure when it was going to get dark,not wanting to be strolling about the Cong Woods after dark.

Big trout for pike angler on Cong Canal
Big trout for pike angler on Cong Canal


One last cast I took, which fell perfectly to the dead water the far side of the river. I slowly twitched the 19cm Savage Gear soft 4play in Fire Tiger yellow back to me. Then a lovely solid hit mid river announced the end to the evening’s blank. I use heavy enough gear, strong rod and 60lb braid, as I never like to lose a lure in a pike. So I bullied the fish in rather fast, midway in getting a glimpse of the spotty flank and large paddle tail. It had destroyed the lure, gone to the bottom of the river, but worth the catch. A quick unhooking, even quicker snap and I released the fish, full of energy with no need to recover before swimming off, as you can see from the video.
A lovely end to a lovely day.
Daire Lynch

Watch the video on Youttube: https://youtu.be/I5Npr5_uVEk