Dan O’Neill at the Mount Juliet Estate reports on the salmon fishing on the Nore…

It’s that time of the season where we try to forget how far in we are. We try to make four weeks seem like longer than it is in our minds so that we don’t sink into a slight depression to the fact the season is coming to a close.

Lets not go to far into that kind of talk and thought just yet. Today (30th august) was a day that I have been waiting on since I received a phone call from my good friend and gifted angler Paul O’Shea. Paul was introduced to me first by a man that was considered quite a legend in salmon angling and to this day still is.The man in question was a man of very few words and thought about any answer he ever gave. I once asked him whats the best way to catch a salmon. He looked at the bait he was using in his hand, studied his knots and hook closely before answering “Keep your bait in the water”  (ask a stupid question…).

Now at present the water is creeping up slightly and also cooling down. The water level was at .28 on the guage which added a nice bit of depth to the salmon pools. Paul arrived at 8am with a look on his face that meant business. We were going to be fishing the top end of the fishery where the water is quite a bit deeper than the lower end. After having the usual banter and joking about on the path to the river bank our feet suddenly touched the grass of the bank. Instantly the conversation and atmosphere changed, we were all now concentrating on the river and the various current patterns. A pair of polarized glasses were quickly taken out (not left in the jeep this time). All of a sudden Paul made a strong turn towards the river bank and said “I’m going to give here a go”.

We then carried  on to try the next beat, as we went about setting up the rods and getting in position we heard that noise, that noise that every angler in the world longs to hear, the side of a decent sized fish slapping against the water surface followed by the scream of the reel’s clutch. We made our way to Paul to watch the battle. Watching him play the salmon was just a total joy. Calm, cool and collected, Paul just always seemed to be a few moves ahead of the fish. After the usual acrobatics and smashing runs Paul had won this particular battle. A stunning salmon lay in the back eddy in front of us. What a fantastic sight it is and no matter who or how the picture is taken it will never bring back the realtime feeling of seeing this. Just even beginning to imagine the journey this fish has undergone and indeed has ahead is more than fascinating. Paul was very careful in unhooking and getting the fish back on its inspiring journey.

Paul with his fish
Salmon number 1

After a cup of tea and of course a chocolate digestive ( which made us feel we could almost conquer Everest, almost), our next beat was only 100 metres away. Looking closely and for obviously longer than Paul needed to read the river (as he was on his second cast) we decided to try the middle reach of the pool. We fished for 30 minutes with no joy so moved slighty down river. Paul stayed in his spot still studying the river looking for a glimmer of a fish. After a further 15 minutes we heard an all too familiar sound. Yes, Mr. O’Shea was in again. A slighty larger fish perhaps. We let a few sighs, put our rods down on the bank and made our way to Paul (delighted of course he had fish number 2!). The fish fought hard but was no match for Paul. Salmon number 2 was at the bank’s edge. Again a beautiful fish released for a tiring journey up river.

Catch and Release

We tried another couple of casts along the river but it was Paul today who schooled us and “ kept his bait in the water”. His persistence is something I would love to adopt as it was persistence that managed fish number 2.

Paul's other fish
The second salmon

Overall a great day with friends and one to remember,

Dan O’Neill
Mount Juliet Estate.

Go fishing…

Mount Juliet House is set on a large estate, which offers private fishing on 2.5 miles of the middle to lower reaches of the River Nore. Mount Juliet Estate offers fishing of the highest quality, just a short stroll away from the Manor House. There is a fishing room on site in the Manor House for your convenience i.e. for storage and drying of fishing equipment. Mount Juliet Estate can also provide the necessary equipment on site if needed.