Michael Flanagan from Midland Angling reports on Fortune anglers from Leixlip. Some months back I was contacted by Gary Fortune who I never met, and he was looking to spend a few days in early November fishing for pike and perch. The plan was put in motion, and last Saturday Gary and his father Joe arrived in Mullingar bright and early. Gary is living and working in Cork and Joe is retired now and taking it easy. It was his 70th Birthday last weekend. If you cast your mind back to last Saturday it was a brutal wet morning and there was high wind forecasted but it did not arrive on the Midland lakes.
The plan on Saturday was to target perch and leave the pike till Sunday. The lakes are well up and a lot of water has filtered through the Brosna system, but Ennell was quite clear and it looked all right for a day at the perch. It proved a masterstroke as the lads boated some savage perch on small lures fishing in 50-60ft of water. I marked a few nice shoals’ of fish, and some of the bigger perch were feeding hard on small sticklebacks. It was incredible in that depth of water, and you just don’t know what’s lurking down deep in our bigger lakes. Strangely enough black lures worked best, and has done in the past number of years fishing deep for perch.
On day two Gary and Joe drifted down river on the Inny, in thick fog and the river was all over the shop with floodwater. It was a bitter cold morning and did not warm up till the fog lifted. The pike fishing was tough on the river and Gary had a few small pike on hard baits. That evening we ventured back out on Derravaragh and had the best pike of the day, also caught by Gary. Joe has fished Owel and Ennell for trout, and remembers hiring boats from Jack Doolin some 20 years back and visiting O’Malleys Tackle Shop.
On Sunday as we made our way back up the Inny to Derravaragh, Joe and myself were reeling in the years on the trout scene and were amazed to see a good hatch of Olives on the Inny and a lone May Fly on November 3rd. The Gary and Joe Fortune will be back in Mullingar for sure, and were very impressed with the Newbury Hotel where they stayed, the China Garden Restaurant and the fine pints of Guinness in the Newbury and Smiddies Bar.
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