High water meant there was very little angling done on the Galway Fishery on opening day, but anglers and friends from near and far gathered to mark the start of the 2023 season.
The absence of old friends who have passed away recently was marked, in particular former fishery manager Ned Cusack, who passed away last year at 103 years old. Ned was still catching salmon at the fishery the summer before he passed!
Giant Salmon On Display
This year saw two new arrivals at the Galway Fishery. Eminent (and recently retired) fishery scientist and former fishery manager Dr. Paddy Gargan presented a cast of a 69lbs salmon that was taken in a draft net on the fishery in 1866. This fish was featured in Fred Buller’s book “The Domesday Book of Giant Salmon” and an original cast of the fish is also on display in University College Galway. The actual fish was sent to Billingsgate Market in London, where it fetched a price of £12 3s, a huge amount in those days. The cast is incredibly detailed, and can only be appreciated by viewing it in person – it truly is magnificent!
The Ballyshannon Collection is now also on permanent display at the Galway Fishery angling lodge. This collection of 15 renowned flytyers version of the Ballyshannon Fly was commissioned by well-known author and flytyer EJ (Ted) Malone (RIP) and will be of great interest to flytying aficionados, particularly fully dressed salmon flies.
Refreshments and food were very welcome on the day, and I’m sure some of the participants adjourned to a nearby hostelry to continue the deliberations and look forward to the season ahead!