Bibio Fly Snares A Beltra 2009: Angling Notes

Bibio fly snares a Beltra

ANGLING NOTES: AN INVITE from a long-standing friend of 35 years is sufficient notice to visit the Newport River in Co Mayo.
Pat Smith, of Irish rugby and cricket fame, and now wine connoisseur, is keen for me to sample the delights of this fishery and the cuisine of Newport House. “Derek, this river is one of the finest spate salmon rivers in the country and Lough Beltra is stuffed with salmon,” he says. On arrival at Newport House we meet Kieran Thompson, proprietor of this magnificent country mansion, lovely Lough Beltra West and the Newport River. He tells of his affection for the house, his liking of good wine and displays a vast knowledge of salmon. He expresses disappointment that the fisheries board curtailed spring fishing to catch and release, a decision based on catch returns. However, he points out that the installation of a fish counter is likely to reverse this decision. “We’ll try the river today,” Pat says. “It’s high and clear and with plenty of cloud cover, we should meet a salmon.” Starting at Skerdagh River outflow, we proceed down the Junction Pool, Sheridan’s Pool and McDermott’s Pool. It’s the latter pool where all the action occurs. With a long-tailed Cascade up, I meet a salmon and the pool erupts into life. Following a good struggle, Pat prepares to land the fish but instead the bank collapses and he tumbles head first into the fast-moving deep water. With one hand playing the salmon, I manage on a second attempt to haul him up the bank. So, in actual fact, it is a “double catch”. The locals are quick to rename the pool “the swimming pool” hereafter. My fish weighs 3.4kg (7.5lb) and is the first from the river this season.
Over a spectacular dinner of local salmon and turbot we sample the wine list. Newport House has, perhaps, the best wine list in Ireland and boasts special interest in French wine, with emphasis on Rhone Valley wine supplied by Pat Smith. Our bottle of 1982 Burgundy was very palatable.

Event Date and Time:
Starts at: