A dry morning in Foxford, so far. Two storms in two days last weekend, that must be some sort of record. Not that they were record breaking storms, I have often seen windier days that there was not a mention of. The water levels have come well up, the river is now at 1.4m, it peaked earlier in the week at 2.78m at Ballylahan bridge. All this water is making it impossible to visit the spawning streams to see if there is much activity, we shall have to wait and see. Its been a busy week for me and I didn’t get out fishing. I was doing angling related things though.
I have mentioned in the past that I’m involved in a little angling club here in Foxford, The Foxford Angling club. It is a small but active club and we try to put as much into our sport as we take out of it. On Tuesday night we had an interesting meeting with Dr Ken Whelan to discuss a survey that he and some colleagues have been commissioned to undertake between now and May 2024. It’s a survey to assess the current population and habitat preferences of the large Mayfly (E.Danica) on the great western Loughs. This includes Lough Conn but strangely not Lough Cullin. I would have said that Cullin is very important in regards to Mayfly and apart from having a different name is basically the southern end of Conn. I’m not a scientist though and I don’t make up the rules so I am happy enough to go along with what the experts say. The survey has started by collecting information from anglers, boatmen and anyone else who has knowledge or interest in the Lough. This information is been gathered via a questionnaire which can be filled in on line. Im putting a link here https://form.jotform.com/233305215218345 If you have information you feel will help, it would be no harm to submit it.
Another project that our little club adopted is “The brook.” I wrote about it here at the time.
From 17/02/2023 “The stream in question does not even have a name. I have always known it as “The Brook.” A little stream that flows from the hills outside Foxford, through the centre of the town and enters the River Moy from under the Foxford woollen Mills. Yes, under the Mill. In my youth there was a nice stock of small brown trout and eels in the brook and we spent a lot of hours chasing them. Over the decades the brook has been neglected, abused and in general destroyed. It now looks like a dirty drain, typical of many streams flowing through the towns of Ireland. Since 2017 our club has made approaches to IFI (Inland Fisheries Ireland) to see if something could be done to help the Brook but unfortunately nothing has happened. Perhaps they don’t see it as a viable project, perhaps it’s too big of an issue for them, perhaps they don’t care about it or they don’t see it as their remit, who knows but the brook is certainly not getting any better.”
Throughout the season “The Brook” has been on the agenda at all our committee meetings. We never spend too long talking about the project, we all know it’s a long-term thing and every little bit of progress we make is something positive. Two things we have managed to accomplish this year are (1) At different stages we have had a four water samples taken and analysed, the results will be useful in making a plan. (2) IFI have carried out a fish stock analysis and have presented us with a written report. I am a firm believer in saying thanks and giving credit where it is due. Once we got someone in the organisation to listen to us and accept that this project is not just an angling club looking for more fish or water but instead a club trying to rehabilitate a stream that has been abused and neglected, IFI staff have gone out of their way to assist. We have now lodged and expression of interest with IFI to apply for some money to have an expert carry out a proper feasibility study with regards to drawing up a plan for the stream. Perhaps in the New Year I will have some more positive stuff to report.
Time is flying
Perhaps it is because I am keeping myself busy with all sorts of stuff (including a bit of baking ) but I think the winter is flying by. Another few weeks and the Salmon season will be open again. It is early though and realistically it will be another few months before we are Salmon fishing properly. For anyone getting ready to visit the Drowse on Jan 1st, the 2024 Licences should be on sale from next week.
We have been attending a few trade shows and it looks like we will have a lot of new stock arriving. Attending shows and sorting through the mountains of tackle that are on the market is probably the most difficult part of running a Fishing tackle shop. There is some amount of useless rubbish out there and while tackle dealers in the big cities might get away with selling it, we will not. We have a smaller foot fall and our customers are quite discerning. We can’t afford to buy rubbish. No one gets it one hundred percent right but experience and knowing something about angling helps. Thankfully our misspent youths prepared us well and we are good at buying fishing tackle, just to find money to pay for it now 🤔