Saturday, 26 October 2013

18lb Salmon From Manar Today

As it was the last Saturday of the fishing season, I was kindly invited to fish the Manar beat of the River Don today. On this day each year the beat plays host to a celebration to mark the end of the salmon season. Plenty beer is to be had and there is enough meat cooked on the BBQ to feed an army! I always enjoy the good craic in the hut during the "Manar Shindig".

Charlie and I arrived at the beat around 8.30am and the beat gauge was reading 8" which was up an inch or two from the previous day. The water was a good colour and we were fairly confident there would be fish caught.

We fished all the likely pools in the morning along with a few other rods but apart from the odd fish showing the beat was very quiet. I decided to go the pool right at the top of the beat called the Ree Pot as it is only lightly fished due to the tree line bank. Not long after arriving at the pool there was a big fish showed in the fast run at the neck of the pool. Firstly, I covered it with a #10 Cascade but it showed no interest. I changed over to a #9 KS Shrimp and proceeded to cover the same lie but to no avail. As I was fishing down the pool, the big fish showed again in the same spot so I walked up through the trees and this time I went right up to the start of the run. I changed my fly again to a #11 Red Marauder Shrimp which is a fly I created a couple of weeks back for the Salmon Fishing Forum Tie of the Month competition. First cast and Bang! The fish took straight away. It immediately took off down stream and attempted to leave the pool. As I was underneath some trees and had nowhere to go, I just had to put the brakes on the fish. Doing this made the fish turn and it headed back up stream. The fish tried this same move several times whilst playing it but luckily it stayed in the pool. After a very dogged fight which lasted 15 minutes or so, I finally beeched the fish onto the reeds. I removed the fly from its mouth and found one of the hooks on my #11 Partridge Salar had snapped! I quickly measured the fish with nylon and took a few photographs. I gently lowered the coloured cock fish back in the river and it took off almost instantly. After all that, I needed a beer and headed up to the hut to meet Charlie. I finished my fishing for the day!

The rest of the day proved fruitless for all the rods fishing but as the beer started flowing and the burgers and sausages were devoured, this was soon forgotten. Today brings the curtain down on another season for most anglers on the Don and it's certainly not one that has set the heather on fire by any means. The Spring run was decent but as of the 1st June, it was like somebody flicked a switch and the fish stopped coming. This trend continued for most of the summer due to low water conditions until September when wee runs of fish crept up river. If you were in the right place at the right time, you caught them.

I have a couple of days left to fish as I'm on holiday but already looking forward to 2014.

Here are a few pictures from today.

Sheep Pool. A cracking pool and a very productive one at that.

Chapel Pool. The best pool on the beat catches wise and always holds a fish or two.

Upper Wood. My favourite pool on the beat. 

Looking upstream from the Upper Wood into the tail of the Sheep Pool.

Ree Pot. Where I landed my fish. Not the easiest pool to land a fish in.

A big coloured cock Salmon we estimated around 18lb after calculating it's measurements.

Back he goes to cause havoc on the redds but hopefully to pass on his genes to the next generation of salmon.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed seeing your posts, those mouth-watering salmon's made me inspire to go catch fishing this weekend.

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