It’s been a great start to May here at Delphi but all other fish pail into insignificance when compared to the magnificent specimen that Anthony Barrett Jolley (or just Tony to his friends) caught yesterday. The fish was sea liced and weighed in at a staggering 20lbs11ozs. The fish was hooked in the Rock Pool at 5pm and landed at 5.30pm. The pool had already been well fished by a number of experienced anglers who shall remain nameless. Tony was the fourth person to fish the pool in the afternoon. He was using one of our small double handed 12’9” house rods with a sinking tip line. The fly was very traditional, a size 6 Gary Dog double. Tony hooked the fish fairly high up in the pool just at the tail end of the white water, even though the gauge was at 50. The fish was netted by Christopher Jarman and Tony was completely shattered afterwards but he soon overcame this to have the look of a man that had just achieved something great. (So well he should)
So I must say congratulations to Tony from all of us here at Delphi on this great achievement. I should also say thanks to Christopher for netting a fish of this size.(no easy feat). Finally this was one of our ranched MSW stock and is the biggest we have caught here either on rod or when collecting brood stock. Therefore Laurence should get a special mention as the person that actually brought this fish to the smolt stage. I would be 99% sure that the fish is a male and is most likely a 3 sea winter but as the fish is fin clipped but not tagged, we will wait on scale analysis to determine this fact.
Tony’s fish is definitely the biggest of the modern era. The previous record was not quite held for a year by John Sommerville with his 19lbs9ozs fish off Finlough last May. I believe the all time record is held by Sir. Ronald Windgate who had a fish of 21lbs8ozs on the 18th May 1963 at the Sunk Rock on Doolough, followed an hour later by one of 18lbs8ozs. Both were caught on a Jock Scott and Paddy
Heneghan was the ghillie.
Before I leave the subject of Tony’s fish, I must highlight the fact that in some of the photo’s there may be no evidence of a tag. The reason for this is that the tag broke and Tony had great difficulty in holding the fish for any longer than a
minute due to its size.
Well believe it or not we have actually caught other fish since my last update. On the 9th Jens Kober had his second of the week, a fish of 8lbs10ozs from the Turn pool on a Collie Dog. Heribert also had one from the Rock pool on a Willie Gunn of 9lbs5ozs. Paul Shalvey started his week in fine style with a sea liced fish of approx. 9lbs from the Sluice at Doolough.
Sunday was a total wash out with over 51mms (2”) of rain, with the river rising to 90. Water conditions were excellent on Monday but Finlough was unfishable in the morning due to strong gales. Tony Barrett Jolley had a lovely fish of 9lbs off the Rock pool in the morning on a Cascade conehead.
In the afternoon Paul Shalvey did extremely well to land a fish of 8lbs1oz off Fin in difficult conditions. The fish was taken on a Collie variant. Finally Ronan Murphy had a fish of 7lbs2ozs from the Whin pool on a Willie Gunn.
Besides Tony’s fish yesterday we did actually land another. Ronan Murphy had a fish off Finlough of 7lbs8.5ozs on a Willie Gunn. One of the photos shows the two fish together which gives one some idea of the size of Tony’s fish.
So again well done Tony and the challenge has now been laid down for all of you to try and set a new record. You’ll have to keep the flies in the water here to be in with a shout. D.McEvoy