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Buncrana Anglers Association

Account of experience by; "fishing writer".

 Professional Angler Giving Lessons.
Crana River
The first pools are situated in Swan Park, renowed for its walkways. Fishing on the
bank is easy. At this time of year the sea trout start to come upstream and Tom, head
of the local Angling Association, advises me to try the first pools. I see many
fishermen land fish using worms. There are several young fly fishermen who have
been trained by the club. One of them lands a Salmon, 3lbs. It's his third in the fourth
pool. As frustrated as a beginner, I forgot how to cast a line properly. It makes me
laugh! After half an hour, it's my turn to shout "I'm on".
The loot weighs 3lbs. It seems that today they all weigh the same. Later I feel a tug
on my rod. The force of the flow is huge. It gushes with overwhelming rapidity; the
rush comes to nothing. Damned out of luck. I have two more false alerts and then nothing more.
During the night a few sea trout are caught...but in my absence. I'm asleep, one must make
time for everything. A 12lbs salmon was caught in april in the 7th pool. Not bad, eh?
The width of the river varies from 10 to 15 metres. Higher up, the river becomes more
wild with dream pools for the fly fisher.

 George and Tom Try Their Luck.

Dam Resevoir
I could fish the river one more day but the resevoir seems an interesting prospect-
to discover an alternative in the case of a lack of fish in the river. A dam has been
built upstream on the river, at 16km from the estuary.
Its purpose is to supplement the river at times of low levels. A pass point has been
installed for fish and the salmon can now cross the lake. It has been fitted with a
camera and an ultra-modern counter. The surface of the lake is 15 hectares and its
depth varies from 20 metres at the dam to a good metre at the other side, where the
reproduction sites are situated.
My ghillie has brought a few flies for me . A bit annoyed I show him my tackle box
which is made up of 20 years of practice in Ireland. He smiles shaking his head to the
left and says "it's not your first time in Ireland, sir".
We go out on a boat with an electric motor, an imperative for the protection of the
environment. On casting my line for the second time my claret Bumble dissapears
into an enormous mouth. A superb fish measuring 44cm. Immediately after casting
again, another trout is at the end of my line. The ghillie indicates that this one is wild.
The first one was a semi-wild trout, released 8 months ago.
At the end of the day we have no less than 24 wild fish and others are exhausted
from more than 30 bites.
Their resistance is energetic, I missed out on a 6 pounder or rather it let go of the fly
while being reeled in, just 3 metres from the boat. It didn't come back. In a year's
time we'll be able to shovel them in; their food is abundant and the lake is not too
overpopulated. The ghillie fished for four hours and caught four fish with a Claret Bumble.
Is every day like this? "The average for five hours is 10 to 12 fish" he replies, "but
good conditions are necessary and the wind must not be too strong. The lake isn't
very sheltered. We are nearly at the top of the hills".
I really think that a beginner at fly-fishing would be successful in this stretch of water.
There are 11 boats and they are rarely on the water all at once. There is a good
chance of catching a salmon.

Where to Stay

The Inishowen Gateway Hotel is brand new and wonderful. Sophisticated cuisine
with a novel style. A personalised welcome and a very polished service. Their wine
menus are slightly limited. Superb view from the rooms and restaurant which blend
the golf course and the sea into an oil painting. Patsy Doherty is the man to talk to
about fishing or to put you in contact with the local club.
Local History
Prices & Info.