Last Friday evening I arrived at the wonderful Aashleagh Lodge on the Erriff Fishery that divides Galway and Mayo. The Lodge itself was stunning and I received the warmest of welcomes from the fishery manager and the staff.
Osgur, the fishery manager accompanied me on a walk from Beat 9 (near the tide) up to Beat 7. He also gave me a very comprehensive leaflet that contained descriptions of all the beats and the taking spots at various heights of water.
Just below the lodge was a bridge across the river and below this bridge was the wonderful sea pool. Above the bridge was the famous Aashleagh falls. With the good weather the scenery was simply spectacular.
When we got back to the lodge some of the 13 course participants had arrived and my colleague and fellow course instructor Ken Whelan. After a short briefing session it was early to bed for breakfast at 8am Saturday morning. Breakfast was followed by a classroom session where Ken and I explained about salmon and salmon fishing.
Then we headed down to the lawn to demonstrate some basic casts including overhead and roll casts.
Following a light lunch we headed up to beat 7 and the participants all worked on their casting with some advancing to the double spey cast.
In the evening we had a most fantastic three course meal at the lodge. My compliments to the Chef! Some participants headed to the pub and others went upstairs to watch a video about salmon. The schedule was to all meet up again for breakfast at 8.30am.I had taken some Mackenzie Atlas and Mackenzie Switch outfits with me in case anyone wanted to try them and one of the participants was so taken with the 12ft7in that he bought one for the following day!!
On Sunday morning we reinforced the tactics and casting covered the day before and also explained some useful knots etc.
After a light lunch we were back on the river with the participants all fishing away. It was great to see how well they were doing. The course ended around 4pm but participants fished on and one of the guys was unlucky not to catch a springer as he had a good follow at the sea pool. With the low water conditions this seemed to have been the likely spot and several fish were seen jumping there over the weekend.
Overall it was a great weekend and the feedback has been tremendous. It was noticeable how blown away the guests were with the facilities and the environment. Ken and I are off to Leixlip on Sunday for our match the hatch river course. We will have another weekend course later in the year on the River Slayney but this time for seatrout. It takes place in July.