The Last Cast by Jarlaith Gallagher

Rian Murphy, Inchicore, Dublin, who caught this lovely 6lb rainbow trout on a recent visit to lough Rowan
Where is the Mayfly? Half way into May and still to record my first sighting of the glorious “Mayfly” Ephemeroptera- derived from Greek, meaning short lived. The Mayfly actually lives underwater for most of it life, usually a year depending on species. They are very important in the diet of trout who gorge themselves on them, after a long winter when food was scarce and use the opportunity to bulk up after the rigors of reproduction. Another important aspect of the glorious Mayfly is that they are very pollution intolerant and therefore their presence can be used as an indication of water quality. However for the angler, the annual emergence of the mayfly signals the chance to capture some of the larger wily specimens that normally reside in the depths of the lake or river.

Where is the Mayfly? Half way into May and still to record my first sighting of the glorious “Mayfly” Ephemeroptera- derived from Greek, meaning short lived. The Mayfly actually lives underwater for most of it life, usually a year depending on species. They are very important in the diet of trout who gorge themselves on them, after a long winter when food was scarce and use the opportunity to bulk up after the rigors of reproduction. Another important aspect of the glorious Mayfly is that they are very pollution intolerant and therefore their presence can be used as an indication of water quality. However for the angler, the annual emergence of the mayfly signals the chance to capture some of the larger wily specimens that normally reside in the depths of the lake or river.

Duffers Fortnight: When the “Hatch” begins it has been known for men to down tools, ignore loved ones and head for the lake. It is because trout who are naturally cautious and quite difficult to fool by our imitations, seem to become obsessed with feeding, throw all caution to the wind and in the process leave themselves very vulnerable to the equally obsessed angler hoping to gain a “Personal Best”. Of course there are some anglers who resent some parts of this annual event. I am talking about those who get upset with the fact that some anglers only ever show up on the lake or river during Mayfly season. There is another name to describe the season, which has the rather spiteful title “Duffers Fortnight”. Personally I say fair play to them, and I often wondered are they the same people you only see in the pub at Christmas i.e. “The Holly & Ivy” gang! But I shall have to wait until December to test that theory out. In the meantime, all I can do is wonder when will the seasons return to some sort of normality.

Something seriously wrong: According to almost everyone I have spoken to regarding the seasons, most agree, Spring is behind, by nearly five weeks. Fodder is being imported and in general life is extremely tough on the farming community. Some have proclaimed that we only have one season now, which is: a cold winter and a warm winter. Others scratch their heads with gloved hands when they hear the Global Warming theory bandied about, more are worried about the effect that insecticides are having on some of our most important pollinators. Many different views but one thing we can all agree on is that there is something seriously wrong. I don’t have any easy solutions to this except adapt and continue on. If the Mayfly is five weeks late, then I shall readjust my calendar with the hope that the trout are in the same frame of mind. It is a problem that unfortunately we all have to live with and no doubt evolution will sort out the wheat from the chaff.

April winner: www.Dunfly.com who so kindly sponsor our monthly competition are proud to award the fly box and 40 fly’s to young Inchicore angler Rian Murphy, who had a fantastic day on Lough Rowan with his uncle. Rian outdid his uncle and caught this beautiful 6lb rainbow trout on their recent visit. Well done to Rian. If you want to be in with a shout to claim the May prize please send in your photographs to iarlaith66@gmail.com

Until next time ... tight lines!