Saturday, 10 May 2008

Middle south woodburn, 7th May

looks like another term is nearly finished at Uni. Yay.

In a brief break from assignments and revising Andrew and I set off to try our luck at woodburn.

We started of at the Upper south, which is apparently a wild fishery and had some great craic fishing for tiny trout. I eventually caught a little scrapper on an F fly.

After spending too much time fishing for tiddlers we headed to the middle damn. Andrew racing ahead in anticipation of the prospect of catching something a bit bigger. By the time I caught up to him he was into a fair size of fish, which had fallen to his second cast of a snatcher.

It weighed in at about 2lbs but given a month or two probably would have been twice this as it was fairly skinny.
After this fish the reservoir choose not to be very productive. Possibly due to the extremely low water levels and bright sky. We still choose to fish on and pretty much gave every fly we owned a quick dunk in the water.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Lower Bann Canoe expedition

The Lower Bann flows from Lough Neagh at Toome and out to the Atlantic at Coleraine. It is about 30miles long. Ian and I had planned to paddle a very small fraction of this. Originally we had planned to explore Lough Beg from New Ferry, but one look at the strong current and the wind here put us of. We had a trial run in lough Neagh about a month before and the conclusion was reached that paddling into strong wind and currents wasn't that pleasant. In the end we put in at Portglenone marina and planned to head upstream for a couple of hours and come back with the current.

After a brief fight with the canoe trolley we were finally in the water and on our way. Our first obstacle was the bridge over the Bann at Portglenone, the current was bottlenecked here and very strong, we began to panic that it might be like this all the way up but once through the bridge the current calmed down.

We paddled on for an hour discussing what was perhaps the luckiest animal, this started as the heron as it can swim, fly and walk. After half an hour we had agreed that a heron doesn't swim and the duck became the new luckiest animal.

Finally we reached a spot that we could disembark and have some lunch. After a couple of poses, some coffee on my wonder-stove, some cocktail sausages and a quick pee, we were off again.
We had brought a small pike rod with us (with only one lure!) so we were having a quick little fish when disaster struck. After struggling to fix the anchor mount, Ian's patience gave out and he head-butted it. I'm not too sure what happened as his back was to me but that's what i think he did.

This of course lead to moments of concern and then onto piss-taking, Ian had been previously telling me how he was going on a date the following night. He really could have done with not picking a fight with a solid lump of metal.

After the blood was cleared up, we decided this was as good as time as any to turn around and head home. This was on part because Ian was injured, we had eaten all the food and our single lure was stuck in a tree.

All in all, a very successful trip.