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Simply Fishing On The River Finn in County Donegal with Chris de Margary

May 15th, 2013 0 comments

Flying into Belfast with Michael for the first time since the 1980's brought back some strong memories of when we both last worked there, it is wonderful how the times have changed for the better.

Glenmore Lodge on the River Finn in County Donegal is approximately two hours’ drive passing by Londonderry and over the border and into the Blue Stack mountains.
Having been particularly zealous in an auction for Fishing for Heroes, I had bought this opportunity from Chris de Margary of Simply Red fame. His enthusiasm for fishing knows no bounds. Ably supported by the hugely talented (and patient!) Simeon Hay, this trip was great fun.
Whilst despite enormous effort neither Michael nor I managed to land a fish, this did not lessen the excitement or the enjoyment. We did though manage to turn fish and I did have one pull, so the adrenalin levels never dropped off. The  very cold weather with the low water temperature has delayed the salmon this Spring and despite seeing some fish, attracting them to the fly was almost impossible for us.
With more than 60 kilometres of spate river available, we tried many of the favourite beats and pools. We were blessed with reasonable water levels following a modest amount of rain on our arrival. On our last day following heavy rain, we were reminded about the dangers of spate rivers with the level rising nearly two feet in an hour, this can easily catch out the less aware fisherman.
Glenmore is a very comfortable 5 bedroomed lodge sitting above the River Finn a short distance away from Ballybofey. it is perfectly setup for fishing and shooting parties with all the facilities one might need. Meals prepared either by the very able chef Carmel or Sim around the dining room table were excellent and a peek into Chris's wine store explains why Reg the (wire haired terrier?) guards it with vigour!
We fished the River Morne courtesy of the Duke of Abercorn one afternoon and what a scenic stretch the "Sna" beat is with the new fishing cabin nestled within the tress overlooking the beat. Looking down from the cabin watching Sim with his phenomenal casting skills will be a lasting memory. His teaching shills were wonderful and I was most grateful for his patience especially one morning when my "hard drive" appeared to have crashed, probably as a result of too much Guinness!
We will return again shortly especially after hearing that 5 fish were caught on the Saturday and Sunday immediately after we left!

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