Just so we’re all on the same page; well..river actually! The River Blackwater in Co.Waterford, sometimes called The Munster Blackwater, is the one I’m referring to here.
For years now we’ve been listening to fishermen talking about water temperature and gauge height, air temperature and water clarity. Topics for discussion over breakfast include grilse, sea trout, ‘nice clean’ fish and even sea lice!
I have to be honest here and say that unfortunately I’ve never been salmon fishing in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter!
Before raising a family took precedent over leisure activities, as a young man I spent many hours coarse fishing and I was a member of my local angling club. We used to hear tales from guys who had just returned from a salmon fishing holiday in Ireland; they would say how “there’s nothing like fishing for wild Atlantic salmon.”
They weren’t just talking about hooking and landing the salmon of course; it was the whole experience from start to end; the people, the welcome, the scenery, the Guinness! The craic! In fact, those were some of the reasons why I moved to Ireland in the first place.
So as I’ve lived only a few minutes away from the River Blackwater in Ballyduff Upper for the last 15 years, why haven’t I been fishing for salmon? Well…I’ve been busy..really busy!
Whilst going about my daily chores, I still dream about catching my first salmon ‘on the fly,’ but I just can’t find the time to learn whilst running Ard na Ciuin.
For now, I’m content to hear our guests recount their stories of ‘the one that got away,’ or enjoy serving them the one that didn’t! When it comes to taste and texture, there really isn’t any fish that comes close to freshly caught wild salmon.
But in recent years, we’ve started seeing new faces turning up with the anglers; namely, their wives. Now, one of these wives especially, loves salmon fishing with her husband. In fact to date, she has caught the biggest fish out of the two of them!
But, for the most part it’s the men that go fishing and the ladies who would much rather do something else. That does mean that I get a bit of ‘stick’ from the fishermen, if I’m in the pub, but ultimately everyone has a great holiday and it’s all ‘happy families’.
My point is, that often, places dedicated to anglers, can forget that not everyone wants to go fishing, and there are lots of things to do in the region for the people who don’t want to fish.
If you hire our place for a week of salmon fishing we’ll entrust the fishing side of your stay to the capable hands of our colleague John Landers.
John was born locally and runs Blackwater Salmon Fishing. With 10 beats on the river he can offer some of the best salmon fishing in Ireland; something for the total beginner to the most experienced anglers in fact.
If you don’t have any fishing tackle, don’t worry; John used to run a fishing tackle shop and can take care of everything you need; flies for trout and salmon; salmon fishing rods, reels and spinners.
John can organise your state fishing licences and even arrange for a fishing guide, or ‘ghillie’ as they are known, to help you get the most from your Irish fishing holiday.
Everything else? We’ll..we can take care of that for you. I told you I’d been busy!
We can organise day trips for the non-anglers or even a space on one of our residential courses.
The main thing is that whilst the anglers are catching Blackwater salmon, the rest of the group are getting to enjoy the Blackwater valley for other reasons.
So now you have it; a few good reason for you to choose salmon fishing on the River Blackwater, just don’t blame me if everyone want’s to come back and do it all again!