On the morning of Day 1 of the competion we were met by lovely overcast conditions. It looked like the rain would stay away and the wind would not get up as bad as expected. I was drawn with Tipperary man Eddie O'Brien and he was willing to go where
ever i wanted.
When the hooter sounded at 11am to mark the start of the competition. all the engines roared and we were off. We headed to the pumphouse. There were 5 or 6 boats doing the pins and it got a bit crowded. The first few drifts
produced swirls and no more under my dries and Eddie hooked two nice fish but they were only briefly on.
Four drifts later things did not improve for either of us, splashy rises with very few Mayfly on the water, it was time for a move. We decided to
go across the lake to Abbey Point to have our lunch. There were no boats in the area and as we had our lunch i could see a few fish rise in the distance.
I decided to go right up into Flannerys bay out of the wind and into shallow water.
It was nice and quiet and i felt if we hooked a fish here, it could be a keeper. We rose a few fish on the first drift , we were now both on drys. On the second drift a lovely fish head and tailed on my point fly which was a Wulf, i lifted and was met
with solid resistance,the hook came out seconds later.
We decided another drift was in order, Eddie had put 3 small fish in the boat but i had a feeling there were bigger fish about. In the same spot as the fish took on the previous drift
a big black head came up and down so slowly on my size 12 wulf on the top dropper, i lifted and the surface exploded.
The rod arched over and when the fish stopped trashing on the surface it ran toward the boat, it was a big fish, a possible boat winner
on its own , but i felt there was something wrong .The fish ran to the right past the engine, i bent my rod hard and turned the fish, it was then i saw the silver. Happy and sad at the same time, at least i had a salmon, i piled the pressure
on not to waste time and he was in the bottom on the net quickly. It was then i saw it was a long lean kelt. A quick phorto and the fish was put back to hopefully make its way to the sea.
We drifted across various shallows on the way home
and at the three pins below woodford Eddie connected with a trout the sucked in his fly. It took a dry wulf on the point. The fish splashed on the surface and i stuck the net under it. That fish was in the boat less than 5 seconds after being hooked. It was
a beautiful golden Lough Conn trout of about 15 inches, I was delighted for Eddie. Unfortunately that was the last of the action for that day, apart from a fish that took Eddies fly while he was chatting to me. It happens me all the time , oh well.
We landed at Gortner Abbey just before 6pm,
At the weigh in only 22 people out of 97 had caught fish that day, it prooved to be a hard day on the lake, even though the conditions were very good.
Tommy O'Farrell won the heat with 3 fish for 1.990
kg, Willian Craig was in second with 2 fish for 1.600kg after Day 1.
That evening we had a Lovely Meal and then we all retired to Hineys to watch Liverpool in the champions League like we did 14 years previously. In the same spot i watched my
Team win the Champions League for the fifth time, i saw them win that night for the 6th time. Many many pints were drunk that night in celebration.