A good few years ago now, myself and a very good friend who incidentally worked along side me in my business decided to take a few hours off and go fishing on the cut below Tarmonbarry.

The cut in those days was always full of fish in every peg and before the rivers demise three or four hours could well produce bags of up to 70 or 80lbs in weight depending on what species occupied the water before you. Often it would be a roach a cast, some over 1 pound in weight. Early season saw fish caught on a regular basis weighing over 2lbs as they ran up to Tarmon weir to spawn.

If a shoal of bream were in front of you and they were quite often sky was the limit. The cut is narrower than the main river and slightly shallower. It always pulled through so my favourite method was a stick float fished between 1/3 and halway across. Some of the bream averaged 5lbs each and in the moderate to fast flow on float tackle their initial surge for freedom often saw us frantically back winding or be smashed off.

On this day however the word ‘smashed’ took on a different and very expensive slant.

I chose a peg almost at the bottom end of the cut whilst my companion fought his way through the undergrowth which was at times thick brambles, to a spot about 35 yards above me. He deposited his gear  and then fought his way back to my peg to collect maggots and ground bait.  Now apart from anything else my mate can talk at international level. In fact he makes me look positively third division standard.

As he talked I began to tackle up and indeed had caught several fish as he constantly nattered away. Set aside getting my lug hole bent and also concentrating on catching fish I was aware of a large hurd of cows making their way across the meadow behind us.

After about 30 minutes or so I did remind my colleague that he had also come to fish. He then got off  his arse, straightened himself up and made his way back through the jungle to where is tackle had been left.

I couldn’t help but hear as the brambles bounced off his clothing and swished back into their original place. Then, All went silent……but not for long.

Bearing in mind my mate was out of sight, hidden by the mass of foliage,

but well in earshot. What happend next could have been the wail of our local banshee. After the howl came the profanities. You Fin b—–d I heard shouted about six times. Then came ‘I’ll kill you you Fin C. I seriously began to wonder what I had done.  The maggots I had supplied were defintely not the best but perfectly usable. Ok on reflection I probably gave him a bit of ground bait out of a last years bag but it didn’t stink that bad.

The swearing went on probably for over 5 minutes but  felt like a lot longer. Had he finally cracked under the pressure of me whipping his arse and the dodgy bait being the final straw.

I carried on fishing but with one eye over my shoulder expecting this raving lunatic to appear in an instant with bank stick in hand and make the attempt to knock what little sense I have out of my hatless head.

I once again heard movement coming my way, very slowly this time. ‘Bugger,’ I thought he is creeping up on me now.

It then appeared. The end of a holdall with what appeared to be broken bits of sticks sticking out of it appeared first. The next bit was hanging down like an old fashioned swint tip.  The crushed bottom end followed being held by a very tearfull owner.

‘Look what one of them Fin cows has done to my Fin rods my disconsolate friend muttered. The said, ‘What a b—–d.’ Over and over again.

I didn’t laugh. Honestly, I didn’t laugh. I may have smirked a bit but I did not laugh. I did commiserate in my usual way and then pointed out it all could be replaced and being the generous soul I am would stop the balance out of his wages for the gear that came out of the shop.

I suppose the moralof the story is. If you have got more rabbit than a cows got fanny inevitably you must pay the penalty.





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