The Season of the Mayfly

RTE Archive

Anglers catch mayfly for bait in pursuit of trout on Lough Corrib.

When the mayfly appears in the dapping season, anglers take to the lakes with their fishing rods to catch the trout that swim in the shallows.

The arrival of the mayfly signifies the end of the cold weather and the beginning of summer.

When the fly is up, there’s a strange lunacy that affects fishermen.

The mayfly is a silver-winged insect that appears over the Corrib lakes each May. The anglers are out in force at on Lough Corrib.

During the dapping season anglers must first catch the mayfly to use as bait for the fish. With hats, sticks and nets in hand, the fishermen dance around the fields catching their bait. Then it is back into their boats to get down to the business of catching fish.

One fisherman describes the process of attaching a mayfly to a hook and how the mayfly is attracted to it. Two flies are attached to each hook to make it more visible to the fish.

Mayfly on a hook

The technique for fly fishing involves continually lifting and lowering the rod to keep the fly on the water in the hope of successfully catching a fish.

You’re not fooling the fish. You’re using real flies.

After a long day on the lake, the anglers retire to the pub where they discuss the merits or not as the case may be of dapping.

This episode of ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 30 May 1968. The reporter is Cathal O’Shannon.

Click on this link to watch The Season of the Mayfly


This page was added on 04/03/2024.

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