Illawarra Flyfishers Club

The Trout That Died in Action.


 While on holiday in Northern Ireland a couple travelling through the beautiful Irish countryside came across a delightful village with a river flowing under a humpback bridge, a quaint pub, a village green sloping down to the river bank.
Parking the car, the woman sat on the seating outside the pub while the man entered to order refreshments.
Standing at the bar waiting for his order to be processed, the man noticed a glass case on the wall containing a large trout.
On closer examination of this 6ib 4oz brown trout he noticed  a hole in its side behind the gills.
The landlord asked” are you interested in the trout in the case on the wall, “ you must be a trout fisherman, ”yes” replied the customer, “what’s the story behind the trout with the large hole in its side “  enquired the customer.
Back in the early 1800’s when the British Military occupied Northern Ireland my grandfather who was a trout fisherman loved to fish that river you see across the green, that trout lived in a deep pool beneath the bridge, my grandfather hooked and had been broken off by this large brown once or twice before over a few seasons.
On a warm summer evening he hooked the trout again and managed to land it after a long fight steering it out of the deep water past numerous snags into the shallows onto the bank, picking up the trout he made his way across the green towards the pub when a small battalion of British Redcoats marched across the bridge ordering my grandfather to stop, he had no intention of stopping holding the lively fish close to his chest,” stop or we fire” my grandfather turned to look at the soldiers who fired, the musket ball passed through the trout lodging in my Grandfathers’ chest, he survived to fish another day but……
The Trout Died in Action.


Mike Mansell