I 1949 Larry Gaffey published his book Fresh Water Fishing in Ireland. I have just received a photo copy of the section on the Moy estuary from his grandson Peter… I like his writing and here are some excerpts.
The dedication: To My Grandson Peter Gaffey… a small token of appreciation for the intelligent interest he takes in everything that swims, from tadpoles to Tarpon.
…On my first visit many years ago I indulged in pleasant recollections as I sailed up the the Moy estuary in the twilight of an August evening, on a flood tide with a full moon licking the crest of one of the Ox mountains, on the County Sligo border, and nearer, in the foreground, the remains of Rosserk Abbey and Castle Conner ruins… both reminders of the historical associations of the district. It was a most memorable day and one of many that I have enjoyed since first came to Ballina the headquarters of my activities.
The courtesy and friendship to be found all over North Mayo is no novelty to me for I have been revelling in it for a good many years whilst fishing Loch Conn from Crossmolina, Cloghan, Pontoon, and I sampled a similar brand of civility whilst fishing Loch Mask from Tourmakeady, Ballinrobe and Cong.
With my discovery of the Moy estuary I feel that I have struck a new lode. Such a variety of angling amidst such charming surroundings it would be hard to find, and I feel that if my many fishing friends in Dublin and elsewhere only knew of the wonderful possibilities there would be a stampede immediately to take part. The fishing is entirely free through the kind permission of the proprietors of the Moy Fishery Company.
…The usual method of catching them is by trolling, narrow-shaped kidney spoons or a cast of lures, the latter about three inches long with three single hooks placed in a row under the body. The favourite lures, which can be purchased locally are Blue Zulu, Alexandra and The Peacock. The spoon in general use is about two and a half-inch wide at the head, tapering to three- quarters of an inch at the tail with copper back and silver inside. Sometimes spoons with these colours reversed are more killing,
due, I believe, to having different visibility in different light and depth of water. When the surface of the water is rippled by a good breeze, a three inch all silver spoon generally does well.
… I have watched the sun complete its course in the heavens and I only realised that the day was over when I saw the setting sun gilding the curly head of proud old Nephin Mountain in the distant skyline. Then, and only then, did I wind up and say, “To-morrow is another day”… and there’s lots more… Judd