By The Banks of The Boyne

When I was a boy, my father would take me to the Boyne to ifsh.
Back then he would tell me I was too small to hold a ifshing rod of my own, so I was more than
happy to accompany him, happy to be in his company, and happy to watch him.
I was always happy to be close to the river, as was dad.
For us, the Boyne was a chest full of treasures, waiitng to be discovered.
I loved watching dad ifsh, watching his skill while casitng worm or minnow into the lfowing water.
Watching how he would let the current move his bait across the river bed, watching his body
movements that might give me a clue he was ‘on’ to a biitng ifsh, and seeing the tell-tale ‘tap’ on the
rod itp that would conifrm he was!
I remember the ifrst itme I saw a trout in my father’s hands. I marvelled at the colouraiton; the
shape and the form of this beauitful creature, spotted with brown, lfecked with gold and red.
Catching a wild brown trout was like catching a gold bar, like catching the prince of the river.
To me, my father was the ifsher king.
Back in those days it was the norm to take the catch home ‘for the pan’.
If we didn’t cook it ourselves, it would be donated (via request of course) to friends and neighbours.
I remembered my ifrst taste of fried trout, done in a bit of lfour and butter. Absolutely delicious,
with some brown sauce on the side.
Dad would ifsh sparingly.
If he got up to the bag limit, that was considered a ‘good day out’, and he would ifnish at that.
My turn came later, when I was eventually shown (and trusted) how to cast, how to set up a rod,
and how to bait up a hook under my father’s watchful eye.
Our trips to the river began to take on a different slant, in that if we went out and dad caught a trout
(and I inevitably came up blank), I’d hear him mock football chanitng in my ears ‘One-Nil! One-Nil!!!’
That gentle slagging stopped when I ifnally ‘broke my duck’ and landed my ifrst rod caught ‘brownie’
on a windy April Day in 1979.
That was a day forever burned into my memory. That was the day I ran home, high on adrenalin,
holding my prize alotf. It was my turn to crow ‘Ooo-o-ne Nil!! ’ for a change!
That was the day I fell hook, line, and sinker, for ifshing.
That was the day the goddess Boann ifnally caught my soul.
In the years that followed, my skills evolved into the delicate art of lfy ifshing, and indeed, into
catching and releasing all my trout.
I have enjoyed every blessed minute it, and indeed, my father did too when he could.
Even in the autumn of his years, we would sitll sit and chat about the ‘ones that got away’ and those
golden days on the banks of the Boyne that both we shared. We did this right up to the day when he
made his ifnal cast.
I will always look back to that precious itme we had together.
I will never forget the gitf of ifshing he gave to me.
Gitfs of fond memories, gitfs priceless beyond measure.
So today, as I carefully release yet another beauitful ‘brownie’ back into my beloved river Boyne, I
release it in silent thanksgiving.
This one is for you Dad.
Love you forever. xxx