Gone fishing with John O’Hare

At this time of year with fishing being slow and Easter fast approaching I was thinking that you might like for a change to talk about eggs!
I have a farmer friend who keeps a few hens and who very kindly on occasion brings me in a present of lovely fresh free range eggs. I will eat them cooked anyway you wish, boiled, poached, fried, scrambled or as various types of omelette. My wife uses them in her baking as well so you can understand how grateful we are to him for his generosity. A few years ago I mentioned to a neighbour how much I enjoyed a nice fresh egg. ‘I was like you one time,’ she said, ’Now days I could not touch an egg, and even thinking of them makes me ill.’
And then she told me her story.
A few years ago Henry Lane, which backs onto the top of Main Street, was home to several families, who lived in very poor housing conditions I may add. They kept a few hens who were always running around routing and pecking and looking for food. The hens were also prone, because of lack of housing, to nesting out. One of the character known as ‘The Soldier’ who always wore an old army grey coat would spend some of his time looking for the hens nests and eggs, and this is where my neighbour met him as she was tidying her back way. As she was chatting to him he squeezed his nose with his fingers and sneezed and a big yellow snot fell down to the ground, as quick as a wink a hen ran over and ’slurp’ it was gone.
‘I nearly got ill on the spot,’ she told me, ‘And from that day on to even look at an egg leaves me feeling ill again.’
This simple act resulted in putting a woman of eggs for life, and I must admit it lodged in my mind.
A year or two later I was up in my mother-in-law’s house and she had a visitor, a local lady school teacher who was very thin and frail. I must say that she was not my favourite person because she was awfully bossy and domineering. The two of them were nattering away about hens and eggs and I could not resist getting involved and told them the tale of the Henry Lane hen. I noticed that the teacher went silent which was no bad thing and I thought nothing of it.
On my next visit, a few weeks later, my mother-in-law gave out to me. ‘Do you know what you did to that poor woman with your silly story of the hen who ate the snot? That poor cratur is a sort of a vegetarian and you can’t get fish up here as we are too far away from the coast and her main nourishment was eggs and after you had finished with that story she could not eat them. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.’ she said, ‘We will just have to pray that she will not starve to death.’
The truth is she managed to live for a good many years after that, I however as far as my mother-in-law was concerned ended up with a lot of egg on my face.
As a matter of interest when we were small, and I suppose to amuse us, my grandfather used to draw men, some with beards or moustache, long sidelocks, bald or long-haired, and women with topknots or hats, long hair or short, and glasses and combs on different types of eggs to made them more interesting to eat. In those days having a meal together was fun, now it appears to me just something people hurry through on the way to the next important item in their lives.

The Kenmare Trout Anglers Club held their AGM on March 8th in Brook Lane Hotel. It was very well attended which bodes well for the club’s future. The leases and club waters have all been sorted out for the coming years and finances are in a healthy state. The officers and committee would like to thank anglers, and others who were unable to attend, for their support during the year especially at the juvenile anglers competition at Looscaunagh. A big thank you to everybody.
As I mentioned at the start, fishing is very slow at the moment but that goes for everything. It is as if the whole countryside has come to a stop. Is Brexit to blame? I am not saying it is hurting the fish but I had anglers from abroad ringing me about where they could fish on their holidays only to discover they were talking about 2020 not 2019 as they were unsure of what is happening. What a big mess it all is.

To end on a high note! Good news from Waterville Lake as, according to my informant, a fine salmon of fifteen lbs was caught on a fly there during the week.