I guess at some time or another every one of us has found ourselves at shit creek with or without our paddles. Maybe some of us have even fished there. I think I have. From what I recall the fishing there was disappointing to put it mildly.

Last week I found myself experiencing a novel take on the shit creek experience but it wash´t a paddle I was missing, it was my brothers favourite rod with its reel and line. When we discussed the misfortune later we were both prepared to take the blame. Sean said that not securing the rod properly with a lanyard was the essential error and I said that I had clearly not wedged it properly into the rod support behind my back. That was my job.

What happened was this: I was fitted out to fly fish for pollack in the channel separating Valentia Island from Kerry mainland and hopefully to move out into some promising looking water just at the channel entrance or maybe a little beyond. Before fishing I needed to paddle maybe 100 yards or so to reach the channel proper. The rod was behind me with the but wedged into the support behind my back. So I went off on my way towards the little buoys that signalled a promising pollack run according to a local we met at the slipway. When I finally arrived at the spot I intended to start fishing I began to think of how to manoeuvre myself so I could sit “side saddle” as Sean had suggested in order to be able to drop line on the side of the kayak to my left. It was at this moment that I turned around to pick the rod up and discovered that it had gone AWOL. Obviously at some point, probably as I was bumped around in the rougher water, it had worked loose and simple fallen quietly overboard.

I used a number of words to describe my personal take on this particular sequence of events and most should not find their way into print. It is however accurate to say that the name of the creek itself was one of them.


I practised my paddling earlier in the day in the safe confines of the marina in Knightstown.


Here is my nephew John Hogan paddling his old man´s kayak. On either side, just behind the seat are rod holders. The one to the paddler´s right held the fly rod – for a while!