You would need to be a hardy buck to have gone fishing in last Wednesday's storm, but Colin Gardiner braved the gale-force wind and driving rain to be rewarded with the first salmon of the season from the River Drowes.

The retired fireman caught the eight-pound fish while spinning with a yellow Flying-C on the High Bank pool, close to his home near Bundoran, County Donegal.

It completed a remarkable record for Colin, who in addition to landing the first salmon this year, has now landed the first salmon from the Drowes on four occasions.

The river is one of only a handful in Ireland that open for salmon fishing on New Year's Day.

The only fish caught on January 1 this year was on the River Lennon, in north Donegal.

Since then, a combination of successive storms and an Arctic freeze has kept most anglers at home, with no reports of any further salmon being caught until Colin caught his fish last Wednesday.

Colin – who suffered a stroke while fishing on the Drowes on New Year's Day a number of years ago – has made an excellent recovery.

He has obviously lost none of his angling skills in once again claiming the Drowes Perpetual Cup for landing the first salmon of the season.

As I said, a hardy buck!