The Boyne Valley was reeling in shock this morning as local fishmongers confirmed that the salmon caught by local man Nedser Finnegan at the Curly Hole on Saturday afternoon was indeed the last surviving blood relative of the Salmon of Knowledge. It is the first time a Salmon of Knowledge has been caught in the Boyne since the poet Finnegas netted one in front of his pupil Finn McCool back in Pagan times.
Finnegas, tired after seven years staking out the fish, instructed McCool to oversee its cooking while he took a well earned nap. McCool then alleged he’d inadvertently burst a blister on the salmon with his thumb. In order to soothe the pain, he put his thumb in his mouth and garnered all the knowledge in the world. At first Finnegas was furious “I’m pissing again the wind here Finn. The fuck like?!” but eventually realized the boy’s error was unintentional and it would be a shrewd move not to anger the world’s most knowledgeable individual.
Mr. Finnegan was unaware of the similarities between his story and that of Finnegas and only brought the catch to a local fishmonger after he heard the salmon mocking him. Nedser’s apprentice, Fionn McHugh, was with him when he reeled in the salmon at the Curly Hole in Townley Hall.
“Me and me boss Nedser went out Townley Hall to take a few mushies and go fishing. We weren’t aware there was a magic fish until I looked at me phone the next day and seen the fish talking to us about some prophecy. But then that day all the fish were talking to us, the birds too and a squirrel.” – Fionn McHugh (1st year Fly-tipping apprentice)
Local anglers are at a loss as to how Mr. Finnegan managed to catch the salmon. Boyne Angling Club attribute it to the fish suffering a crisis of confidence after his cockiness was exposed by being momentarily caught by an American tourist in August of last year. The salmon is thought to have retreated to the River Blackwater in Co. Meath to ‘get himself together’. The Blackwater is what is known as a ‘remedial river’ in the angling game. Perhaps the salmon went there to feel superior and build up some confidence. Fish caught there are generally not the brightest and are banned from being used as Omegas 3, 6 and 9. It is thought that the time spent recuperating there may have dulled the salmon’s senses.
There have been reported catches over the years but none have been satisfactorily substantiated. The actor Pierce Brosnan is thought to have caught and eaten a half-brother of the salmon near Trim in the mid 1980s while local singer Johnny Logan is long thought to have been very close to catching one in 1994 but was distracted at the crucial moment. There have also been several major expeditions mounted to catch the fish. Perhaps the most famous being King William of Orange, who used the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 as a smokescreen to (unsuccessfully) snare the salmon.
The Reverend Ian Paisley continued this tradition by frequently visiting the Battle of the Boyne site from 1998 under the guise of cross border reconciliation in the hope of catching the fish and seizing control of the North. Local politician Gerry Adams is said to have had a section of the Boyne hand grenaded (to no avail) after a string of sightings in 2004.
Finnegan seems nonplussed about the prophecy that accompanies the salmon. According to legend, whoever catches the last salmon of knowledge will wield great power, become a great warrior poet and leader of the Fianna. Nedser has already received numerous offers to either buy the fish or be present at the barbeque from local businessmen and politicians.
“To be honest I’m more interested in expanding my fly-tipping start-up. I’ve just taken on Fionn here as an apprentice so I’m just focusing on that at the moment. We’ll have a few cans of Galahad in the gaaden and baabeque the fish. [Eyes narrow] I’ll be watching you Fionn McHugh like a hawk though, ye snake. Your da was a snake and so is your ma. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Only joking Fionn, only joking. But I’m not.”
Mr. Finnegan plans to eat the fish sometime this week and is now determined not to repeat Finnegas’s mistake.