Lots to choose from at the best ever Atlantic Salmon Trust auction


ANGLING NOTES:THE ATLANTIC Salmon Trust’s (AST) 2012 Fishing Country Sports Auction is set fair to be better than ever, with a choice of 300 lots on offer.

There are some very exciting lots from Ireland, including fishing on three of Ireland’s finest rivers, the Blackwater, Mourne and Drowes.

Among the new lots are prime fishing on the Test, Itchen and Beauly Rivers, and sea trout fishing in England, Wales and Scotland.

Previous auctions have brought the opportunity to bid for fishing at the south end of Loch Hope – in 2012 even more beats on this iconic loch are on offer. And there’s the selection of fishing overseas, especially in Russia where an opportunity to fish the Ponoi is the stuff of dreams for most salmon fishermen. As well as fishing, stalking for red, roe and fallow deer has been donated, plus some highly desirable shooting, including driven pheasant and woodcock. There are opportunities for singletons, pairs of guns, and up to a team of guns. In addition, there are sporting prints and watercolours, and a rare opportunity to buy a superb Valentine’s Day gift of a limited edition of the acclaimed books Salmon Magic and Salmon Rivers, both among the very best of recent publications on the Atlantic salmon. “The annual auction remains our single most significant fundraising event and its success is essential to helping us continue our work,” said AST chief executive Tony Andrews. This year, the auction will be run online (www.atlanticsalmontrust.org/auction/) and goes live on January 14th. Bids will close on February 14th.

- Meanwhile, the Atlantic Salmon Reserve (ASR) has introduced for the Finnair-Helsinki to Murmansk Charter, a significant reduction of nearly 30 per cent, down to $500 (€382) per person each way.

The charter flight will be operated by Finnair, in an Embraer regional jet and Airbus aircraft every Saturday throughout late May to September.

The price reduction was made possible by joint cooperation between ASR, Frontiers, Roxton Bailey Robinson and Fly Fish Yokanga. For further details, see http://www.kharlovka.com/travel.html

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the launch of its Sponsorship Programme for 2012. The programme aims to increase awareness of IFI, its work, recreational angling, commercial use of the inland fisheries resource and habitat issues. Support may derive on the basis of introducing new users to angling in an active capacity.

In launching the programme, Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said: “I would like to commend Inland Fisheries Ireland for supporting their stakeholders’ efforts to conserve, protect, promote and develop the inland fisheries and sea angling resource.” Applications are invited by January 27th from organisers and event promoters and details can be downloaded at www.fisheriesireland.ie or from Bridie Fleming, IFI, Swords Business Campus, Balheary Road,Swords, Co Dublin.

- The 24th Winter Shore Angling Festival will be held from January 26th to 28th on the beaches of east Wexford.

Séan Óg’s Complex in Kilmuckridge will again be the central location and accommodation in the Holiday Homes is €110 for four nights, with breakfast included in the hotel. First prize is €500 plus zone prizes and optional pool. Entry fee of €150 includes presentation dinner. Entries to Warren Doyle, 98 Seacrest, Bray, Co Wicklow. Mobile: +353 086-8069961.

The salmon angling season gets underway this Sunday (January 1st) on the river Drowes in the northern region and rarely does a season pass without the first salmon of the year being taken on opening day. Lough Gill in Co Sligo also opens but angling is usually confined to trolling.

At time of writing it is most likely the river Liffey (from Islandbridge to Chapelizod) will again open for catch and release on New Year’s Day only.