Angling Notes: Casting for Recovery – breast cancer retreat at Mount Falcon Estate


Casting for Recovery UK and Ireland, the fly fishing programme for women with breast cancer, held a retreat at the Mount Falcon Estate at Ballina, Co Mayo, last weekend. Nine ladies joined the residential retreat to learn the basics of fly casting as well as attending counselling and medical support groups.

The programme is administered by The Countryside Alliance Foundation and the unique formula of fly fishing, counselling and medical advice, promotes mental and physical healing to women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer.

The weekend proved a huge success and greatly enhanced by the team presenting a cheque for €2,000 to help cover costs of the charitable project. The amount was raised by a fundraising lunch at the hotel during Breast Cancer Awareness Month last October.

Programme director Jill Grieve said: “The ladies had an incredible weekend and we are grateful to Val and Jim Wilson and the Mount Falcon team for making us so welcome. All we want to do is support these ladies and give them an enjoyable weekend where they can make new friends and learn a new skill.”

Salmon aquaculture research

Dr Liam Carr, a Fulbright scholar at the Whittaker Institute in NUIG, invites salmon enthusiasts to complete a survey towards his research on salmon aquaculture in Ireland. The survey is anonymous and confidential, and will be used only for research purposes.

It can be taken on computer or by smartphone or tablet. You can save your progress and come back to the survey. To learn more about the project go to:

Please make sure to include the link:

Workshop on River Trusts

In conjunction with the Irish International Fly Fair, the Dibney River Conservation Trust and Atlantic Salmon Trust invite you to attend a workshop on The Role and Formation of River Trusts in Ireland, on Friday, July 1st, from 9.30am to 4pm, in the Killyleagh Community Centre, Killyleagh, Co Down.

Attendance is free but places are limited and must be booked on-line – (

The objectives of the workshop are to bring together existing river trusts in Ireland and those planning on forming trusts, and to invite the various bodies involved with rivers to provide information on roles where river trusts could play an important part in protecting our network of rivers and streams.

The agenda will comprise a morning session with a host of speakers detailing the work of existing river trusts. A theme-based plenary session will form the basis for the afternoon session.

Professor Ken Whelan of the Atlantic Salmon Trust will chair the meeting.

Course on fly tying and fly casting

Peter O’Reilly, one of Ireland’s leading authorities on salmon fishing, will give a fly-tying and fly-casting course at Aasleagh Lodge, River Erriff, Co Galway, on the weekend of June 17th to 19th.

As spaces are limited, early booking is advisable. Further details available at +353 95 42208 or

Better conditions on the Weir

Water levels finally dropped to one gate on the Weir in Galway, with much better conditions for fly fishers, and grilse appearing in better numbers in the river with 15 landed.

Water conditions are excellent now and with the grilse run starting, prospects for the coming weeks are very good.

Tough going on the Erriff

On the Erriff, manager Osgur Grieve said fishing was tough going, with water levels dropping to 0.6m at one point. Anglers fished hard in these conditions and finally Stephen Sayer from the UK caught a fresh fish weighing 3kg on a Cascade. Leigh Hookes, also from UK, had an excellent salmon of 5.2kg on a Black Frances. Bookings: 095-42208.

Anglers frustrated

On Corrib, Declan Gibbons said in the Cornamona area fishing has, so far, been poor overall with no significant hatches of mayfly. Many anglers were left frustrated having spent many hours fishing without even seeing a fish!

Weather conditions have not helped, with northerly and easterly winds (or no wind at all) and bright sunshine hampering traditional mayfly fishing. However, buzzer fishing is producing the odd good fish.

Mask angling challenging

It was a similar story on Mask with mixed reports as the mayfly season should be in full swing. Sparse hatches of fly, coupled with bright sunshine and a constant change in wind direction, made mayfly fishing very difficult. Conditions for the latter half of last week suited wets and dries; unfortunately an easterly wind took hold and made angling more challenging.

Excellent fishing on Arrow

Anglers on Arrow reported excellent fishing where dry fly and dapping worked best with many good-sized trout caught. Ricky Fabozzi and Jim Henry had 30 trout over four, best 1.1kg, mostly on Golden Olive Bumble and Sooty Dabblers. Elsewhere, local angler Yvonne Frazer caught a lovely 1.3kg fish dapping.

Enjoyable day out in Killala

On the sea-fishing front, a group of anglers set out from Killala Harbour with charter skipper Donal Kennedy and enjoyed their day fishing for dab, plaice and some nice turbot. Moving to sheltered waters resulted in cod and pollack to 3kg, and pouting, coalfish and gurnard.

To book fishing in Killala Bay, contact Donal on +353 (0)086 8174509 or


Belated condolences are extended to the family of Tom Lillis who passed away recently in Portugal. During his reign as chairman of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers, our paths crossed regularly and I always found him to be a true gentleman and friend. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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