Mention the name Kilmeaden and the word cheese comes to mind. Although the world-famous cheddar cheese manufacturing plant has ceased to exist since 2005, the name is still synonymous with most people.
But there is another side to this thriving village situated on the outskirts of Waterford city. Close by are two magnificent reservoirs within a short distance of each other, namely Carrigavantry (12 hectares) and Knockaderry (32 hectares).
Waterford City and County Trout Anglers' Association is the custodian of the two lakes. Founded in the 1980s with a handful of members, the club now boasts almost 200 members and, with assistance from Inland Fisheries Ireland and Leader programme, is now established as one of the leading stocked fisheries in Ireland.
Fly fishing is mandatory with electric engines and there are 12 boats available including a wheelie boat on each lake – ideal for people with disabilities. Both waters hold a substantial number of rainbow and brown trout, and remain open all year round.
Last weekend the club took centre stage with two competitions attracting a full turnout of anglers over the two days. Saturday’s event, originally set for Carrigavantry, was transferred to Knockaderry due to severe weather conditions. It went ahead with all proceeds going to the Waterford City River Rescue.
The unit is a voluntary service whose main objective is to provide prevention patrol for suicidal people on Waterford's rivers and lakes. Volunteers Sharon Walsh and Graham Seery were in attendance at the presentation dinner in the local Sweep Bar.
The final figure, which includes a box collection at the local Centra supermarket, is expected to reach €2,000.
Fishing on the Saturday for the Carrigavantry Cup could best be described as challenging, with gale force blustery winds throughout the day. Nevertheless, 42 fish were caught, registered and released. Barbless hooks ensured a safe return to the water.
Mark Rogan excelled with nine fish, including a brownie of about 2.4kg (5.5lb) which extended to 57cm. Most of his fish came to a Blob and Black Cat's Whisker on Kelly Green intermediate line.
Saturday's results: 1. Mark Rogan, nine fish; 2. Stephen O'Reilly, six fish; 3. Kevin Lafford, four fish.
The much sought-after Knockaderry Cup competition on the Sunday was a sell-out, with entries from across the country. The camaraderie and craic before starting time was mighty and the improvement in weather conditions was a real bonus.
Again, catch and release was to the fore with barbless hooks essential. A total of 66 fish were registered. Former international angler Brian Brennan from Co Carlow took the honours with seven fish. "I caught no fish yesterday and hit a purple patch today. Humungus black and gold lure did the trick," he said.
Sunday's results: 1. Brian Brennan, seven fish; 2. Pat Hoare, six fish; 3. Tom "Swanky" Sweeney, five fish.
Facilities at Knockaderry are outstanding: there is adequate car parking, toilet facilities, a pontoon for easy access to boats and facilities to recharge batteries. Coffee and biscuits each day hit the spot.
A special mention must go to Michael Sheehan, who put an enormous amount of work into organising the two days. Well done Michael, you did a fantastic job. Also, many thanks to all the sponsors who contributed so generously to make the weekend in Kilmeaden a resounding success.
PS, for a good photograph, I asked Sunday’s winners to “say cheeeese!”
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