Angling Notes: ‘Salmon of the River Lee’ an engaging read

Dan O’Donovan’s comprehensive book details fascinating history of his beloved river

 

“That was a great river; I would love to have fished it in its heyday” is how Dan O’Donovan sums up his eulogy of his beloved river.

As author of Salmon of the River Lee, his new book provides a comprehensive insight into its rise and fall encompassing almost two centuries.

His research is immense. Delving into history books as far back as 1810 and moving through the decades he unfolds lots of fascinating information on just how good this river really was, especially for the spring run.

Unfortunately, this elite river was brought to its knees in the 1950s when two dams were built to generate electricity. This effectively curtailed salmon fishing from Inniscarra Dam to the waterworks in Cork City, a distance of about eight miles.

A second major setback occurred in 1965 with the onslaught of UDN (Ulcerative Dermal Necrosis) which left salmon with catastrophic white fungus on their bodies resulting in death within days.

However, O’Donovan is anxious to get across the social history of bygone years – the stalwarts who took great pride in their jewel in the crown and the phenomenal salmon returns. In this quest he has left no stone unturned.

Throughout the 200-odd pages, the author has cleverly interwoven contributions from well-known Lee anglers and prominent personnel in fisheries including a chapter set aside to enlighten the reader as to recommended Lee flies, remembering all the while ‘a blue body’ is a must!

Salmon of the River Lee is available at TW Murrays in St Patrick’s Street, Cork; Rory’s Tackle Shop, Temple Bar, Dublin; Fitzgerald’s Bookshop, Macroom; Cong Angling Centre, Cong and Outdoor Pursuits, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo; online at www.anglebooks.com and www.rareandrecent.com. Price: €35.

Fishing Futures

Fishing Futures, a project targeting local community groups in Wicklow, has been awarded funding of €1,630 to help support its work from Inland Fisheries Ireland through the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD).

Organised by the Wicklow Travellers Group, the project allows young people to experience fishing in a safe and supervised environment. Participants will learn about water safety, angling techniques and the necessary skills to participate in mainstream angling.

Since its inception over 11 years ago, the project has engaged with many groups from the community. Indeed, some of today’s anglers took part in the initiative themselves over a decade ago.

The NSAD aims to ensure that fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected to ensure a sustainable habitat and delivery of the economic, health and recreational benefits which they offer to communities across Ireland.

Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries Sean Canney, said: “This investment will support the purchase of new fishing equipment enabling larger groups to engage in angling trips and increase participation across the community.”

angling@irishtimes.com.

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