Angling Notes: Tóibín-narrated DVDs stand the test of time
Follow the Fly and Sea to Stream both remain excellent hour-long productions
Frank Downes, branch chairman of Irish Guide Dogs (second from right) acknowledging contribution of €17,000 from Cast a Line for Autism competition from Dorrie Gibbons (left). Also included are: Basil Shields, Stevie Munn and John Gannon with guide dog Gallagher.
Following the sad passing of renowned actor Niall Tóibín in recent days, I was reminded of the two excellent DVDs Richie Johnston and Charlie Stuart released a few years back entitled Follow the Fly and Sea to Stream in which Tóibín narrated in his own inimitable way.
His description of the mayfly life-cycle was intriguing.
“The mayfly starts its life as a larvae in the mud on the lake bed. In early May as temperatures rise the nymph comes to the surface and emerges from its shuk or casing.
“With this magical act of nature the nymph transforms into the beautiful mayfly and must wait until its wings dry before it can be airborne. This is a crucial time for the mayfly. If this takes too long it will be eaten by feeding fish or birds.
“Once the wings are dry it quickly flies to the shelter of the bushes. Two days is a lifetime for a mayfly. During this short lifespan it starts as an energetic green fly and as it ages its fragile wings and body darken.
“Leaving the cover of the bushes it begins the mating ritual where thousands gather in a dance-like fashion. This spectacle is known as the mayfly dance.
“The male has just to touch the female for fertilisation to take place. He can continue to mate with other females but she returns to the water to lay her eggs and die.”
Tóibín launched the two DVDs to a packed audience in the Morgan Hotel in Dublin in 2010 and 2012 respectively, and also provided the voice-over in each case.
Follow the Fly centres mainly on Lough Conn in Co Mayo during mayfly time, and Lough Currane in Waterville, Co Kerry provides the setting for Sea to Stream concentrating on salmon and sea trout.
Both, I might add, are excellent hour-long productions whose content remain very relevant today. I’m sure some copies are still available.
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Irish Fly Fair in Galway
This year’s Irish Fly Fair in Galway was again a huge success with thousands of anglers converging on the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill for the two-day spectacular.
The many fly-dressing and tackle stands became a star attraction for fly-tyers, and casting instruction by renowned casters on the lawn coupled with informative talks, all added to a great day out.
Perhaps even more important was the timing of the fair in the midst of the close season for wild trout and salmon anglers. One overheard comment, was: “I really only go to the show to meet my fellow anglers for a chat on how their season went!”
Three significant book launches took place on the Saturday, namely: A Fine Line by George Barron; Flytying Techniques by Barry Ord Clarke and Hardy’s Salmon Flies by Martin Lanigan-O’Keeffe. (Each of these I intend to review over the next few weeks.)
The fair also welcomed Frank Downes, Galway branch chairman of the Irish Guide Dogs with his team including guide dog Gallagher, to acknowledge the fantastic contribution of €17,000 which Dorrie Gibbons from Cong has made over the past three hosting the Cast a Line for Autism competition.
The one-day fly fishing event is held out from Leydens in Cong and anglers have the choice to fish either Lough Corrib or Mask. The prize list is always astounding, often exceeding the day’s catch, and includes a dinner voucher for two in Ashford Castle.