It's not every day of the week an angler can boast a catch of 12 trout, particularly when it happens to be finals day of the World Cup Fly Fishing championships. Well, that's exactly what Thomas (Tommy) O'Loughlin from Corofin, Co Clare, achieved last Monday to outwit his 120 rivals with a fantastic display of supreme angling.
In the competition's 60th year, Cushlough Bay on the shores of Lough Mask in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, came alive for the five-day event as 460 anglers plied their fishing prowess to become champion of the wild brown trout angling world.
To celebrate the diamond anniversary, the Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring, got proceedings under way with a céad mile fáilte to all participants, especially those who had travelled from abroad.
"I believe the first world cup competition took place on Mask on Easter Monday, the 4th of April, 1953. It was organised by Castlebar and District Anglers to celebrate An Tóstal festival," the Minister said.
Competitors on finals day comprised the top 25 per cent from each of the four qualifying days. In this regard, O’Loughlin qualified on Sunday with two fish. However, he hit the jackpot on the important day with 12 fish for 6.07kg.
"I caught my fish on a Claret Dabbler and Claret Muddler (size 12) on a Fast Glass Intermediate line. Of course, I must thank my boatman, Patrick Molloy, who put me on the right drift all day from Strawberry Island to College Bay, " he said.
O'Loughlin has represented Ireland with the ITFFA three times and participated in the world cup on many occasions. His best result to date was a very respectable sixth position.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the customary Anglers' Fancy Burke boat was unavailable this year, however, the winner instead received a cheque for €3,000 plus a 15hp Suzuki engine, Sage One fly rod, a watch, and the world cup silver perpetual cup.
Your correspondent was also pleased with his performance. Having qualified with three good fish for fourth placing on Sunday, I managed a further two on finals day. Numerous missed changes may have got me into the winning enclosure.
With conservation in mind, the committee reduced the statutory fish kill from four fish per angler to three. All further fish caught over the 13in size limit were measured, recorded and carefully returned to the water alive.
Congratulations to the World Cup committee for organising this magnificent championship, one of the finest game angling festivals in the northern hemisphere.
Results: 1, T O'Loughlin (Munster), 12 fish, 6.06kg; 2, J Craven (Connaught), 8 fish, 3.85kg; 3, K O'Keeffe (Ulster), 5 fish, 2.76kg; 4, R O'Reilly (Ulster), 5 fish, 2.72kg.
IFI consultation period extended
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has extended its public consultation on freshwater trout production to facilitate the fullest possible consideration of the views of stakeholders.
The board recognises the depth of stakeholders’ viewpoints on this issue and wants to allow for their complete consideration and comprehensive participation in the process. The consultation period, originally due to close on August 19th, has been extended to September 19th.
Stakeholders are encouraged to make a submission. The findings will be comprehensively considered by IFI, and a report made to Minister Seán Kyne’s department. There will be no disruption to supply of fish during this process.
Submissions should be made in writing before 5pm on September 19th to: Fish Farm Consultation, IFI, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin D24 Y265, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youths’ Home International
Lough Lein in Killarney was the place to catch this year's Home International Youth Fly Fishing Competition which started on Sunday, July 31st. Teams from Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland were based in Randles Hotel in Killarney on the Muckross Road.
On arrival, competitors enjoyed a dinner and brief welcoming speech. On the following two days the young anglers practised with their coaches on Lein.
Competition day last Wednesday saw teams march to their boats waving their country’s flags and led by a piper. Excitement followed when fish were measured, recorded and totalled to determine the winning team.
A gala dinner for presentation of prizes and medals to the winning team included prizes for best angler, biggest fish and overall best angler.
Tom Randles of Randles Hotel, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to host this year's event. We have previously hosted teams participating in the ladies and men's international and European competitions, but this is our first youth event, and we are delighted to welcome them to Killarney."
Sheelin alive with trout
Lough Sheelin, reputed to be one of the finest wild brown trout fisheries in the world, lived up to this over the past seven days by producing excellent trout catches.
“Most anglers were caught unawares by the sudden change from sluggish daytime fishing to water that seemed alive with trout.
"Over the past number of weeks, fishing opportunities were restricted to the evening, dusk and darkness. Day-time fishing was poor with little or no surface activity and then, last Tuesday week, it was as if someone flicked on a switch and trout started rising to the surface and Sheelin became a different place from the one it had been a few days previously," said fisheries officer Brenda Montgomery.
Notable catches at Inagh
On Lough Inagh Fishery, water levels remained good during July, however, thunder and humid spells did not help the fishing. In total, 19 salmon, 153 sea trout and 40 brown trout were recorded for the month. Catches were split evenly between the river beats and lake.
Notable catches for July included those by Denis Murphy and Michael Heery (Dublin) who fished Inagh for two days and landed 13 sea trout to 0.68kg and three grilse to 2.7kg, mostly on a size 10 Green Dabbler. William Hamilton (Dublin) fished Inagh for a day and landed nine sea trout on a Connemara Black and Gold Dabbler.
Another notable catch was by Ronan Power (US) – fishing Inagh for a couple of days without much action due to the scorching conditions – who managed a cracking brown trout of 4kg on a Fr Ronan fly. For bookings, call Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel on 095-34706.