Victory at Aughrim for Mulhuddart – and the Dublin Angling Initiative

Winners all: The Mulhuddart Youth Project team in Aughrim, from left: Ross Byrne, Reece Geoghegan, Bernie Moloney (youth officer), Eden Moore and Ciarán Kelly. On left is DAI’s Des Chew and Josie Mahon (right)

Winners all: The Mulhuddart Youth Project team in Aughrim, from left: Ross Byrne, Reece Geoghegan, Bernie Moloney (youth officer), Eden Moore and Ciarán Kelly. On left is DAI’s Des Chew and Josie Mahon (right)

 

The Dublin Angling Initiative (DAI) is, in my opinion, the greatest innovative project ever to come on the scene in relation to promoting angling to the younger generation. Since its inception some 18 years ago, hundreds, indeed thousands of teenagers have received a thorough grounding in all aspects of angling. Surely, that is something they will never forget.

Established in 1995 under the auspices of the Central Fisheries Board (now Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI)), the initiative continues to grow in stature and is now firmly established and acknowledged as spearheading the drive to bring young people into the sport in the inner and greater Dublin area.

IFI inspector, Josie Mahon (née Coleman) is a founder member and continues to play a vital role today along with DAI co-ordinator Des Chew. “Our principle aim is to promote, develop and improve angling in the Dublin area,” Josie says.

Last Wednesday was a classic example. Back for the 10th successive year, more than 50 teenagers descended on the Fishing For All Facility in Aughrim, Co Wicklow, a day that included fishing, eating and prizes for everyone.

The occasion was the culmination of a very busy summer of sea, coarse and game fishing at venues accessible by bus and rail from Dublin city centre. (When you add in visits to schools promoting the benefits of angling and the need to protect our aquatic environment, you get a little insight into the work of the DAI.)

Teams taking part included Sphere-17 Darndale; Priorswood; Whitechurch Youth Project; Mulhuddart YP; Jay Project Jobstown and for first time, Dóchas Family Care Centre, Clondalkin.

Unfortunately, the incessant wind and rain coupled with the sudden drop in temperature midweek took the shine off proceedings, but the teenagers cared little – their sights firmly focused instead on catching those wily rainbow trout.

Again the weather played a part in putting the fish down and off the boil. Sweet corn and worm had little effect with the float, so much so that only nine made the net and these were quickly measured and gently released.

Drenched, cold and hungry the whistle to call a halt after two hours fishing was greeted with a sigh of relief and a stampede to the comfort of a roaring fire in the adjoining centre. Tea and sandwiches completed the thawing process.

The prizegiving table was packed to capacity with rods, reels and an array of tackle equipment sufficient to send each teenager home with a quality fishing prize, all sponsored by IFI and co-sponsored by George Kelly of Shimano.

In an extremely close finish, the Mulhuddart Youth Project was declared the winner with two fish for 89cm.

Special thanks was paid to the staff in Aughrim: Rebecca Fleming, Tom Haughton and James Killilea, for their co-operation and continued use of the angling facility free of charge. It was much appreciated.


Fly Fair Show
The Fourth Irish Fly Fair Show is again scheduled for the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Co Galway, this Friday and Saturday and includes many of the world’s greatest fly tyers, fly casters and angling celebrities.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see some of the finest fly dressers practice their art, while champion fly casters will advise on fly casting techniques and fishing tactics.

The tackle trade is represented with quality trade stands of tackle, outdoor clothing and fly tying gear.

Angling celebrities, Hywel Morgan, Glenda Powell, Peter O’Reilly and new guest fishing legend Charles Jardine, look forward to demonstrating all aspects of fly fishing. This year the show offers free fly casting and fly tying tuition from Apgai instructors

Experts from Inland Fisheries Ireland, Hardy Greys Tom “Doc” Sullivan, Prof Ken Whelan and Fissta will provide talks and seminars on various angling-related topics.

The Youth Fly Tying Competition offers young people a chance to show the Pro Fly Dressers what they can do.

For more details see irishflyfair.com or Stevie Munn at anglingclassics@aol.com.


angling@irishtimes.com

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