Testing times in Annamoe for annual media fly-fishing event

 

DESPITE atrocious weather last Friday week, the annual media fly-fishing outing to Annamoe in Co Wicklow went ahead as planned. Now in its ninth year, this one was by far the most testing and indeed, was more of an endurance test.

The most difficult part of the day was getting there and back. With the N11 closed and diversions through Enniskerry and Sally Gap necessary, my journey of normally 45 minutes took 2½ hours. Spare a thought for John Buckley (Emerger Tackle) and Mike Flanagan ( Sunday World ) who travelled from Cork and Westmeath respectively.

Consequently, numbers were down to just 11. Under the circumstances, proprietor Brian Nally reduced fishing times from noon to 3pm (straight through). Even the three hours was sufficient because it rained continuously and the bitterly cold easterly gale never let up.

That aside, the day was most enjoyable with a good showing of quality rainbows. Within minutes of start-time, first-timer Kit Dunne ( Irish Angler ) hooked up with a good fish, followed by Josie Mahon (IFI) with her first fish of the day. All the while Peter O’Reilly began to notch up several counters at the back end of the lake.

As luck would have it, I managed to catch an absolute cracker of 60cm, about 3.5kg (8lb), sufficient to win the competition. Fourteen fish in total were caught and returned.

The final whistle could not come quickly enough for most, suffice to say the comforts of the lodge and a piping hot meal with all the trimmings were most welcome and enjoyable.

Special thanks were extended to sponsors Southside Angling, Emerger Tackle, Wicklow Charter Boats, IFI and Annamoe TF. Results: 1, D Evans ( Irish Times ); 2, P O’Reilly; 3, J Mahon (IFI).

Annamoe Trout Fisheries is open all year from 10am to dusk. A separate children’s fishing pond is open from May to September. Enquiries to 0404-45470 or annamoe fishery@eircom.net.


Invasive species
“There are up to 20 invasive alien species in Ireland which are seriously damaging our lakes and rivers,” according to Dr Joe Caffrey, senior marine biologist with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

These include the dreaded curly-leaved waterweed, Asian clam, giant hogweed and zebra mussel, he says.

While pleased with progress with regard to the eradication of laragisiphon major (curly weed), mainly because of funding from the EU and Interreg-IVA programmes, Dr Caffrey is disappointed that funding is not forthcoming to proceed with the full programme.

“Of course,” he adds, “prevention is always better than cure and in this regard I am putting special emphasis on early detection, rapid response and border control.” .

Last month, Dr Caffrey presented Ireland’s position on the threat of invasive alien species at a high-level debate at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Discussions centred on the issue of invasive species in Europe and the development of an EU policy instrument to tackle the threats.

The debate, entitled Biodiversity ’s Ticking Time Bomb: Understanding and Addressing the Problem of Invasive Species in Europe , was organised via the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Birdlife, with the support of the European Habitats Forum.

Addressing the theme, Dr Caffrey said: “Challenges and opportunities of member states in implementing EU legal measures: the example of Ireland.” The talks were followed by a panel discussion on the pros and cons of a dedicated EU legislative instrument on invasive alien species.

The results of the EU deliberations will emerge with a consultation document in the coming months

Meanwhile, IFI and Eifaac will host the Fins (Freshwater Invasives – Networking for Strategy) conference in the Galway Bay Hotel on April 9th-11th.

The objective of the conference is to provide a forum where international scientists, policy makers and stakeholders will address designated themes with a view to informing management and policy development in this increasingly important area.

Minister of State for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd said: “Invasive species cause some €12.5 billion worth of damage each year in the EU alone and I want to congratulate IFI on the lead it has taken in its scientific, practical and proactive approach to this issue.”

The Gold Ribbed Hares Ear is a pattern known worldwide and while there are a lot of variations, the one displayed today is an old Irish version. It was invented to imitate the olive, which seems odd as the olives have very fine bodies, whereas this pattern has a rough body.

“The trout obviously see things differently to the human eye because it is a superb fly to use when there is a hatch of olives,” says fly-tyer Jimmy Tyrrell. “It’s another one of those flies that can be used throughout the season.”

See irishflycraft@gmail.com or call 086-845 1257.

angling@irishtimes.com