RONNIE COX MEMORIAL COMPETITION: Last week we mentioned that well known angler Johnny Murray of the Downs had a fantastic win on Lough Conn recently. Johnny was fishing the late Ronnie Cox memorial competition, which is going from strength to strength and the organizers are already planning ahead for the next event. Ronnie was from Ballina but had many angling pals dotted across Ireland and especially on Lough Sheelin, where he spent many happy hours fishing with members of L.S.T.P.A, this included Eamon Ross who kindly sent us some information from the Conn competition and presentation photographs. Eamon told Angling Focus that Ronnie helped organize the first competition on Melvin with proceeds going to Cancer Trials Ireland. Since then Ronnie has sadly died of the dreaded disease that is Cancer and in recent times anglers have ran fly fishing competitions on Sheelin and recently on Conn in aid of Cancer Trials. These events are proving a huge success and are well sponsored by many individuals, angling centers, business people etc. One of the main prizes was sponsored by John Cosgrove which was a framed pictured of Lough Conn, dotted by eye catching flies tied for Conn. Also on the day, Dessie Paul got together some of Ireland, Scotland and England’s top fly tiers and they spun a huge number of flies that were auctioned on the day. Eamon Ross told us €2,200 was raised on the day and it looks like the Ronnie Cox Memorial competition will feature high on angler’s calendar of events for the years to come. Our thanks to Eamon Ross of L.S.T.P.A. for the competition details and a big well done to Johnny Murray of the Downs here in Mullingar.
MOUNT DALTON: Near Rathconrath Mount Dalton Fishery is producing some beautiful coloured brown trout and is proving a hit with fly anglers. The lake is fly only and there is only 2 boats for hire, and no outboard engines are allowed on the lake. The lake itself is quite sheltered and can be fished in windy conditions but is hard going on the arms when rowing up and down the lake. It is stocked yearly with quality brown trout but also has a huge head of beautiful small wild brown trout. It’s fly only and if you have the right fly, the fishing is magic. Last week I did two sessions on Mount Dalton, a boat can be hired from 10am-4pm, or an evening session from 4pm-dark. It is the evening fishing I find most productive as many small Sedge type fly hatch and the trout feed hard on these fly. Marty Smith had a day on Mount Dalton before returning to England and was very impressed with the colour of the fish. Tristan McCallum of New Zealand also had a wonderful few hours on Mount Dalton and really came into his own as darkness fell and the wind dropped. Trout were feeding hard on Sedge and Tristan, who loves river fishing, was in his element presenting small dry fly to feeding fish. We will see a bit more of Tristan as he is working with Irish Manufacturing Research & Technology Organisation up at the National Science Park on the Old Dublin Road. The Additive Manufacturing Application Engineer is nuts on angling and we swapped many stories on angling and shooting in Ireland and New Zealand. Plans are being made for pike on the fly this coming winter as Tristan is keen to get his first pike on the fly.
PIKE & CRAYFISH: Speaking of pike, well done to Mullingar Angler Richie Ward who smashed his personal best pike to date. Richie boated a huge fish over 20lbs and I am sure he will have better than this in time to come. Also recently, The Awareness and Biosecurity Training day on protecting Native Crayfish at Tullaghan proved successful, with a good turnout. Aquatic Ecologists Ross Mackin and Bill Brazer from Off the Scales magazine highlighted a lot of issues concerning our native Crayfish. Also in attendance was Martin Moffatt of Inland Fisheries Ireland and Melanie McQuaid who is our Westmeath Heritage Officer.