The 2017 Ladies International Fly Fishing Championships was held last week on Lough Melvin, from the Garrison shore and hosted by the Garrison and Lough Melvin Anglers Association.
England were the victorious team with 15 fish, the silver medals went to Ireland with 14 fish, followed by Scotland with 9 fish and Wales took the Wooden Spoon with 5 fish.
Conditions were extremely windy with a north westerly wind on match day and a gale force 5/6 winds reaching 35mph for much of the day…so it was a blower.
Team Ireland member Linda Straghan from Keady, Co. Armagh was the overall top rod winning the Brown Bowl. It is Linda’s second time to win the prestigious title, winning the title and trophy on Carragh Lake in 2013.
Top Irish rods: were Linda Straghan, 3 fish (88cms), Madeleine Kelly, 2 fish (59cms), Julie Gerry 2 fish, (58cms), and Liz Dermott, 2 fish (57cms).
The Irish team was captained by Julie Gerry, who has captained Ireland on 6 occasions and has won gold in 2 previous Internationals: Lough Lein (2009) and Carragh Lake (2013). The Irish Ladies Team is coached by Hubert Smith and managed by Fred O’Hagan both members of the Dundalk & District Brown Trout Anglers
The largest fish caught during the International was on a practice day by Scottish lady angler Kathleen Sheppard with a brown trout over 8lbs off Bilberry Island.