FR.ALFONSO: Recently I was contacted by Betty Hayes who is well known on the fly angling scene here in the midlands. Betty has represented Ireland and captained the Ladies International team some years back. Over the years Betty has fished Owel and Lene with the Irish ladies fly fishing team and contacted me regarding a days fishing with her husband Michael and their friend Fr. Alfonso Izco. Betty and Michael are from Newbridge in Kildare but also spent quite a bit of time in the Pamplona region of Spain. This is where they met Fr. Alfonso who is a very keen fly angler. I have known Betty for years and fished with Michael some years back on Ennell but this was the first time I met Fr. Alfonso and we had a magical day out. Lough Lene was the venue for our angling adventure and we met in Collinstown Village to pick up a few day tickets. They say first impressions last forever and when Michael introduced Fr.Alfonso to me he said his English was not great. No bother I said my Spanish is (S@#te), and we joked and had a good laugh and this continued all day long. I introduced the lads to Eugene Fagan, originally of Multyfarnham and now living in Nass, and his pal Andy Young from Dublin. Eugene kindly gave Fr. Alfonso a few dry Daddy Long Legs which were working well on Lene and we boated 7 lovely brown trout. Fr Alfonso Izco is a Chaplin with a group of Spanish students based in Co. Cavan and I am really looking forward to meeting the lads some time in the near future.
OFFALY NICE LADS: Lough Owel is a very popular venue for trout anglers and with the Peter season starting to take off, I did a bit of a Reece on Owel recently. The day I fished Owel I just set up a trolling rod and scanned the lake for fly life and fish activity. Naturally, as in every sport, you have to do your homework before you get the results. There was very little fly life but plenty of fish pitching the day I fished Owel, and I managed to catch two lovely trout on the troll. I also met Tullamore anglers Gareth Merriman and his son Garry who had a cracking fish well over the 2lbs mark.
CULLION FISH FARM CLOSURE: Yes it’s hotting up on the trout scene with the news that I.F.I. are planning to close fish farms across Ireland including the Cullion fish farm here in Westmeath. I attended the meeting last Tuesday night in Tullaghan Angling Center, which was well attended and plenty of talking points were discussed. I am not into the politics of fishing but I reckon the closure of fish farms is a done deal, just like Columb Barracks. I hope I am wrong, but I.F.I. top brass are hammering nails into the coffin of angling here in the midlands. The permit is a hard enough pill to swallow and now they want to close the fish farms that provide the fish we actually pay a permit to fish for. I am sure you will hear and read more on the fish farm closures in the coming weeks.
RATHCONNELL SALMON ANGLER: Reports were flying in the past few weeks with brilliant salmon angling across the regions. The River Moy was well mentioned, and local salmon angler Martin Sheridan of Rathconnell was in the thick of the action. Martin banked a lovely salmon of 12lbs 10oz on the fly and it took Martin all of 45 minutes to land his prized catch.
CASTLEPOLLARD SEA ANGLER: Some of our local sea anglers had a lovely day out recently down in Westport fishing out of the Helm Hotel owned by Vinny Keogh. On board were Eddie O’Donnell of Mullingar, Pat Finglus of Castlepollard, Jimmy Murphy, Barry Mulvanney, Mick Nagal, and Enfield angler Paddy Bried. The lads had a lovely day and boated pollack, ling, and cod we are told.