Well done to Brian Russell of Dromore Anglers who won the Irish Trout Fly Fishing Associations (ITFFA) National Rivers Championship Trophy. The 2013 match took place at the Upper Blackwater River, near Rathmore in County Kerry on 6th July 2013 and was hosted by the Upper Blackwater Angling Association. This isn’t the first time that current Irish Team Manager Brian has taken this trophy to Armagh having won this event consecutively in 2006 and 2007.

Brian Russell in action
Brian Russell in action

Five entrants from each province competed in this event from which the five anglers and one reserve were selected to represent Ireland at the 2014 International Match. The combination of low crystal clear water and bright sunshine meant anglers needed to spend most of the day stalking fish on their hands and knees. This competition was fished on a catch, measure and release basis and the twenty competitors returned 291 measurable fish with many more undersized fish being released also. The largest fish of the day which was caught by Damien Walshe measured 33cm and would have weighed in the region of 1lb.

Brian Russell with John Ruby (who also competed)
Brian Russell with John Ruby (who also competed)

Brian, who also runs a superb guiding and coaching business, finished with five placings having won his first three sessions and finishing second in his final session. Brian will now go forward to represent Ireland at the International Championship which will take place at a venue in England in June 2014. Brian will be joined by Noel O’Neill (North Kildare) who finished in 2nd place with 6 placings, Andrew Sloan (Dromore) who finished in 3rd place with 7 placings, Damien Walshe (Mallow Anglers) who finished 4th with 8 placings and Darius Simkai (Tuam Anglers) who finished 5th with 8 placings who will also represent Ireland in 2014. Experienced international angler Tony Doherty, of Clane Anglers, will be the reserve for the 2014 team having finished in 6th place with 8 placings.

The Upper Blackwater is an absolutely fabulous game angling venue which is absolutely teaming with beautiful wild brown trout.  This river is well worth a visit and anglers could try some nymph fishing, or a little dry fly fishing when the fish are showing on the surface. Visiting anglers should consult with local angling clubs to ensure that they have the necessary permission to fish their water.

We would like to wish the 2014 Irish Team the very best of luck as they begin preparations for the International Championship!

If you would like more information about this topic, or you would like to arrange an interview, please contact Joseph Keena at 086 8722449 or e-mail [email protected]

Joe Keena


Mobile Tel: 086 8722449

Email: [email protected]