Anglers fish Courtlough Winter Series Final for Charity.

We held the final of our winter fly fishing competition on Sunday 15th of March.

Conditions were fairly good except for a chilly Easterly breeze that kept the Temperatures down all day. 23 anglers who had previously qualified for the event turned up to compete for the title of Courtlough Winter series champion. Qualifying heats had been held once a month since October with the top 3 anglers from each leg qualifying for the final, with qualifiers travelling from all corners of the country.

Despite cold conditions the lake fished fairly well for those who got their tactics right and local man Martin Browne had a fish landed before most others even had their fly wet.

Depth seemed to be the critical factor on the day and the more experienced anglers who read the conditions started to pull away from the rest of the pack over the 4 hour competition. Sinking lines and weighted flies were proving best results as it was clear that the trout were staying deep and only as the day passed on and the temperatures rose somewhat that the fish started looking up and took naturals.

At 2.30 and after 4 hours of hard fishing, the final whistle went and everyone retired to the clubhouse for lunch, some heat and the prize-giving.

The competition saw 92 fish landed, up to 8lb weight and with plenty of fish in the 3 to 5lb bracket, those who got their tactics right had great sport.

The winners were;

1st           Hubert Smith, Dundalk with 11 fish who won a new rod

2nd          John Kellegher, Dundalk with 10 fish and won a new reel

3rd           Shane Callan, Dundalk, 9 fish who won a Rio flyline

4th                 Roger Fowler, Abbeyleix, 8 fish and won a days fishing on the Ridge Pool

5th                 Derek Doyle, Greystones, 6 fish who received a new flybox

6th           Justin Bird, Dundalk, 6 fish, winning a landing net.

A free raffle was held for all participants with Joe Hennessy, Dublin, winning a fully guided day fishing on Lough Corrib, Tony Finn, Dublin winning free passes to Courtlough Fishery and Karl Murrin, Sligo winning fishing on the Aughrim River.

The management of Courtlough Trout Fishery donated all of their takings on the day (€450) and added an additional €50 to the above amount to make a final sum of €500 which was donated to The Molly McNally Miracle Trust. The fishery manager Garrett Ruigrok chose to donate the takings to this charity for its dedicated work in supporting a local 7 year old girl in her battle with Neuroblastoma cancer and helping fund cancer research. Thanks to all participants for supporting this very worthy cause.

The fishery is open to the public for fishing 7 days a week from 9.30 to dusk. If you don’t know how to fly-fish, then let us teach you, with our qualified instructor available for lessons on site. The facilities are ideal for individual of group outings and we can tailor a package to give you a great day out. Please call Garrett in advance on 087 2712704 or email [email protected]

Garrett Ruigrok

Fishery Manager