Mark Walton of Fly fishing for pike Ireland reports on the first Lough Key Social & Competition, one of Ireland’s only pike fly fishing events…

Well that was great craic! Many thanks to all competitors who travelled from the four corners of Ireland, not sure which was farthest Cork, Waterford, Belfast and Dublin, our target was 10 anglers and we had 24 in horrible conditions.

The weather was very poor though it improved as the day went on.  The high water and at times coloured water were the most challenging aspects of the day for the anglers. Weather aside, I have to admit it really did live up to our hopes, a social, where we can meet and share ideas, get some people on new waters and maybe catch a few fish, yeah the weather was shocking, but this is Ireland!

If I do say myself, I think it was amazing we got off on time and we were all wrapped up and done before 6, good effort everyone! For the record, not only was it my first competition to organise, it was my first to compete in!

A nice pike on fly on a poor day
A nice pike on fly on a poor day

Before we get into the competition results, I’d like to thank a few people. Firstly I’d like to thank the prize sponsors:

Michael McMenamin, Sean Carty, George Burdess, Stuart Wylie, Predator Battle Ireland, Mick McShane Flytying, Barton Smiths, anonymous Nayat supplier and  Pikeskinz, who I must apologise I hitherto failed to mention, sincere apologies Chris Chandler. It was very generous of them all, particularly as we do not allow commercial posts in the group, they really are doing this without expecting anything in return.

There was a lot of people assisting throughout the process from inception (discussion over beers last year), you know who you are, though I would in particular like to thank Boyle Anglers, Declan Conroy Derrick Winter! Bodo Funke, his maps, assistance with B&B’s, measuring boards and loads of other stuff I forgot.

The longest pike was caught by Mark Walton
The longest pike was caught by Mark Walton

We also raised €176 for Northwest Hospice, I was amazed as some anglers paid more than the entry fee and some who could not make it paid in full, even though not present.

Off the 12 boat teams, 8 caught, I have to admit half way through the day I thought we were facing a blank for a competition!

We decided to add total length of the three largest fish of any team to determine the winner, as opposed to biggest fish, we wanted to reward consistent fishing as opposed to potentially a single big fish.

  • 1st Mark Walton/Stuart Wylie (86cm, 60cm, 50cm) 4 fish
  • 2nd David Losso Losty/Paul Dennis (70cm, 53cm, 50cm) 4 fish
  • 3rd  Bodo Funke/ Markus Müller (62cm, 52cm, 49cm) 3 fish
  • 4th  Alan Magee/Davy Patton (59cm, 55cm) 2 fish
  • 5th  Paul Wynne/Chris Barry (51cm, 50cm) 2 fish
  • 6th Brendan Sharkey/Julian Dusseau (73cm) 1 fish
  • 7th Adam Tylman/ Garrett Bergin (55cm) 1 fish
  • 8th  Myles Kelly/Paul Kane (46cm) 1 fish
  • 9th Ronan Broderick/George Burdess
  • 9th   Kuba Stan/ Eamon Gallagher
  • 9th   Mart Lewis/Jason O Brien
  • 9th  Thomas O Donovan/ John Loughney
Mark and Stuart went on to win the day
Mark and Stuart went on to win the day

I have to admit I am slightly embarrassed to win, Stuart is fine with it :-). Certainly home advantage helped, though interestingly none of my fish where caught in spots of the lake I have caught before, my usual marks didn’t produce. Fair play to Losso Losty/Paul Dennis who never fished the lake and were a notable 2nd!

It was never going to make 60cm, but on the day every fish counted
It was never going to make 60cm, but on the day every fish counted

Noteworthy mention to Alan Magee, who enjoyed the hospitality of Boyle a little too much Friday but still competed, you seriously have no idea!

I would really like do more events like this and I’m happy to organise another one in my neck of the woods in autumn if people are keen, maybe just meet as opposed to a competition, but I realise it’s a long way for many, so I’m throwing it out there if anyone else would be keen to organise a social somewhere else, have boat, will travel!

If not the cup will be there to be claimed the first Saturday of march 2018. Next time try and come down the night before, the banter in the pub might have been the highlight of the weekend!

See you there god willing and thank you all for a great day out!

Mark Walton
Fly fishing for pike Ireland