We have just received a report from Yves Achard and members of the sporting section of ACBB (Association of Clubs of Boulogne Billancourt) who visited the Boyne Valley in late May.  The association is located near Paris and is more than 50 years old. It organizes lots of activities for its members including courses in casting, fly tying and fly fishing.  More experienced members support beginners in their learning of fishing and share good times between members. The well-known members of the club include Pierre CAILLAU and Pierre AFFRE.
For the past few years, the association has embarked on a weekly fishing trip. Making their first trips on the French rivers in Limousin, Franche Comté, Vosges .., not always easy to organize and find a place for a fishing trip for a group of 10 to 15 people. After these first successful experiments, they tried to travel to more exotic locations by travelling abroad. In 2015, the first foreign destination was the Ribnik in Bosnia, a destination discovered a few years ago with Slovenian friends, this first trip abroad was a success and everyone’s opinion, an experience to be renewed.

Yves tell us that “this year 2017, the association decided to discover Ireland. I had wonderful memories, myself, of a three-day trip in May 1999, fishing on the Boyne and its tributaries. It was an ideal destination for a group of fishermen, with plenty of possibilities to leave everyone on the water’s edge. The project was launched …… the success of the first trip and the dream of discovering Ireland and the Irish trout did the rest, we reached 20 people …. A real challenge to succeed in a fishing trip with such an important group. We had chosen to come late May hoping that the May flies would be on the rivers and lakes.

After getting up at dawn, we landed on Saturday, May 20th at 8:10 am at Dublin airport, time to take the rental cars and head to the Co Meath village of Donore (45 minutes from Dublin) to take possession of our rooms and drop off our luggage in the excellent Daly’s Inn, Guest House. After a quick meal which we enjoyed, we took the afternoon to discover the Boyne River on some beats near the Guest House. On Sunday morning, we had debriefing around breakfast to organize the day and establish the rules for the following days. We had organized a guide for the start of our fishing on the Sunday.

The first day was excellent, the more experienced fishermen had good fishing and the beginners took their first fish in the magnificent scenery of the Irish countryside with Irish guides who were very competent, very available and extremely kind (a great Thank you all). It was also an opportunity for the first group to discover lake fishing on the Lough Sheelin, exceptional sensations, it is an extraordinary fishing. The day by boat with the guide John Baker is unforgettable for me, and despite the language barrier a lot of exchanges and complicity in the approach of fishing, just a regret from John to me with some mis-timed strikes ….

On Monday we managed by ourselves but could see that we needed some assistance with the following days . A big thank you for the availability and help of David BYRNE, Inland Fisheries Ireland who came to our assistance on Tuesday morning at our hotel. David gave us the information, documents and fishing club contacts allowing each group (4 anglers per car) to organize in full autonomy to buy the fishing permits and to locate the best fishing stretches.  All the rest of the stay was nothing but fun and thrills at the water’s edge, lots of gorgeous wild fish and very combative. Nice catches neighbouring or even exceeding 50 cm with a special mention to Ivan with a fish more than 65 cm on the Lough Sheelin.

Regularly incredible scores of more than 50 catches per day and per fisherman on the Boyne and Blackwater. It was with regret that we had to make up our minds to put our things on Friday night to leave this pretty country. And again very much thanks to David Byrne, Peter Cunningham and John Baker for their kindness and availability and who helped us throughout the stay. Proof of how this destination was greatly enjoyed, is that members of the group return as early as this September …… fishing on the Boyne and its tributaries”.

A big thanks to Yves and the association members for their visit, kind comments, report and fabulous  photos. We look forward to seeing you all again during your next visit! Among the comments made by the whole group was a recognisable description of our fabulous Lough Sheelin.
“The Lough Sheelin: A wonderful lake, bewitching, frustrating, with exceptional emotions and dazzling fish ……. The evening blow, May flies by millions ……. It can be said without exaggeration that it snowed”.
Useful Information
For information on fishing the Boyne Valley please visit https://www.fishinginireland.info/trout/east/meath/index.htm
For information on fishing the River Fane please visit https://www.fishinginireland.info/trout/east/dundalk/fane.htm
For information on fishing on Lough Sheelin please visit https://www.fishinginireland.info/trout/shannon/sheelin.htm
For information on Boyne Valley Fishing Guides please visit http://www.boynevalleyfishingguides.com/