Congratulations to Team Ireland who retained the Bob Church Trophy with a comprehensive victory in the Home Countries fly fishing international held this week on Lough Lene in Westmeath. Conditions were difficult over the two practice days and the competition day itself on Wednesday, but the Irish anglers persevered and managed to land fourteen fish to take the honours.

Team Ireland

The official standings were:

  • 1st IRELAND
  • 2nd ENGLAND
  • 3rd WALES
  • 4th SCOTLAND

The Team of 14 and a reserve was magnificently lead by Jim Kelly, a member of the renowned Kelly’s of Cloghans on the shores of Lough Conn and a 4th generation international angler.

The winner of the Brown Bowl was Eanna O’Leary with a superb catch of 6 fish, which are still swimming in Lough Lene as the match was of course run on a catch and release basis. In fact, Eanna won every category that he was eligible for, Brown Bowl, Longest Fish overall, Best Bag and Best Fish on the Irish Team.

The team was coached by Sean Dempsey, Denis Goulding, Ken McCarthy and the previous Brown Bowl winner, Chris Fehilly.

The team manager was Noel Farrar, who had this to say:

‘There were many extremely important contributors to the success of the team. Although I mention Jackie McMahon for his fabulous flies and Tom Sullivan for the Fulling Mill Fluorocarbon there were others too numerous to mention but equally appreciated. Many thanks to all’.

‘Lastly we acknowledge the contribution financially and physically in preparing and monitoring the match that both Inland Fisheries Ireland and Westmeath Co.Co. have provided’.

Inland Fisheries Ireland are proud to have sponsored the event, full marks to the anglers, the coaches, the organisers and all of the support who contributed to the successful outcome for the Irish team.

Collinstown, Co. Westmeath, was a hive of activity on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings as the youth teams from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales prepared to fish. Boats were brought from moorings around the lake to The Cut on the eastern shoreline, where teams, coaches and their families had assembled each morning in preparation for the off.

Tackling up