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Beginning to guide with Anthony O’Neill

junior guide
on his guiding journey

Dan O’Neill’s apprentice starts his journey as an angling guide…

Many of you who know me will know how I began my guiding career. For those of you who don’t I will touch briefly on it. I started a job as a linen porter in Mount Juliet house when I was 13/14. When walking up the stairs from the basement I found a fly caught in the carpet of the bottom step. Taking out the fly I walked to the fishing room where a man called Matt Bolger sat. Matt was the fishery manager at the time, which was a job I had only read about in magazines back then. Showing Matt the fly, he was interested how I had come to identify it as a Bloody Butcher. The Bloody Butcher was the fly I had caught my first trout on many years earlier. Explaining this to Matt, he thanked me and on my way I went. It was one evening when I had finished that I met Matt just at the front of the house looking somewhat stressed. A ghillie had let him down and the client was waiting in the fishing room. Wanting to help I offered my services and away I went to begin what is a wonderful journey of meeting new people, assisting people catch their first fish and introducing them to some of the best listeners in the world that live in our forests, surround our rivers and indeed live in our rivers.

The countryside can take a lot of weight off our shoulders when we know how to allow it to. This is better when people are given the chance to realise it for themselves and it’s not pushed or forced on them. With guiding I try to put people in that position and sow the seed for them to grow it in their own minds and realise fishing and the outdoors has a lot to offer.

back where it all started

I took this approach with Anthony. I allowed him to make up his own mind. I took him guiding with me on the coarse lakes to let him fish or watch me as I guided for my clients. He would pick up little tips and hear how I dealt with people. Kids can be very good at tricking us adults but once we know when they are listening even though they are pretending not to we can use this to our advantage which is what I did when Anthony was nearby. He heard everything and retained some. When we fish I sometimes see he got in a knot or caught a tree (as I still do and quite regularly). I would leave him be and play his role of pretending not to see. He would then eventually figure it out or give up and call Dad.

So, this week Anthony had asked could we take a friend of his fishing. “Yes of course, no problem,” I answered, “but you’re guiding for him. I am the driver, photographer, netsman, food coordinator, safety officer and driver.” Anthony looked, smiled and then realised I was serious.

Our choice for the day was a small carp pond just outside Carlow. Anthony was watching Fish with Carl on YouTube most of the evening before for some tips. He knew what he had to know to get his friend his first fish. When the next day arrived, Anthony set up two rods. One for his guest and a second one as a spare for his guest which I was happy about as I thought it was for Anthony himself. This is something I do as it maximises the persons fishing time if they do get knotted or tangled up.

junior guide
on his guiding journey

Arriving at the pond Anthony was now in charge. Anthony walked the pond describing what Aun should look out for when picking a spot. Once they had settled on a spot Anthony knew to plumb the area to see what kind of depth was there. Finding the bottom he then put a maggot on and showed Aun how to make a cast. Handing Aun the rod and explaining what a bite looked like it wasn’t long before he hit his first small carp. Many small carp followed but eventually Aun lifted into something different. The fish splashed and made strong runs as they were using light gear. As the fish came over the net I could see the relief on Anthony’s face and I knew how he felt. I was very happy for Aun and Anthony also, he got a feeling of what it’s like to guide someone to their first fish. A superb feeling that brings the story of your first fish back to life.

Well Done Aun and Anthony.

Go fishing…

You’ll have to wait a few more years until you can book Anthony, so in the meantime you’ll have to make do with his dad, Dan.

South East Casting

Address Thomastown Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353857652751

Did you apply for a River Roughty brown tag? Round 1 Draw results here

Roughty Bridge, Co. Kerry
Roughty Bridge just outside Kenmare in Co. Kerry.

On Tuesday 27 February 2024, a draw took place to allocate an initial 24 Brown Tags for the taking of salmon on the Roughty River. The requirement to hold a brown tag is set out in Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, T.D.

A total of 70 valid entries were received from salmon rod licence holders. Each was assigned a number in advance of the draw.

29 numbers were randomly generated. The first 24 successful entrants will be issued a brown tag no later than Tuesday. The final 5 numbers are reserved in case an angler declines or returns the tag allocated to them.

The draw was observed by Sean Long (RBD Director), Tim Moore (Assistant Fisheries Inspector), Chris Scanlan (Fisheries Officer) and Myles Kelly (Angling Advisor and Website Manager).

The numbers selected are:

  1. 1008
  2. 1059
  3. 1070
  4. 1054
  5. 1035
  6. 1006
  7. 1050
  8. 1022
  9. 1046
  10. 1063
  11. 1002
  12. 1009
  13. 1045
  14. 1034
  15. 1039
  16. 1042
  17. 1068
  18. 1026
  19. 1014
  20. 1005
  21. 1020
  22. 1013
  23. 1018
  24. 1024

The 5 reserve numbers are:

  1. 1016
  2. 1027
  3. 1069
  4. 1053
  5. 1051

The Brown Tags will be issued by post tomorrow.  All anglers are asked to acknowledge receipt of their Brown Tag by email including the tag number to  [email protected]

The next draw (24 tags) will open for entries on 24 March with the draw taking place on 17 April.

Go fishing…

River Roughty

Oaklands Green take first win in 2024 Team of Four league

Inniscarra reservoir near Coachford

Kevin Leahy reports that is was a sad start to this year’s Team of Four league as the anglers learned of the passing of John Kearney, a member of Waterford & District CAC. A minutes silence was observed in his honour before the start of proceedings, condolences to his family and friends and the Waterford Club.

Inniscarra was high but the venue did not disappoint in what was a tightly contested match with with just a handful of fish separating the teams and double kilo weights popping up throughout the sections.

In the end the individual results saw Attila Paldeak of Oaklands Green take first place with 15.920kg, while Fermoys Tommy Lawton and Tom Barry came second and third.

Oaklands Green took first place in the teams event, with Oaklands Blue second and Fermoy third. All results tables are below.

Results tables

A Section = Garden Centre
B Section = Long Straight
C Section = Cable Buoys
D Section = Turtle

Go fishing..

Looking good for the St Patrick’s festival next month. It all starts with the open on 15th March followed by a 3-day match over the bank holiday weekend. Then there are matches every day until. 24th March.

If you want to fish and have not contacted Inniscarra Lake TDL yet, please do so as soon as possible as places are filling up.

With Daily flights from the UK and Holland to Cork, and regular flights from many other countries it no hardship to find your way to Inniscarra.

Inniscarra Lake TDL

Inniscarra Lake TDL are affiliated to the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland, NCFFI the National Governing body for coarse and predator fishing and casting sport as recognised by Sport Ireland and Sport NI. www.ncffi.ie

For details of the all the events, venues and more, a downloadable copy of the events calendar, 2020 festival results and a directory of angler friendly accommodation in the local area please visit www.ncffi.ie/inniscarra-angling.

Coarse angling on Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid

Ronan Minogue wins Oaklands Winter League despite big rally on last day

oaklands carp

John Browne reports on the final match of Oakland’s winter league which was fished on Sunday…

We had the final round of the Ger Hennesy Winter league on Sunday. It was tight going into the final day to decide the overall winner with 4 still with a chance of winning it. It was a miserable morning with wind and rain and the main contenders were hoping for a good draw.

The match winner on the day was Leo Lynch who made the best of his end peg draw. He knew he needed a section win to give him a fighting chance of winning overall and bagged 88.260kg on Section B. It was great effort but he fell just short by the narrowest of margins.

Ronan Minogue, also on Section B and leading the League overall, nipped into 2nd place with just 19.550kg. The 2 league points that Ronan picked up meant that he and Leo both finished on 9 points overall, but some big catches earlier in the series saw Ronan winning on weight.

Not far behind finishing on 10 points and 3rd overall was Kieran Reeves.

Today’s Results

Section A

1st Dani D 29.370 kg
2nd Ivaylo Benov 18.970 kg
3rd Matija Ivkov 11.970 kg

Section B

1st Leo Lynch 88.260 kg
2nd Ronan Minogue 19.550 kg
3rd Sion Pichard 18.290 kg

Big congratulations to all the lads witch was a great league and big thanks to everyone who took part.

Big thank you to the Hennesy family for their continued support.

Go fishing…

Oaklands Fishery

Address Marsh Meadow New Ross Wexford Ireland Phone: +353 51 445348 Mobile Phone: +353 87 6988979 Mobile Phone: +353 87 781 1042 Website: Website

Irish Angling Update 🎣 22 February 2024

Most of the country has endured a wet week. Rainfall amounts generally ranged between 120% and 200% of average, though rainfall in the north and east was not so bad. Kerry had the worst of the rain with 55.5mm recorded at Valentia, Co. Kerry. Where there’s rain there’s normally wind, and those anglers who enjoy getting afloat had to contend with windy conditions, particularly over the last few days. It has been very mild though and temperatures were up to 5°C warmer than normal in some parts prompting thoughts to stray to later in the season. Locally we’re wondering if it will see the mayfly hatch kick-off earlier, globally the talk is of it being the warmest February on record…

Salmon reports are thin on the ground, with rains seeing many rivers running high. High water or not, anglers on the Flesk in Killarney are getting a few springers, but anglers on Currane have had less luck since catching their first salmon of the season last week.

The trout scene was quiet also last week. A good number of lakes and rivers are open now since 15 February, but there are not many reports in. We do have a video update from Knockaderry, a first class rainbow fishery in Waterford where over wintered stock is providing excellent sport. Staying with rainbow trout, there is a report on the AWOL winter league. There was some great fishing at two of the best rainbow venues in the country for what is possibly the best looking trophy in Irish angling. Congratulations to Shane Bird, the overall winner. In anticipation of the trout season to come, Dan O’Neill visited George McGrath for a behind the scenes tour of his YouTube studio and to tie one of his famous sparkle Duns. From the pod locker, this week the Ireland on the Fly team talk to Jimmy Tyrrell, the well-known fly dresser based outside Abbeyleix in Laois.

February tench from Athy, an unusual Catch of the Week for February

In coarse angling, Athy and District Anglers held a thrilling match at the Marina in Athy. There were some great catches but the competition was notable for the early tench and some fine perch that were landed. Meanwhile down at Oaklands Dan O’Neill and apprentice Anthony had some lovely carp on float, feeder and fly. Coarse anglers are being alerted that tickets for the qualifier rounds for the Van Den Eynde Irish Canal Masters are on sale now and they are selling fast. Competition dates, prizes and other details are listed here: VDE Irish Canal Masters tickets selling quick.

25lb PB for Darren Dunne

The Limerick County Pike Anglers Association stayed close to home for their latest club match. There were a decent number of smaller fish but with pike of 12lb+ and 9lb+ newcomer Paul Maloney took all the honours.  Bigger pike were had by members of the Newbridge District Pike Anglers at one of their favourite venues. A fabulous 25lb pike was caught by Darren Dunne, his PB and the competition winner. Meanwhile up around Athlone, YouTuber Senan Stanley and pike guide Paul Bourke were shown how it’s done Wildhunter style with Brian Connaughton. Fishing from a mightily impressive boat they catch equally impressive pike and it’s all on video. Kevin Lyons of Melview Fishing Lodge had a busy winter attending angling trade expos in different countries to attract new clients and promote Irish angling tourism. Kevin welcomed his first clients of 2024 this week and they did well on dead baits. For the lure addicts out there, Norbert Renaud of L’ile Verte Pike Fishing Lodge has the latest episode of his lure creating journey up on his YouTube channel – well worth a watch.

Big pollack!

Sea angling next and Galway Bay SAC held the first leg of their 2024 Winter League at Renvyle at the weekend. The sea was quite calm and fishing was a bit slow to start but as dark crept in it improved and it was dogfish that made the difference and gave the win to Kevin Crowley. Further out at sea and up in Donegal Killybegs Fishing Trips finally had their first trip of 2024. Bait was plentiful, and the first reef yielded good pollack. The next mark was even better and pollack to 4kg bent rods all round the boat. Advance notice of up coming competitions now. West Cork and District SAC’s new Midweek League is open to all IFSA anglers. Get your name in by next Sunday night the 25th of February to register for the first round. Tralee Bay SAC has announced the dates for their TAG A RAY competition. Mark your calendars for April 27th-28th because it’s going to be an epic adventure in the kingdom once again. To the airwaves now and podcaster Cormac Walsh of the Lure Fishing Podcast talks to angling legend Mike Ladle.

Other news…

Public consultation


The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has opened a public consultation on trawling activity inside the 6 nautical mile zone and the baselines. The briefing documents provided by the Department, which are available online, are very informative and should be read before making a submission. For more information see Public Consultation on Inshore Trawling – Make Your Submission

Podcast seminar

The Ireland on the Fly team are launching the first of a new monthly Masterclass webinar series on March 14th with Mike Keady on Early Season Buzzer Tactics – so don’t forget to sign up to that!

And now the weather…

Friday will be cold with sun and scattered showers, mainly in the west. Showers could be heavy with hail, and there’s a chance of sleet on high ground. Winds will be west to southwest, occasionally strong. Highs of 5 to 8°C. Showers continue at night, possibly turning wintry on high ground. Lows of -2 to +3°C, leading to frost and ice risk, especially in the north. Winds shift to the northwest overnight.

Saturday improves with dry and bright weather, though isolated rain showers are possible. Clouds increase in the southwest by evening. Highs of 6 to 10°C with a light to moderate northwesterly wind. Cold and frosty night, lows of -3 to +2°C, chance of icy patches. Mist and fog may form with light winds.

Sunday starts dry, chance of rain in the south. Scattered showers develop in the northwest, becoming isolated. Highs of 6 to 8°C, light to moderate north to northeast wind. Mostly dry and clear night, isolated showers possible. Lows of -1 to +3°C, light to moderate north to northwest wind.

Make sure to check the forecast before going afloat and if you’re going to sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected] and don’t forget that all of our fishing reports are available on our dedicated Angling Ireland Facebook page.

All the angling news

Salmon Fishing Reports

Trout Fishing Reports

Coarse Angling Reports

Pike Fishing Reports

Sea Angling Reports

Other News

    Ireland on the Fly latest episode – Jimmy Tyrrell’s Irish Fly Craft

    Jimmy Tyrrell, the well-known fly tyer based outside Abbeyleix in Laois, joins Tom & Daire on this week’s Ireland on the Fly.

    Jimmy talks about his fly fishing and fly tying journey from tying flies he could fish with on his local rivers to supplying shops and customers as far afield as Australia.

    And for those of you who want to know the perfect way to mix your dubbing, it involves a Chinese takeaway carton and an air canister so listen out for Jimmy’s fly tying tips and for more from Jimmy, check out his website at:

    Plus, Tom has an update on the opening few days on Corrib and explains how he’s hoping to someday target ferox trout on the fly.

    Rate, review and follow the show to keep up to date with all the latest Ireland on the Fly episodes on Apple Podcasts or Spotify at:


    Ireland on the Fly Early Season Buzzer Tactics Masterclass

    If you’re interested in learning more about early season buzzer tactics, then Ireland on the Fly’s very first Masterclass webinar might just be for you.

    International angler and Lough Corrib expert, Mike Keady, will be joining Daire & Tom at 8pm on Thursday March 14th for a one hour masterclass presentation on how to improve your catch rate with an emphasis on flies, tactics and set-up.

    Attendees will also have the opportunity to put questions to Mike during the live webinar, plus you’ll also get access to the recording of the session and a copy of Mike’s notes.

    Tickets cost just €10 and you must register and pay in advance.

    Just go to www.irelandonthefly.com/masterclass for all the details.

    If you’ve any questions you can also send an email to [email protected].

    Please fish in a sustainable manner

    The Good, the Bad and the Fugly at L’ile Verte Pike Lodge

    Norbert Renaud of L’ile Verte Pike Fishing Lodge has been busy in the lodge lately, as he has been tailoring a range of ‘Fugly’ pike fishing lures that will be available though his web shop. While Norbert prefers to fish with a fly rod during the milder months, when the days are short he stashes the fly rods in the rafters and fishes lures slow and deep to try and entice his pike.

    Norbert has produced a range of videos on his YouTube channel detailing the process he goes through in the design and manufacture of his Fugly range and the latest of those videos is online now and well worth a look. Norbert takes a scientific approach to his work and has put in a huge amount of time trying to perfect his range.

    Links are available in-video to browse the available range, don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel.

    Melview Fishing Lodge back in piking action for 2024

    John from Kilkenny, who is a regular angler to Melview Fishing Lodge, was up once again for a spot of pike fishing with host and guide Kevin Lyons. Over the four days John had some nice pike to 103 cm along with a few more good fish that managed to avoid the net once hooked.

    Kevin had taken some time off guiding to oversee refurbishments on the lodge and to attend a number of angling trade expos in different countries – essential to meet potential clients and promote overseas angling tourism to Ireland. With all that taken care of, it was now time to get back to some fishing.

    John from Kilkenny

    The weather and water levels have not been perfect over the past couple of months, with high water a recurring feature of the winter, but that was not going to stop Kevin and John from getting out there for some long overdue pike fishing. During their sessions both float and ledgered dead baits were the most productive methods for the bigger pike.

    Host Kevin said, ‘Great four days John – and thanks for your company’.

    Steve Gilby from Staffordshire in the UK, who is also is a regular to Melview Fishing Lodge, was over once again for the first of his pike fishing trips of 2024. When it comes to pike fishing, Steve loves his dead baiting above all else and it was the method that did the trick for him during his week-long stay at the lodge.

    All smiles with a nice Pike for Steve from a flooded area

    Steve managed to catch some very nice pike to 105cm and host Kevin was sure that there were a couple of much larger pike that managed to shake the hooks.

    Another nice one to the boat for Steve.

    But for Steve the disappointment didn’t last, it was rebait and get it straight back out there for the next one.

    Host Kevin said, ‘Well done Steve and thanks for a great week, look forward to seeing you again later in the year’.


    Melview Lodge

    Address Drumlish Road Clonrollagh Longford Ireland Phone: +3534345061 Website: melviewlodge.com

    Please fish in a sustainable manner

    The Lure Fishing Podcast – with angling legend Mike Ladle

    The Lure Fishing Podcast with Cormac Walsh

    In the latest episode of the Lure Fishing Podcast, host Cormac Walsh speaks with angling legend Mike Ladle.

    Mike is one of the most knowledgeable anglers out there, with a PhD in Marine biology, he has has contributed to hundreds of articles, papers and books on the subject of marine life and angling.

    His widely read angling website has over 1,600 pages related to all his angling. A real treasure trove of information which can be found at www.mikeladle.com.

    In this episode, Mike talks about some of his tried and tested tactics and tackle. He also tells us some fascinating stories abut the old days of bass fishing. This is a thoroughly enjoyable chat with one of angling greats.

    You can listen to the episode on Spotify or whichever podcast provider you prefer.

    Shane Bird wins AWOL League 2023/24

    This report from the organisers of the AWOL League 2023/24:

    With all of the lines out of the water, in reflection the 2023/24 AWOL league was a great league with some very close competition between the participating anglers.

    Albert Adcock won the first match at Laois Angling Centre, with Denis Goulding taking both the second and third matches at Laois and Ardaire Springs respectively. However, there was someone gaining ground on the leaders even after missing the first match. The league only counts the best four results out of five sessions, and even though he was in 7th place after the first 3 matches, Shane Bird won the fourth match only weeks after winning the Munster Banks which put him 4 points behind Denis Goulding, the overall leader. Jano Knazko won the fifth and final heat and it was down to the points overall to decide this year’s champion.

    With the scores totted up there were two anglers tied on place points with 36 points apiece, a record number of points for the league. The anglers chatted and enjoyed the food and hospitality at Laois Angling Centre as the scores were checked and checked again. Sure enough, Shane Bird had caught up with Denis Goulding with some superb angling over his 4 legs – including the longest fish overall of 69cm. Fish points were counted and although Denis had caught 44 fish to Shane’s 42 fish, the fish points had Shane out in front with 25490 to Denis’ 24310 – 1180 points in the difference.

    Shane deservingly had won the AWOL League 2023/24.

    The organisers would like to thank everyone that took part in the league and hope to see the anglers back again to commence battle again later this year.

    They would also like to thank all of the main sponsors,

    • Rory’s Fishing Tackle.
    • Southside Angling.
    • Premier Angling.
    • PiscariFly
    • Fario Fly.
    • Alan Lawless Doors and Floors.
    • Brian Conway for his donation of a bottle of Jameson.
    • Denis Goulding for donating 2 x prizes.
    • Ned Maher & family / Ardaire Springs for allowing two heats at the venue and donating two prizes.
    • Enda and Johno for accommodating the three heats at Laois Angling Centre and arranging food for the final.

    Without the continuing sponsorship of these people the competition would be very hard to run – so please support these businesses when buying fishing gear.

    A big shout out to Denis Goulding, Peter M Doherty, Brian Conway and Kevin McClean for all of their work during the league.

    Go Fishing…

    Laois angling Centre

    Address Laois Angling Centre Coolrain Laois R32NF80 Ireland Phone: +353-(0)57-8735091 Mobile Phone: +353-(0)87-9962864 Mobile Phone: +353-(0)87-7548823 Website: laoisanglingcentre.ie

    Ardaire Springs Angling Centre

    Address Ardera Mooncoin Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353 86 812 8937 Website: www.ardairesprings.com

    Please fish in a sustainable manner