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Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association - A Brief History

 

The primary aim of the Association is to organise and run Provincial competitions in order to select competitors for Interprovincial, National and International fly fishing competitions on both Loughs and Rivers.

 

There is a Committee in each of the four provinces consisting of seven members elected annually by the affiliated clubs in the province at the provincial AGM. These committees organise  the provincial championship  within their own provice from which competitors qualify for the National Championship and teams are selected for the annual Inter Provincial Championship. It is from these two competitions that anglers are mainly selected to represent Ireland in the IFFA Spring and Autumn Internationals.

 

The seven members of each provincial committee form the National Executive along with the Officers of the Association. The officers are as follows - President, Vice President, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, PRO, Youths Officer and Team Coach. The National Officers are elected annually at the AGM which is usually held on the first Sunday in February.

 

It all started in May 1931 when repesentatives from Ireland and Wales were invited to attend a meeting in the Green Hotel, Kinross, Scotland.  The Irish representatives were Col. J.R. Darley, Mr. L. Gaffney and Mr. S. M. McLeod (Secretary).  Both countries were invited to join with England and Scotland, in participating in an annual international competition.  As a result and Irish Team of 16 fished in their first international on the 25th May 1932 on Loch Leven, Scotland.

 

On the 19th of September, 1932, a number of enthusiastic trout anglers from the 4 provinces put forward their teams of eight anglers for a National match which was held in Killarney in the first angling competition ever held on a national basis in Ireland.  The match was won by Munster.  The match was deemed  a great success and proved conclusively that there was a definite place for competitive angling among our national sports.

 

A meeting was held after this inaugural match in the Glebe Hotel, Killarney, and at that meeting the  Irish Trout Fly Fisher's Competition Committee was formed and brought into being.  A committee was elected consisting of Chairman, Commander H. Baker, Secretary Dr. H. A. Lafferty, and five members from each Province. The meeting decided that all trout angling competitions, apart from club events, should be held under the auspices of the Irish Trout Fly Fisher's Competition Committee.

 

At a meeting held on 16th April 1933 a set of rules was drawn up to govern competitions, and it was also decided that both a National Championship, and an Inter-provincial competition should be held.  The entry fee for the National was 10 shillings, and the first competition was held on Lough Melvin, hosted by the Bundoran Agling Association, with 48 rods competing.  A trophy was purchased for the event,a replica of an ancient Irish drinking cup, and this is still awarded to the National Championship.  Also in 1933 Captain A. D. Allen persented a trophy  known as the Inter-provinical Cup, which is also still competed for.

 

During the year 1939 there was  general agitation from affiliated clubs arising from a rumour that the Government was planning to put a tax of 5 shillings on trout rods.  It would appear that following some correspondence from the Secretary, and presumably other interested parties, nothing further was heard, except an acknowledgement from the Minister that the matter of a licence duty on trout rods was having his attention.

 

In 1953 the committee agreed to purchase a trophy in recognition of the work done by Dr. Harry Laverty during his time as Secretary of the I.T.F.F. C.C.  This trophy is still awarded to the top rod on an Irish international team.

 

In 1953 Ireland invited England, Scotland and Wales to fish in a Friendly International on Lough Conn, and this competition continued until it became an official iinternational in 1973.  Two international matches have taken place annually since, i.e. the Spring and the Autumn International.

 

Over the years numerous changes have been made to the rules governing competitions, but it is interesting to note that in 1954 the use of outboard motors was approved.

 

At the AGM held in Jury's Hotel on the 13th of March 1959 a notice of motion was put forward with the intention of amalgamating the Irish Trout Fly Fisher's Competition Committee with the Trout Angler's Federation of Ireland.  A counter proposal was made, and after considerable discussion took place which pointed out the totally diffrent spheres of the two associations, the meeting was adjourned.   The adjourned AGM was held in Jury's Hotel on 11th of March 1960, and no further agreements or proposals were put forward regarding the amalgamation of the I.T.F.F.C.C. and T.A.F.I.

 

In 1973 the constitution was amended to change the name of the Irish Trout Fly Fishers Competition Committee to the Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association.

 

At the AGM of the International Fly Fishing Association in 1991 a proposal was put forward by England to hold an annual River International with the venue rotating around the four countries.  The proposal was adopted, and the  first River International was held on the River Dee, Wales, in 1992.  The Teams consist of five members.  Ireland holds an annual River National in order to select members for the international team.

 

Competitive fishing for the youth started in 1985 when England and Wales held a match.  In 1987 Scotland joined in the competition.  The competition bacame a true Home International when Ireland joined in 1993.  An annual Youth National is held in Ireland to select members for the international team, which consists of 14 anglers under the age of 18.

 

If you would like to participate in Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association competitions in your Province you must be a memeber of an affiliated club.   If your club is not already affiliated, then an application can be made through your club committee to affiliate.  The annual affiliation fee is currently €85.  All applications will be considered by the I.T.F.F.A. committee.

 

For further information contact Michael Callaghan (Hon.Sec. ITFFA) at mcallaghan1@hotmail.com

 

Further historical information can be found on the International Fly Fishing Association web-site at www.iffa.net/ (http://www.iffa.net/)

 

 

 

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