Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association news,,,,

.The ‘Home Nations’ Youth International took place on Llyn Brenig Wales on Wed. 3rd August.

,Report on Youth International, Llyn Brenig, 03.08.2017



The ‘Home Nations’ Youth International took place on Llyn Brenig Wales on Wed. 3rd August.


A team of 14 Anglers from the Island of Ireland (6 Munster, 1 Ulster, 4 Connacht, 3 Leinster) travelled by Bus in the early hours of Sunday morning 30th July, arriving at Brenig for lunch and a look around, before continuing to the Beauford Park Hotel, Mold which would be our residence for the next few days.


Monday & Tuesday were the two official practice days.

We enjoyed quite good success on the Monday in Watersports bay and down around the ring of stones areas. Best flies were a variety of dries, boobies and blobs. Unfortunately, on Monday evening we learned that due to high winds expected on the final day (Wed.) there was a chance that the entire northern part of the lake would be ‘out of bounds’ on final day.  The fish we found on Monday may turn out to be of little use to us on match day!

So, on Tuesday we concentrated all the boats on the southern part of the lake, an area from the Fishing lodge, across the Dam wall, Tower Bay and around to Quarry Point.  Again, we enjoyed quite good success on boobies and blobs but we also saw many of the other teams catching well. The Scots seemed to be going well in particular.

Interestingly and rather surprisingly, the fishery was actively stocking the water while we were fishing!


On the final day (Wed.) the wind was up a bit from the south as forecasted and fishing was indeed restricted to the sheltered southern part of the lake. 

Our game plan was to go out on a Fast Glass line, Sunburst Blob, Mozaic Dabbler and Boobie. Most of the boats were starting up against the Dam wall and drifting out past the cages.  Those who kept their boats right up on the wall enjoyed the most success as most of the fish seemed to be on top of the shore.

Unfortunately, it proved to be a very mixed day for the Irish team and we fell well short of what was required for success on the day. The Match was won convincingly by Scotland with 73 fish, England 60 fish, Wales 51 & Ireland 41.

Fishing, like any sport is about continually learning and improving. Looking back on the Brenig trip now, there are certainly a few points for consideration.


We had a game plan going out on final day that was surprisingly VERY like Scotland’s! Fast Glass, Sunburst Blob, Mozaic Dabbler and Boobie.  So, in just 2 practice days, we almost had it right. The difference between the two teams was the retrieve. Anglers from Scotland, England & Wales are very practiced in rainbow tactics and retrieves which are very different to our traditional brown trout fishing.  So, there is a natural advantage there. One more practice day may (or may not!) have seen us fine tune the method. We will never know but certainly the more time you can spend practicing on the actual match water, the better!


Traditionally, dries would feature very strongly on Brenig and this would have suited our anglers. In the build up to the trip, we spent a lot of time tying and practicing with dries.  Unfortunately, on this occasion dries did not feature at all due to the high wind.  Had weather conditions been more favourable, I am confident that the match result would have been very different.


The strong stocking policy right up to the eve of the match day is something I have not seen before. We would have preferred that there was no stocking in the run up to the event. Instead, they were still stocking 24 hours before the match!  In hindsight, I believe that we should have had less rods on dries during practice and concentrated more on pulling blobs/boobies etc. Had the wind been low or even moderate with the fish in a while, then dries would have featured prominently.  Again…. we are learning all the time.


Having said all the above, a big congratulation must go to Scotland who had a very impressive team average of 5.2 fish per person!  Well done to them.


So, I can safely say that we have been a little unlucky on this occasion and the fish numbers on final day are certainly not a fair reflection of the talent that was in this team and the work that was put in by the anglers and coaches.  It's all about continuous learning and I personally have learned a lot from this trip.  I am confident that this young group of anglers are better now than when this journey began and that is a great thing. 
On a personal note, I would like to sincerely thank team Coaches Gary Binley, Sean Dempsey & Francis Rafferty for all the great work they have done in practice here at home and in Wales, particularly when I abandoned them at the eleventh hour on Monday Lunchtime (I had to return home as my Father in Law passed away suddenly).  A big thank you also to Deane Reid, Ballynure Anglers for all his help along the way and for rounding up so many flies for everyone. 


Huge thanks must go to:

·         The wonderful catering staff who watered and fed us in Wales; Maura Reilly, Laura Govan & Margaret Fehilly. Great work ladies!

·         Tiernan Brothers, Foxford for sponsoring Heat prizes.

·         Toby Bradshaw (Gowen & Bradshaw) for helping with Shirts and Michael Drinan who helped out with leader.

·         Lough Lene Angling Association & Tommy Fagan for their continuing support.  

·         Everyone who took time out of their own busy schedule to tie flies for the team: Stephen Browne, Gary Stewart, Mike Keady, Denis Goulding, Seamus Kelly, Stan McCart, Michael Monaghan, Joseph Stitt, Brian Barron, Deane Reid & Kevin Sheridan.

·         Those who provided very generous sponsorship: LSTPA €50, Kilbride Anglers €200, Hollister ULC €200, Frank Dempsey €340, and in particular CMD Consulting Ltd €750, NARA €1,000 & Connacht ITFFA €1,000. 

This support helps keep the costs down on everyone, so on behalf of the Youth Anglers and their families, a sincere thank you! 

'Time' is the scarcest commodity on earth and to give up your time for others, speaks volumes of your character.  To those who volunteered their time to boat the youth anglers on the heat days and practice days…a HUGE thank you. This simply would not work without you.


Finally, to you the team of 2017 who have represented Ireland with distinction on and off the water; in no particular order, Jack Maher, Reece Moran, Conor Dunne, Chris Fehilly, Ciaran Flaherty, Rory Govan, Robert Hackett, Matthew Harley, Stephen Coulter, Aaron McCann, Rebecca Moffitt McGinn, Almha McDonnell, Oisin reilly & Marco Vimercati - THANK YOU! 




Next Years International will be on Draycote Water 01 August



Pat Kelly

ITFFA Youth Officer

gold for the youth team in killarney

Report from Frank Dempsey.


Fantastic result for the ITFFA Irish Youth team in Killarney. This is a result won by great teamwork. Each and every angler contributed hugely to this result by working together and sharing information over the four training weekends on the lake. Our two coaches Fergal McKiernan and Sean Dempsey put the team on a plan that worked well over the training days and every angler did what he was asked to do, even when it meant that they did not catch any fish on some of those days. Areas, Lines, Flies, and methods were carefully worked out at the many team meetings where every angler gave a detailed report of his day's fishing. I must express my heartfelt gratitude to Francis Rafferty Snr who ferried the Dundalk lads to Killarney each weekend and home again with a trailer full of fishing gear and engines etc. He got stuck in to the Cooking and cleaning in the hostel along with Mick Ryan and Mike Flaherty every weekend to make sure that the lads were well fed and looked after. Thanks a million also to all the parents who drove the lads to and from Killarney each weekend.
On behalf of the team I must also Thank Vincent Downes who moved mountains to make sure that we had boats and boatmen for the whole campaign. Thanks a million also to P.J. and Peter O'Brien, Pat Collins, Danny Walsh, Denis Cronin, Denis Flynn, James Maher, Kenneth O Keeffe, and Richie Willis who boated over the training weekends along with Francis Rafferty Snr, Fergal McKiernan, Sean Dempsey, Mike Flaherty and myself. I would also like to thank Stephen Galvin and the Owenabue Anglers club who provided some boats and engines for us on those weekends. Thanks also to Simon Yorke, and Manfred Wallesch from the Coosan Anglers Club who also loaned us engines so that we could get everyone out on the lake. Corey's grandad Mick Ryan did a fantastic job on the scrambled eggs and beans every morning while Francis and Mike burned the rashers and sausages :>) and he also did a lot of running around organising bits and pieces while the rest of us were out on the lake. This gold medal is a credit to everybody mentioned above and too often these people are in the background and don't get any recognition. These events don't "just happen" and on behalf of the team I thank you all.
Congratulations to all the team members on a great performance on the day and we did not have any blanks. Congratulations to captain Jack Egan on winning the biggest Irish fish and to Ciaran Flaherty who won not only the top Irish rod but also the brown bowl with a fantastic catch of 12 fish.




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Non-stop Action at Youths Qualifier

Ciaran Reilly had a great day at Lough Bane on Saturday 13th September when he finished in 1stposition during the 1st round of the newly introduced ITFFA Youths International Team qualifier. The new selection process requires competitors to accumulate points from two qualifying competitions from which the top 14 anglers will be selected to represent Ireland at the 2015 Youths International Fly Angling Match.

The word was out that the trout had been feeding near the surface and most anglers opted for the tried and trusted sedge and daddy combination. At 11AM the horn sounded and these young anglers set off for a challenging days fishing in the deep, clear, spring fed waters of Lough Bane. Competitors didn’t have to wait for too long to get a taster of these hard fighting browns and rainbows with boatmen barely getting a chance to take the centre seat before they had to scramble for their landing nets. Lough Bane provided non-stop action all day long and when anglers returned to the shore at 5PM there were many stories of large trout that had been lost. The daddy and sedge combination proved very successful for competition winner Ciaran Reilly who had eight trout for 3480 points and Conor Murray who finished in 3rd position with five trout for 2060 points. However, it was Stephen Ryan of Macroom Anglers who decided to think outside the box and fish deep for the bigger fish. This method certainly worked well for Stephen who had the two longest fish, both exceeding the 50cm measure. Stephen finished in 2nd position with six trout for 2740 points.

Lough Bane Anglers have been great supporters of juvenile angling for many years and the Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association (ITFFA) would like to thank them for their ongoing support. We would also like to wish these young anglers the very best of luck as they prepare for the second stage of the selection process for the Irish International Team.

Juvenile "Dylan" wins boat!

Congratulations go to Dylan Ennis on winning a 19’ McA boat in the Irish Trout Fly fishing Associations (ITFFA) youths fundraising competition, which was held at Lough Owel on 27th April 2014. Seventeen year old Dylan, who is from Moate in County Westmeath, was always going to be a hot favourite having represented Ireland at juvenile level on numerous occasions.

With a 19’ boat, an electric engine and many other fantastic prizes up for grabs this competition attracted eighty two anglers and raised much needed funds for juvenile anglers. Angling conditions were only fair with a moderate easterly wind and a lot of extremely bright sunshine. Dylan and his partner, Sean Dempsey, concentrated on the “kettle” area of the lake and managed to boat in excess of 25 trout between them. Dylan also boated the heaviest fish which weighed 1.54 kg, but because he finished in the top three he was precluded from claiming the prize for the heaviest trout, which went to Liam McKnight with his trout of 1.27 kg.

As usual Lough Owel lived up to her reputation as a great brown trout fishery and  produced hundreds of fish, most of which were returned to the water unharmed. This is a fantastic venue and is a must for visiting anglers who should try fishing shallow water with a team of wet flies comprising of some fry type patterns. The olives are also beginning to make an appearance on Owel and there is bound to be some great top of the water action.


Other Results were as follows:-

1st Dylan Ennis (Juvenile Angler) 3.230 kg                  

2nd Paddy Ward 3.130 kg                                   

3rd Mark Dunne 2.270 kg                                    

4th Jimmy Cahill 2.520 kg                                    

5th Liam McKnight 2.460 kg                                

6th Ciaran Reilly 2.440 kg                                    

7thEddie Harte 2.375 kg                                      

8th Declan Smith 2.285 kg

9th Stuart Marry 2.260 kg

10th Sean Dempsey 2.235kg

11th Cathal Rush 2.180 kg

12th Chris Butler 2.155 kg

13th Chris Meadows 2.075 kg

14th Owen Dunne 2.045 kg

15th Brian Stanfield 2.040 kg

Prize for Heaviest Fish            Liam McKnight

Prize for Secret Weight            Owen O’Droiscall


The ITFFA Youths Committee would like to extend their gratitude all of those who provided sponsorship and made donations including


Lough Owel Trout Preservation Association

Inland Fisheries Ireland

Pat Dooley of Loughstown Holiday Village

Seamus Kelly of Kelly Kettles

Dermot Walshe of Coosan & District Anglers Association

John Buckley of Emerger Tackle

Brian Connaughton of Wild Hunter

Declan Lynch of Bleach Lough

Joe Conlon of Lough Aishling

Ernie Bennett of Nurney Lakes

Toby Bradshaw of Gowan & Bradshaw

Chris McAlinden of McA Boats and Tackle

George Behan

Kanturk Anglers

Ballynure Anglers

Garrison & Melvin Anglers

Lough Bane Anglers

Paul O’Callaghan of Anglers World