Melvin angling contest one of the most popular in Ireland
Chris Donegan • Published 14 Aug 2012 12:27
Last year's winners, Brendan Shallow, from Belleek, and Phil Donnelly, from Belfast.
The Lough Melvin Open Trout Angling Championships have become a victim of their own success.
With a generous range of prizes topped by a pair of Burke boats for the winning pair of fishermen, the competition is now one of the most popular of its kind in Ireland.
Last year it attracted 355 entries. With such numbers in mind the organisers, the Garrison and Lough Melvin Anglers' Association, have been forced to make some changes in the interests of safety.
Previously half the anglers from each of the three qualifying heats made it through to the final. This year only a third will make the cut, as they say in golf. The organisers say it is a question of numbers and safety.
Other than that the format remains the same in this, the Championships' 30th year. An initial draw for partners will see a local angler with a boat and knowledge of the lake paired with a visitor. Thrown together the pair must quickly form a team, deciding on what tactics and flies to use and where to go to catch a trout.
The four-day event kicks off with heats on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 23, 24 and 25. Fishing is from 11am until 6pm with each pair of anglers aiming to land enough trout to finish in the top third in terms of their aggregate weight. The final is on Sunday, August 26. The winning pair will each walk away with a Burke boat and a piece of Galway Crystal. The pair that finish second will each get a cheque for £700 together with a piece of Galway Crystal, while there's more Galway Crystal for those in third place, along with electric boat engines, fly reels and cheques for £100.
The impressive list of prizes extends right down to fifteenth place.
For more information and an entry form visit www.garrisonandloughmelvinanglersassoc.co.uk or Garrison and Lough Melvin Anglers' Association facebook page.