Anglers clean up at River Championships

Ulster River Champion 2013, Stuart McMurran (right of picture) and Michael Shanks, Secretary of Dromore and District Angling Club.
Ulster River Champion 2013, Stuart McMurran (right of picture) and Michael Shanks, Secretary of Dromore and District Angling Club.

THE annual Ulster Province (ITFFA) Irish Trout Fly Fishing Assocation River Championships took place on Saturday 27th April, and was hosted on the Upper River Lagan by the Dromore & District Angling Club.

Twelve anglers from across Ulster took part with some 250 Trout over 15cm being caught and released.

The eventual winner over four one-and-a-half hour sessions was Dromore’s Stuart McMurran, not only winning the championship for the third year in a row, but also produced the largest fish on the day at 31.5cms. Stuart is a long time member of the local Dromore Club and has represented the club at both Youth and Senior levels in Ulster, and at National and International Competitions.

Second place went to Matthew Russell, another Dromore angler, who had kept Stuart in check right up until the last session off the day. Third was Ross McClearn also from Dromore, and who was only called up to fish at the last minute. Fourth went to Brian Russell, Ulster I.T.F.F.A, Chairman and also fishing for Dromore. Fifth place went to Mark Duncan from Roe Anglers. First reserve went to Dromore man, Andrew Sloan and second reserve was Arden Pollock for the Agivey Angling Club.

The top five anglers will go on to fish the National Championships, this year being fished on the River Blackwater, Cork. This will determine the top 5 from 20 anglers, as to who will represent Ireland at the 2014 Home International, and we wish them all tight lines. Stuart will also be fishing on the Irish International Team at the 2013 Home International and will be accompanied by Andrew Sloan, and the team Manager will be Brian Russell, all from the Dromore Club.

The competitor’s along with the controllers and officials enjoyed a well earned buffet in the local Boyles Bar after the competition. The angling club would like to remind anyone wishing to fish the Dromore waters, that they are very welcome indeed. Day Tickets are available at a modest £5.00 for Seniors and £2.00 for Juveniles. These can be purchased from Jackie McCracken’s shop, 7 Gallows Street, Dromore. A Rod licence is required on any water for all anglers over twelve years, and these can be downloaded from the DCAL website. You may wish to join the club for a very cheap fee of £25 at present.

The club hold written and signed trespass rights from most off the Riparian Owners, on the main river and also the Little Lagan, along with all the tributaries.

Club waters are from the Dromore side of the Gillhall Estate, upsteam to the source of the river at Slieve Croob. The Town Park is leased from Banbridge District Council, and fishing within it is free to anyone, but must be fished under club rules which are two fish per day over 25cm, fishing is by fly and worm only, no spinning or bait fishing allowed.

Most of the fishing within the Town Park is on one bank only, should you wish on fish both banks then you will require a day Ttcket.

The club season is from March 1st to October 31st, and during September and October the club runs a strict catch and release policy, in that all fish must be returned to the water, you can also release your catch if you do not wish to dispatch your quarry, at any time. Should you wish to contact the club, please ring the Secretary at: 078 3000 3923 and leave a message on his voicemail.