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Irish Trip Report

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Irish International Fly Fair Trip Report

In benefit of Dibney River Conservation Trust


Drove from London via Leeds , Durham and Newcastle, where I got to see my kids, my wee grandson Rhys and my girlfriend Julia.

I went on to Scotland where my excellent friend, Jim Lees hosted me for a few days and took me fishing on some of his local small streams.

Thanks, Jim


I was expected to catch some of the lightning browns from the shadows


That worked, I caught my first ever wild brown in Scotland


And more


After a couple of days, Julia joined us to go to Ireland where were organising the Fair.

Jim built the website for the show, all benefits going to the Dibney River Conservation Trust. Thanks again mate.


I am kinda PR and an ear for the committee, whatever, we picked up Charlie Davidson in Ayr and went by ferry to Belfast. On the way Julia had an anaphylactic reaction to a raisin – wot! Again!! So I ran about the place, getting first aiders, Purser, an Epipen ( ours was in the car in the hold) and got her to fire a load of adrenalin into herself.

Being confused at three or four minutes into the attack she administered the shot upside down – into her thumb, cool, Roy tweaked it out again after the blast had had time to absorb. Landing in Belfast, we went to hospital and had her checked out, Alive, discharged, onward and upward, off to the Fair

The Irish International Fly Fair is at Killyleagh – Co. Down, half an hour from Belfast, set in a village, beautiful, the castle on top of the hill surveys Strangford Lough from its West Bank

The Lough is Ireland’s largest Sea Lough and is protected against commercial marine fishing

It is host to huge langoustines, sea trout of great proportions, grey seals, a wildlife sanctuary for migrating geese from the far north. Oh and some dude is trying to set up a fish farm to breed sea trout, stripping local fish, then pen-rearing and then release the smolts – sounds good but his science is poor. Yet he would want to get licence to impose a rod fee, - on water which is public - whereas the plan of Dibney River Conservation Trust is to improve habitat so that the fish can reproduce naturally as intended by nature and allow the fishing to remain in the public Domain.

Thus we travelled a thousand miles to help the Dibney River. Just don't add the airport runs and fishing trips..



The event is held at Killyleagh Castle, thanks to the laird for his giving us the location;

the Dufferin Arms fed us for two days, thanks for that and the use of the cellar for the tying show.





After the show on Saturday we were invited into the reception lounge at the castle for a whiskey tasting session from Feckin Irish Whiskey, a kind sponsor, wine and canapés being to the fore,



In the foreground, Ted Malone, aged 93 years, ‘Godfather of Irish FlyTying ‘; behind, the Mayor, Stevie Kennedy, an excellent friend and who works his heart out doing cleanups and organising this show and the chair of DRCT, Billy Walker. The local MP attended.

We presented talks by -

The Wild Trout Trust;

Dr Ken Whelan, the foremost expert on migratory trout in Europe,

Prof. Andrew Ferguson, Queens Uni. Belfast

and from the committee of DRCT, besides tying in the cellar, the pubs and the recreation Centre where Ted teaches the youngsters, cheers Mr. Malone.


Free casting instruction was available from AAPGAI, APGAI (Ireland) FFF and the Hardy Greys Academy

I won’t mention names as I would leave someone adrift, it was a pleasure to spend the weekend among such elevated minds; the information is available in the IIFF website which Jim built.




As a result of our managing to get such a show of intellect and cross-fertilise our remit with the local governmental representatives, we believe that we now have a much stronger relationship between the community and its representatives who now fully understand the potential of the area and how we can make nature improve it for us.

After the whiskey tasting we decided to take a stroll by the river


Another day demonstrating and we were free to go, everybody wanted to stay.


On the Monday, I took a party of four fishing in North Antrim where I grew up and rebuilt my local river.

Everybody wanted to catch a fish there.


I did a guided tour of the catchment, we grabbed some breakfast, bought a licence and went to see the wee burn.


I was obliged to first cast to prove there was a fish there, nope

Ok, second cast then


Jim next, Stoyan on fish-spotter detail


Jim’s fish is on video, no pics, sucks fer sure


Stoyan had a dink right beside one of the few rocks I left on the bank


So we dedicated it as Stoyan’s Rock in his honour, champagne and cigars were fired off


Marc Fauvet (FFF) and Andy Baird (Mr #32) joined us after a bit – Marc had a go


Andy lives nearby so he he fishes here regularly and keeps me updated on the stream.

The fish were eating these spinners


plus Baetis and Ephemerella duns and anything wee and dark.


Then dinner


And then home


Thanks to DRCT for hosting this event and to all who took part, attended and showed support in your many ways,



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SOMEDAY! Ireland is just such a beautiful place. I'm going to England for my fishing trip next summer.. After seeing all these pictures I think i'll plan the summer of 2012 fishing trip for somewhere in Ireland..


Thanks for the pictures and the report. I've always wanted to go to one of the fly fairs in ireland, scotland, or england as they seem to have all the best tyers and some of the greatest all-time patterns..




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Thanks, guys,

I can't wait to get back, miss the place already.. no place like home!


Chris, i live in London UK, if you are passing through I have some fine fishing nearby here too.

Let me know & I will show you a fine wee chalkstream.



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