The Last Cast

Easter memories from St. Mel's visit

Jarlath Gallagher

Reporter:

Jarlath Gallagher

Easter memories from St. Mel's visit

In my memories Easter has always held a fond place. I recall it being a time of year when as a kid it meant two weeks of holidays and plenty of fishing. A nice sized group of us from national school would all head out to “Redbridge” on an array of bicycles.

Redbridge was situated on Lough Rinn Estate. It was a painted Victorian cast iron mesh bridge that crossed the Rinn River on the Gortletteragh side of the main entrance to the then unoccupied castle.

It was much talked about as a hotspot for plenty of Perch in the classroom and yard in the weeks before the holidays and lots of boasting about who would catch the most or largest. I recall it always being warm, sometimes even to sunburn standards.

I remember catching so many perch and putting them in onion bags in the water as a basic keep net, at the end of the day we would all judge the largest haul and the winner was declared. With the setting came a schoolboy’s paradise.

Lord Leitrim’s Castle, the walled gardens, the ruined castle of the original McRaghnall occupants and the vastness of the estate made a visit to Redbridge much to look forward to and was our own theme park which had as many new attractions as we could possibly imagine every new day. It was a perfect introduction to fishing and obviously it made an impact on me as I am still fishing some 40 years later.

With that in mind it was a privilege to welcome St. Mel’s College Angling Club back to Lough Rowan for a day’s fishing and training recently. The Club, only formed last year by Teacher Michael Galvin now boasts a sizable membership and is going from strength to strength.

Michael is Chairman of the Camlin & District Angling Club and credit is due to him for instigating this project. The following taken from the club Facebook page illustrates the success of the day for the boys. “The St. Mel's fishing club had their first fishing outing of 2017 today. They were fishing Lough Rowan as guests of the Rinn Shannon & District Angling Club. It was a fantastic day out with loads of fish being caught and lots of fish lost at the net. This is a wonderful fishery with loads of top class brown and rainbow trout. All of the fish caught today were between 2lbs and 5lbs and all fighting fit.

Huge thanks to Emmet and Mark from the Camlin and District angling club who gave up their day off to help out and instruct the lads. Also to Mr. Sheridan for all his help. The lads were encouraged to catch and release today and also the important issue of leave no trace.

Overall it was a very enjoyable day and we are looking forward to our next outing to the hot water stretch in Lanesborough near the end of May. Tight lines!”

Waters & Communities Public Meetings

The Waters & Communities Office is hosting public meetings within the coming weeks to discuss the natural waters of County Leitrim. If you are interested in water quality, angling, heritage, biodiversity, amenity or issues affecting your local waterways then this is an opportunity to have your say. Information shall be presented on the latest River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021 along with details on how you can input into the final plan. The Waters & Communities Office aims to get local communities more involved in valuing and protecting our local waters and these meetings provide an opportunity to have your say.

Karen Kennedy, Community Waters Office for Leitrim will present this information and facilitate and a discussion on the issues raised. The times and dates of these meetings are as follows:

Bee Park Community Centre Manorhamilton April 27, at 8pm

Bush Hotel Carrick-on-Shannon May 4, at 8pm

Commercial Hotel Ballinamore May 11, at 8pm.

Until next time … stay safe on the water & tight lines.