26 Sept 2022

Living the dream

Jarlaith Gallagher with fine Lough Key brown trout.
I have often mentioned on just how lucky we are to live in County Leitrim.

I have often mentioned on just how lucky we are to live in County Leitrim.

Not just because of the beauty of our scenery, our renowned friendliness or the quality of the angling diversity this county possesses. An often forgotten advantage of residing in Leitrim for the angler is simply location, location location!

The other night while going over some Ordinance Survey maps, looking for some possible trout rivers I had never fished, I had a sort of epiphany.

I took my old battered map of Ireland, placed my compass into the centre of Carrick-on-Shannon and made a perfect circle wide enough to encompass all the great western lakes, the midland lakes and the north western lakes.

I then opened up the laptop and did a Google search for “AA Route Planner”. My plan was to discover distance and time from the Carrick On Shannon area to all the above destinations.

I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. It turns out that the likes of Lough Corrib, Lough Conn and Lough Mask in the west, Lough Ree, Lough Owel and Lough Sheelin in the midlands, and Lough Arrow, Lough Key and Lough Melvin in the north west can all be reached within a reasonable time of between 2½ to 3 hours driving!

Theoretically this means that resident Leitrim anglers have easy access to some of Europe’s finest wild trout venues and more importantly can make a decision to fish any of these venues in the morning and if necessary can be home in a very short period if need be.

This certainly is an advantage for the angler who targets larger specimens, which tend to reveal themselves more frequently during the annual Mayfly bonanza and can provide the possibility of fishing more than one venue on the same day.

So while we may find plenty of reasons to give out and moan about what County Leitrim is lacking, just spare a thought for “Gunter” from Dusseldorf or “Reinhart” from Berlin who, as they look out their office windows over high rise buildings with the constant drone of traffic in the background, are daydreaming of getting out on the likes of Lough Melvin or Lough Ree for some fantastic wild brown trout angling as they strikes off the days on the calendar and wishing and wishing for the time to pass so that their dream will soon becomes a reality.

But for us all we have to do is pick a venue, gear up, hop in the car and within a few hours we are living the dream!

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

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