Ireland Win Gold on Melvin

Melvin Magic
The Four Nations Spring International was fished on Lough Melvin out of Garrison on the 10thof June 2022.
But that’s not where the story starts.
Over the Covid years up to the 10th of June 2022, many members of the team, local anglers, the Garrison Club, our Captain Darren Maguire, his Dad Sean Maguire, and Team Fly Tier Jackie Mahon were all testing fly’s and putting a plan together for the final day whenever we could fish it. The time and work put in was outstanding to say the least. Every bit of information they could lay their hands on was sourced tied and out to use.
Leading up to the match itself the wind was terrible, but fish were caught. In flat calms nymphs and dry’s were used. A picture was forming. Many of the team traveling huge distances to practice for a day and returning home, boats were always available to use and nothing was amiss.
The week of the match the winds howled, believe it or not the team were looking for lighter conditions, as we had found that the Sonaghan fed better in these conditions, we also had a back up plan of fishing the shores for the Elusive Gillaroo and Brown trout if we had to leave the Sonaghan drifts.
 

Squeaky Bum time

The morning of the match everyone was in high spirits, but we all knew that with the high winds it would be a tight match and so it was, with the Sonaghan not playing ball, as the pods had been found in practice and had been pressured throughout the week.
At 6pm on the 10th of June the teams started to count their fish. As it was a catch and release competition. It was touch and go who had won as rumours went around the car park.
Eventually after the teams lined up the Irish team had caught 36, Scotland 31, Wales 21, and England 18. But it was all down to the overall lengths, not weights for the teams. The teams gathered as the at the bottom of the steps to await the News, surely Ireland would not be denied a Gold.
 
As Ireland were declared winners the whole of Garrison erupted, the sheer joy and relief was to be seen on all the Irish Teams faces, when I say Team, I mean all 60 odd of our team. There were so many people involved in the build up and during match week it was just crazy, the place went crazy.
Ireland had won at home, Gold Medals. As Darren Maguire was Captain, he dove off the Garrison pier as is customary for the winning Captain
Ireland - 36 fish - 1761 points
Scotland – 31 fish – 1526 points
Wales – 21 fish – 1029 points
England – 18 fish – 882 points
Best Basket- Denis Goulding – Ireland - 7 fish – 332 points
Largest Trout - Toby Bracey – Scotland – 33.4cms
 
 

So Many People Worked So Hard To Get This Result

There are so many people to thank.
Firstly, on behalf of the ITFFA I would like to thank the Garrison Lough Melvin Anglers Association led by Chairman Terry McGovern, who is also the President of the I.T.F.F.A.. and their extremely hard-working committee and Boat Manager James Doherty who worked tirelessly all week to ensure everyone got out safe and more importantly returned safely. To the lovely ladies Rosemary and Caroline, who supplied tea coffee and scones every morning, thank you.
To our Manager Michael Monaghan and Michael Callaghan who kept us all on our toes and left no stone unturned in arranging the event in conjunction with the IFFA committee. Thank you.
On behalf of the ITFFA I would also like to thank Ian Campbell and his wife Eleanor for all their hard as always. Thank you.
To Stanley McKeon our International President . thank you.
To Jackie Mahon our team fly tier, boated during the day, sharing his knowledge, and tying at night. I don’t know how you did it Jackie. Without you the victory would not have been ours.
Tony Sullivan who also supplied flies, thank you
Sean Maguire of Melvin Tackle who collected information and shared valuable knowledge with the team and produced secret Maguire flies thank you.
Southside Angling who continues to sponsor all the ITFFA teams, thank you.
Our main Spring Team Sponsor, Patsy Tracey of Tracey Concrete ltd for his sponsorship of the Spring Team, it was a huge help to costs for the members. Thank you.
We would also like to thank the below sponsors
Monaghan Freight Ltd
Jennings Fuel and Lubricant Ltd
Avrio Environmental Management Ltd
Precast Moulds and Engineering’s
C Elliot and Sons Transport
Mc Cafferey Concrete products Ltd
A special thank you must go to all the boatmen who gave their time to safely bring us all out on the lake and more importantly brought us home. Thank you.
As you can see it takes a lot of people to pull off such a result and only for them none of this would happen.
Lastly, I would like to wish the Autumn International Captain Patrick Ward all the best as they travel to Wales to represent Ireland in September

As The Dust Settles

Its been over three weeks since the match and it has given me time to look back on what we actually achieved as a team. By a team i mean ever one that help us out months before the match, match week and on the day itself..

 

There are far too many to mention but i would like to give a  major shout out to Jackie Mahon . Jackie gave up his time to bring team members out before the match, practice week he boated during the day and tied at night. During the pratice week i never had to take my vice out and that is a first for me. It meantcki we were not as stressed or as tired as normal. Jackie ties professionally and i would recommend him 1000 percent. Thank you for all your work Jackie.

The team worked together through all the weeks of practice and i was very proud to be part of the team. Match day was stormy but despite the my boat partner Keith Renton from Scotland made a plan and that was to fish for Gillaroo on the shores. Gary Crothers our boatman was happy and expertly guided us along the shores and Islands. I want to thank them both for a great day, as it was a very enjoyable day in great company.

I moved fish most of the day, loosing more than i would want but i was happy enough  coming in with 4 Gillaroo 2 sonaghan and a brown, all measured recorded and released back into the lake.  Keith ended up with 3 loosing a few also. Big gusty winds made it next to impossible so coming in with 10 to the boat was great.

Rumours at the weigh in was that Ireland had it, and i won the bowl. To be honest was only thinking about the team performance as we had worked so hard but conditions left us with not as many fish as we hoped. i only wanted the team to win at home as we did in the last home match on Mask.

As it turned out i won a few trophys on the day and my third shiney medal was mine. Truthfully it has only sunk in now that i won the Brown Bowl and every now and again when i think of it and smile. Its a dream of every competition angler,( well it was mine) to lay their hands on this trophy and i want to dedicate my win to My Family, Andrea my fishing widow, how she puts up with me i dont know ,to my son Patrik and my daughter Lilianna.. Also to my parents Margaret and sean, my bothers and sister that have put up with my fishing madness since i was able stand in a river.  And of course my fishing friends, you know who you are. Thank you all.

I will try and update the blog a lot more , but as you can tell i have been busy, after the senior Four Nations i was lucky enough to be involved in the Youths Four Nations and i will do a blog on that soon.

 

Till then tight lines and take care