“STUART McMurran enjoyed a second successive victory last weekend as Ulster Rivers’ champion following a competitive outing on County Cavan’s Annalee River.
“McMurran and myself will join Mark Duncan, Andrew Sloan and Mark Sloan as Ulster’s qualifiers for the ITFFA National Rivers’ Championships in June.
“That national competition will feature 20 anglers from across the provinces to finalise the closing six for Ireland’s Home Internationals.
“With the river in fine condition, wetfly was the dominant tactic, although nymphs and dries did account for a fair share of the better-sized trout.
“Gerry McCarthy from Castleblaney recorded and safely returned the largest fish at 43cm.
“This competition is fished on a catch-and-release basis and all competitors are allocated a controller who ensures start and finish times are adhered to, as well as recording the catch.
“The competition is scored over four 90-minute sessions and to be successful the angler must catch consistently throughout the day.
“Saturday’s competition saw close on nearly 300 trout caught, measured and safely returned to the water.
“Saturday also marked the qualifier for the 2013 ITFFA Youth International Team, held on Lough Owel in Mullingar when 39 juveniles took part in the boat competition.
“Fishing conditions were extremely tough, with bright sunshine and an easterly wind but anglers still required four good-sized trout to qualify and make the team.
“Cork’s Niall McCarty took top spot as ITFFA youth champion and made the team along with Darragh Carr, Ryan Binley, Tom Hickey, Dylan Byrne, Stephen Ryan, Jack McGee, Peter O’Brien, John Buckley and Colin O’Reilly.
“On Sunday, it was the fund-raising competition for the ITFFA youth team on Lough Owel.
“With a brand-new 19-foot Angler’s Fancy boat up for grabs, the competition was well-supported.
“Paddy Ward proved that local knowledge can go a long way as he became the proud owner of a brand new boat!
“Anyone interested in fishing competitively across ITFFA events must be a member of an affiliated club such as Iveagh Anglers, Banbridge Anglers or Armagh Anglers.
“On the local rivers front, they are all well worth a visit as the water levels have now settled.
“Both the Cusher and Lagan are seeing fish rising in the evenings to midge and dryfly is coming into play.
“The Bann at Gilford saw plenty of olives at the weekend, with Warren Campbell and Mark Sloan making the best of the hatch on Sunday by recording plenty of trout to 31cm.
“They employed nymph tactics in the morning, switching to dries in the afternoon with the adult duns on the water.
“Glenkeen Fishery in Augnacloy continues to provide consistent sport.
“Keady’s Arthur Magennis had two reasons to celebrate recently after winning both the Angler of the Week and Angler of the Month competitions following a fine haul of 20 fish.
“Arthur finished the month with a reasonably healthy lead over the pack, with an average of 15 fish-per-outing during the month of April.
“Antrim’s Charlie Rodgers managed to net one of the tagged fish.
“On Saturday, Glenkeen Fishery had the pleasure of hosting Kilkeel Angling Club for the Spring competition.
“Norman McBride came out on top with the heaviest bag and had his four-fish bag landed within the first 30 minutes, meaning he was also the first to land his full quota for the competition.
“If you are looking to hold an event at the venue please contact the fishery for further information, with opening times 8 o’clock until late each weekend or 9 o’clock on every Wednesday.
“Contact Sammy on 07742305511, David on 07706725659 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
“Lowry’s Lake is still fishing consistently well throughout the day, with buzzer fishing coming into play in the evenings.
“The fish have been feeding late into dark and Laurelvale’s Jason Russell took full advantage last week by using buzzers and diawl bachs.
“Anglers will be looking for temperatures to increase going into May so that we can take advantage of the fabulous black gnat and mayfly fishing the country has to offer.
“This month no doubt will see the first of the grilse appear in the Foyle system, making salmon angling a viable prospect for many anglers.”
For further information log on to www.brflyfishing.co.uk.