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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Angling Notes: A Hardy tome for lovers of fly-tying

Angling Notes: A Hardy tome for lovers of fly-tying

The recent Irish Fly Fair in Galway saw the launch of the latest encyclopaedic work on classic salmon flies by Waterville angling historian, Martin Lanigan-O’Keeffe. The historian, whose previous book catalogued all of the salmon flies produced by Farlows, has now turned to the most famous fishing tackle firm of them all, Hardy Brothers of Alnwick.

Hardy’s Salmon Flies is a monumental tome of more than 600 pages and contains over 1,000 salmon fly dressings, all of which were associated with the Hardy’s fly shop between 1883 and 1969.

There are more than 800 colour illustrations of salmon flies, many of which are the product of the Hardy’s fly shop, some given to Hardy’s to copy and some are originals from the hands of such notables as George M Kelson and TE Pryce-Tannatt, as well as more recent fly dressers including Megan Boyd.

There are dressings for salmon rivers throughout the northern hemisphere, including two sections specifically on Irish flies.

The book also includes colour illustrations of sample materials intended for particular flies, reproductions of plates from catalogues, and a comprehensive list of all the salmon flies listed in catalogues from 1883 until 1969.

A selection of 12 Irish patterns from the 1907 catalogue of Martin Lanigan-O’Keeffe’s masterpiece of Hardy’s Salmon Flies.

The book was very well received at the fair, with the cream of Irish and European salmon fly-tyers united in praise of the author’s work and competing to tie their versions of these classic salmon fly patterns.

Lanigan-O’Keeffe is recognised as a leading authority on vintage salmon flies and their patterns, and a member of the Flyfishers’ Club and of its Library and Collections Subcommittee.

Hardy’s Salmon Flies – Patterns from the Fly Tying Department 1883-1969, retails at £75 (€87.88) and can be purchased from Paul Morgan, Coch-y-Bonddu Books, Machynlleth, Mid-Wales SY20 8DG, UK Tel: 0044 (0) 1654-702837 or

Minister seeks input into development of unified consultation group

The Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, Seán Canney, has invited angling representative organisations to participate in developing the sport as an economic and social driver for rural Ireland.

Mr Canney has written to all angling organisations emphasising his firm intention to establish a unified consultation group to operate according to clear terms of reference and code of conduct.

The group will be equally represented and will engage in productive liaison to support co-operation across all the component disciplines of angling.

The Minister has signalled his clear intention that the group will be the single channel for orderly, progressive and constructive engagement on policy issues with Inland Fisheries Ireland and senior officials in his department.

It will also be a significant conduit for access to organisation-related funding, particularly sponsorship.

Liaison with Sport Ireland is also proposed to establish a formal relationship with this new group to place angling on a sound footing among the wide range of recreational sports, based on strong and robust governance principles.

The Minister’s initiative follows a number of meetings with the combined organisations and he has asked them to confirm their participation by the end of January 2020.

Mr Canney said: “I am leading on a positive, inclusive and consensual body for angling for the benefit of the entire recreational fishing sector. I expect all those with angling’s true interest at heart to join me in this endeavour.”

Angling licence sales reopen

Salmon and sea trout angling licence sales have now reopened for the 2020 season and can be purchased at with logbooks and gill tags dispatched by post. Online licences can also be acquired from local IFI offices or approved sales distributors.

Costs for the new season remain the same, ie All districts – Annual: €100. Juvenile (under 18 years), all districts – Annual: €10. One district – Annual: €56. All districts – 21 days: €40. All districts – 1 day: €20. Foyle area extension – €80.

Funds generated will boost revenue for the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation, and Protection Fund which represents a major contribution to wild salmon and sea trout conservation.

Anglers are reminded to return their 2019 logbook and unused gill tags even if there is no catch recorded. These returns provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks for the future.

Salmon season kicks off

The salmon angling season gets under way this Wednesday (January 1st) on a limited number of river and lake fisheries. Lough Gill (Sligo), Carrowmore Lake (Mayo) and the Drowes river (Donegal/Leitrim) continue their early season start and, for the seventh successive year, the Lower Liffey prevails on a catch and release basis.

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