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The past weekend has been a busy one for this angler between one thing and another. I only managed to squeeze in a few hours fishing on Saturday evening. The weekend started off with a trip down to Birr Co. Offaly to the Irish Game and Country Fair that was taking place in Birr Castle. I travelled down to the fair early with intentions of getting back for a few hours fishing on the Liffey. The weather on the day was ideal for outdoor activities, it was warm and sunny with a good breeze blowing.

Birr Castle

My first port of call when i got there was fishermans row. There was a good variety of stalls catering for all aspects of angling including a good display of outdoor clothing. There was also some nice displays of fly tying gear which suited me as i was able to get the few things that i was looking for. Glenda Powell was there on hand giving some excellent casting tuition and demonstrations. I stopped off to have a look at the wonderful display of hawks and falcons, i also had a look a some of them flying in the main arena. The Red Rite was fabulous to see in flight.

Harris Hawk

The day passed by quickly as i wandered around the grounds looking at all sorts of things from a trailer full of smelly ferrets to a fish tank full of Salmon Parr. It was soon time for me to leave and head back up for the fishing. Getting in and out of the grounds was a lot easier this year compared to last year when the place looked like a swamp. Next year i may get to spend a full day and get to see some of the casting competitions.

River Liffey

I got to the river Liffey at about half six, the weather had changed at this time. It was now dull and overcast with an even stronger wind blowing. Luckily enough for me it was blowing upstream which was the way i wanted to start fishing. There was not too much fly life about the place with only a sparse few blue winged olive spinners dancing around. I started fishing an olive klinkhammer upstream and after several casts i had a fish on. It was a little wild brown trout of about twenty two centimeters long. I fished this method for an hour and a half or so and it accounted for seven fish, three of which were Salmon Parr. It  was now starting to get dark so i changed over to fish a balloon caddis as i walked back which i fished down and across. I caught six more fish with this method before i called it a day, again three were Salmon Parr. Great to see the Parr in the river in what appears to me to be good numbers. As usual i returned all fish safely back to the river. Checking on the water temperature i noted that it has dropped by several degrees, it  was at fifteen degrees Celcius. Another sign that the season is coming to an end.

Duck Race

Sunday i spent helping out with the Kilcullen River Festival. It was the first year of  this festival so it was new to all of the organising committee none of whom expected the success it turned out to be. The day kicked off with a duck race on the river followed by the the Kildare v Down match live on big screen in market square. There was lots of activities to keep the children occupied, a bungee run, bouncing castles, face painters, rodeo bull and a wonderful display of military vehicles.

Busy Market Square

The army personel were great with the children assisting them on board around their vehicles. The fire engine and military ambulance were a big hit with the children especially the sirens. The army personel were also on hand with the provision of  and the setting up of the tents on the day. They also provided the seating and tables. A big thanks to all personel involved. After the match  it was the raft race which involved the local bars and businesses building a raft to compete against each other. This was absolutely hilarious there was not many dry competitors by the end of the race.

Raft Race

There was also an obstacle course race with teams battling it out pulling and dragging dead weight dummies, ammunition and five gallon jerry cans from one side of the river to the other against the clock. The festival finished up with a tug of war across the river. It too was hilarious, lots of wet competitors. It was a fun filled great family day full of community spirit. Thanks to all involved in such a successful day. Here is to the next Kilcullen River Festival.    

 

2 Responses to “Fishing, a Fair and a Festival”

  1. joseph says:

    hi wgsten
    great blog, always learn something new. thanx

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