The Dublin Trout Anglers’ Association is a Dublin-based trout fly-angling club with more than 200 members. AFFILIATED TO I.T.F.F.A. AND N.A.R.A
A committee is elected from the membership each year (at the AGM) and runs the day to day affairs of the Association. New members are most welcome.
Current office holders are:
President: Gerry Heaslip
Honorary Secretary: Cathal McDonnell
Honorary Treasurer: Declan McKibben
Competition Secretary: Tom Hipwell
Membership Secretary: Justin Clarke
Chairperson: Gary Coakley
Current committee is…
A Brief History
The Dublin Trout Anglers’ Association was founded on the 1st of November 1929 when a number of enthusiastic anglers including Messrs. H. G. Ryder, C. H. Caulfield, E. P. Mccarron, Laurie Gaffey, W. B. Scott, C. Murphy, S. Mason, R. Cockerton, A. E. Woodnut and Dr. R. P. McDonnell formed an ad hoc committee and gathered other anglers who fished in the Upper Liffey and Kings Rivers.
The first A. G. M. was held on the 26th of January 1931. The Association H. Q. at that time was at 122, Stephen’ s Green, rented at £6.00 per annum. The early membership was about 70.
The first fishing rights were acquired on the Liffey at Ballyward.
Rights and permissions were obtained on other waters on the Lisheen, Kings and Liffey Rivers and also on the Tolka, to accommodate the growing membership. Special rates were negotiated for anglers travelling to Blessington on the steam tram!
In 1930 a hatchery was opened in the Zoological Gardens and the first fry were released into the Associations waters in April of that year. In 1933, a hatchery was built at Cypress Grove, Templeogue, by courtesy of a member, Mr. P. Walsh, and up to 100,000 fry a year were produced for stocking not only our own water but also those of other Leinster Clubs. Unfortunately, due to development, the hatchery closed in 1954 and is now built on.
The E. S. B. started construction of the Poulaphouca Dam in 1937 and, as a result, much of the Association water in the Blessington area was flooded over and incorporated in the new lake. After protracted negotiations with the E. S. B. a lease of the fishing rights on the Reservoir was finalised. This, to many of the then existing members, was the hay day of the Poulaphouca Lake fishing, because, as usually happens with newly flooded land, the river fish grew to unprecedented size on the rich land feeding. Trout averaged 2 lbs. and fish up to 4 or 5 lbs. were common.
The Boat house at Burgage Bridge was built in 1954 to accommodate the Association’s boats and a small parcel of land beside it was presented by Mr. Besson of Burgage House whose sister-in-law Miss Heron designed and presented the wrought-iron trout replica which, until recently, adorned the entrance. Sadly, it mysteriously disappeared in the recent past, and the present fish, which is a copy of the original, was, very kindly, expertly constructed by Mr. Gerry Kennedy, a friend of a member of the current Committee.
The I.T.F.F.A. Leinster Championship Competition was fished on Poulaphouca Lake in 1955. Sixteen boats (32 rods) took part. By 1958, the trout fishing on the Reservoir had deteriorated and perch were present in large numbers. Many Dubliners will remember the crowds that turned out to Blessington to fish for the tagged perch, some of which earned rewards of up to £100 — big money in those days! In spite of these efforts to deal with the problem, perch numbers continued to increase. In conjunction with the Department of fisheries, the D.T.A.A. commissioned and paid for a biological survey of the Lake which was undertaken by Dr. C. Moriarty and completed in 1960. After that the Association, together with the E.S.B. and the Kilbride Anglers Club, made Trojan efforts to reduce the numbers of predator fish by trapping perch and netting pike which appeared around 1964.
Teams of members of both clubs went out on a daily basis, around spawning time, to empty the traps of perch and clear the nets of pike. Some tons of these pests were removed from the lake over a period of a few years, and thousands of fingerling trout were stocked into the lake. However, a further survey revealed that no real progress was being made and the E.S.B. decided, in consultation with the Clubs, to embark on the stocking of 2+ adult brown trout in an effort to improve the quality of the trout fishing. This programme has been successful and has provided good trout angling since it’s commencement. The E.S.B. has expended some hundreds of thousands of pounds and euro over the years supporting the programme and full credit is due to that organisation for it’s continued input. It means, in effect, that Poulaphouca is now, by and large, a put and take fishery, as, with the coming into force of the by-law for the protection of pike in 1990, the programme for the clearance of pike from the lake had to cease. More recently, rainbow trout of very high quality have been included in the stocking. The pike population is thought to be very high and Pike, of up to and over 25 lbs., are caught annually. The vast majority of these pike, when caught, are returned to the lake, so that, effectively, there is no predator control whatsoever in operation in this fishery.
The two reservoirs comprising this fishery were constructed in 1884 in a scheme undertaken by Rathmines and Pembroke Urban District Council. It supplies 4 million gallons of Domestic water per day. Only the upper reservoir is used for drinking water. The lower reservoir was provided to conserve a supply of water for the mills on the River Dodder in times of drought. Water powered mills are now a thing of the past on the Dodder.
Dublin Corporation, now Dublin City Council, granted fishing rights to the Association on the Bohernabreena Lakes in 1960. Similar rights are held by the Dodder Angler’s Club and a joint stocking programme has been carried out on the lower lake since the 1970s. More recently, Dublin City Council has funded this programme each year. It provides good angling. The upper lake is one of the few remaining wild brown trout fisheries in Ireland, if not in Europe. The main sources of predation on this water is by Cormorants and Grey Herons. No artificial stocking is done in this water at all. Stock numbers remain high because of the good spawning facilities available and the fact that angling is confined to the bank. It is the policy of both clubs to maintain this water in it’s present form as a wild fishery.
Special note re entrance to Bohernabreena Reservoirs:
For members wishing to access Bohernabreena Reservoir it is necessary to have your name, mobile number and car registration registered with DTAA. The DTAA will pass the details on to a representative in Dublin City Council to ensure you will be allowed access.The new arrangement which has been introduced by Dublin City Council for opening the vehicular gate replaces the padlock key and fob system. The new arrangement will involve members dialing a specified mobile number; using your mobile phone that has been registered with the Association. Once the number is already registered, the gate will open automatically. Once open members can drive through and the gate will close automatically. To ensure that no unauthorized person drives in behind you, pause until the gate closes before driving off. To open the gate when leaving, dial the same number. Drive through when the gate opens. It will close automatically. Please drive slowly.
If you wish to have your details registered for access, or change any details already registered please contact Mr. Gerry Heaslip on 0862253126.
Members are requested to apply a ‘catch and release’ policy on both the Upper and Lower Reservoirs at Bohernabreena. For Association Competitions bag limits may be set which will be announced on the day of competitions.
For over seventy five years now, the Association has been most fortunate in having the goodwill of riparian owners. It is the policy of the Association to nurture this good relationship with landowners, whose lands border our fisheries, and each one is contacted at least once each year to resolve any problems which may have arisen with regard to the use of the fisheries