Fishing has probably been taking place on the River Tolka for as long as the river has been in existence. But more recently, in 1953, the Tolka Trout Anglers Association (TTAA) based in Finglas was formed as the first official fishing club on the river. It was the only club on the river for many years and looked after and maintained the river and trout stocks through the vigilant work of dedicated volunteers.
Each year a competition for members of the Tolka Trout Anglers is held on the opening day of the fishing season, “St Patrick’s Day” which attracts a large group of anglers. While other competitions, such as Fly Only in May, are also arranged during the fishing season these competitions are very much community and family events with individual anglers and young anglers taking part.
In the late 1960’s Blanchardstown began to develop into a suburb of Dublin City which had consequences for members of the Tolka Trout Anglers. Members from B/town could still join TTAA and fish the river on opening day however they would have to travel to Finglas to weigh in any fish they thought stood a chance of winning. In order to alleviate this problem a meeting of the stake holders was arranged. The outcome of the meeting was that TTAA gave permission for local anglers to set up a local branch of the Tolka Trout Anglers.
As a result Tolka River Environmental Alliance (TREA) was formed in 2005 and has been a huge success with over 200 members signing up to the club each year. It has always promoted the involvement of young people in maintaining the environmental health of the river through fundraising events and clean-ups of the river. The young members were also very much involved in re-stocking the river with unfed fry. This committee has been to the forefront in monitoring the health of the river and in responding to the unfortunately, all too frequent fish kills on the Tolka River.
Fly fishing is one of the most enjoyable methods of tempting a wily trout out of the depths. The Foroige Fly Tiers was established as a part of TREA in 2013 by members and volunteers. They were very lucky to source a very skillful tier, Shay Finnegan from Lucan, who volunteers to teach members to tie flies each Wednesday evening from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Corduff Resource Centre.
New members male and female over 12 years of age are always very welcome.
TREA would like to especially note the tireless work and unselfish dedication of John Hennessy a local resident of Corduff who is a founder member and present treasurer of TREA. John’s passion for fishing and for the Tolka River is unmatched and without which I doubt that TREA or the River Tolka would be in the healthy position it is today.
Secretary, Tolka River Environmental Alliance