A THIRD strand of Sport Northern Ireland’s Everybody Active 2020 initiative, Outdoor Spaces, has opened for grant applications and provides opportunity for angling clubs to improve fisheries. The initiative, funded by the National Lottery, is targeted at small projects that deliver new or enhanced sustainable trails or facilities in the natural environment. The aim is to encourage increased participation by local communities in sports such as angling and physical recreation. The maximum cost of the project should normally be no greater than £250,000 as the focus is on community level outdoor infrastructure and funding will be up to 75%. Sport Northern Ireland will host a series of roadshows in November, with further information on the funding stream, and guidance on the application process. To register early and book your place at one of the roadshows – please email firstname.lastname@example.org Funding will be discussed at the third NI Angling Conference which is taking place on Saturday, November 5, at Craigavon Civic Centre. A limited number of tickets is still available.
MEANWHILE a distinguished Ulsterman has made another important new contribution to the library of angling literature. Peter McMullan trained as a newspaper reporter but left Belfast in 1971 to edit a daily paper in Canada. He has fished all over the world and contributed to magazines and newspapers in Ireland, England, Scotland, Finland and Canada. Along the way his fly rods have been tested by Atlantic and Pacific salmon, steelhead, brown and rainbow trout. In Casting Back: Sixty Years of Fishing and Writing the author takes the reader from his youth in Ireland during the 1940s to his time as a young journalist in Northern Ireland during the mid-1950s, through to the 1960s and into today’s western Canada. His recollections range from being a boarding school boy who would slip away from his dormitory before dawn to fish for tench, to how an Irish pig stole his salmon and an encounter with a black bear in British Columbia. He reflects on the lives of commercial fishers of herring in the Irish Sea, dollaghan in Lough Neagh and the big trout of New Zealand. This is a splendid read and high on John Dory’s list for Santa Claus. Casting Back: Sixty Years of Fishing and Writing by Peter McMullan, is available from Rocky Mountain Books in Canada and is priced at 25 dollars.