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With help from its sister charity The Wheelyboat Trust,
Handicapped Anglers Trust (HAT) - Ireland has just supplied its first Mk II
Wheelyboat to the Republic of Ireland on no less a fishery than the prolific
River Blackwater in Co Waterford.
We welcome and
disabled anglers, and have
facilities to aid the disabled angler, with a wheelyboat available to those
anglers who may have difficulty through a disability to access all our club
waters. An ideal solution to anglers confined to a wheelchair
as an example, Our wheelyboat crewmen are experienced
game anglers and knowledgeable fully trained wheelyboat boatmen
and happy to take disabled anglers onto the river. Our
waterkeeper (John Woodside) is happy to provide his
time at no cost and as a disabled angler himself has
an empathy to providing disabled anglers the opportunity
to fish for salmon on one of Irelands best known prolific
salmon rivers. Fishing equipment is available locally, and license
and day tickets can usually be purchased on the day. Catching your first Wild
Atlantic Salmon in Ireland will never be forgotten. Hotels and Bed &
Breakfast accommodation are available locally and experienced Gillies and Professional Tuition can be organised when
Cappoquin Blackwater Wheelyboat will provide disabled anglers and wheelchair users in
particular with unparalleled access to four miles of prime salmon fishing and
sea-trout fishing on one of Ireland's most famous rivers. The boat has been
acquired by the Cappoquin Salmon & Trout Anglers Association and will be
available to both members and visiting day-ticket anglers. Funding for the boat
was provided by the National Lottery Ireland, Southern Coarse and Trout
Development Society and CLAR. She has been named as an "bradan feasa"
( the Salmon of knowledge).
The Cappoquin water is some 17 miles upstream of the estuary and
is at the uppermost reaches of the tide. The beats fish best in low water
conditions when fresh salmon take up residence after every tide while they wait
for a rise in water levels following rain to help them travel to their spawning
grounds further upstream. The fishery's best months are July, August and
September when summer salmon and grilse enter the system in large numbers. All legal methods can
be used at Cappoquin, spinning, worm and prawn, and there is also some
excellent streamy water for fly-fishing.
for disabled anglers on the river blackwater is extremely limited and there are few, if any, accessible
pools on the entire river for the disabled angler. The difference this one boat has made is enormous.
In fact, it has provided disabled anglers with a huge advantage over their able
bodied counterparts putting all the pools and runs in easy reach and access. Some of the
beats are a fair distance to walk to, and as a consequence, are only lightly
fished. Disabled anglers have been able to take full advantage of these places as well
as getting themselves into a prime position to fish the more popular pools
which are only accessible to able bodied anglers from the bank or by wading.
formal launch ceremony took place on August 20th 2004. Minister for the Marine,
John Browne, represented the Government and warmly welcomed the initiative,
even suggesting that funds will be found for similar projects.
after the launch, Jeremy Nicholson, secretary of Cappoquin Salmon and Trout
Angling Association and Andy Beadsley, a wheelchair user and Director of the
UK's Wheelyboat Trust, took the Wheelyboat for its first salmon fishing trip.
Within an hour, Andy had christened her with a salmon, possibly the first
salmon ever caught from a Wheelyboat. It was certainly his first one from a
Wheelyboat and it was his first from the Blackwater. Minutes later Jeremy
Blackwater at Cappoquin is as famous for its coarse fishing as it is for salmon
and sea-trout fishing, and still holds the rod caught record for a roach. The Wheelyboat
is also of course available for coarse fishing anglers. And for the non-anglers, though, the
Wheelyboat can be used to explore the 17 miles to the estuary through some
terrific scenery. There is no specific hire charge as for disabled people the
boat comes as part of a day's fishing permit (about 25-40 euros). However, because
the river can be a hazardous environment, Wheelyboat users will need to be
accompanied by a qualified gillie/boatman who will usually charge a day/half
day rate for their
the Wheelyboat, contact Jeremy Nicholson on 00 353 58 52302. At least 24 hours
notice is required to book the wheelyboat and arrange a crew. The gillie boatmen are members of the Cappoquin Salmon
& Trout Angling Association and are trained to take on their new role .
Armed with a wealth of knowledge, our dedicated
gillies/boatmen will make your day an enjoyable experience
on one of Irelands most prolific salmon rivers.
Most disabilities do not prevent the disabled
person from fishing, instead it is the consequences of the disability, e.g. the
need to use a wheelchair to get around, that causes the problems. Where
facilities such as the Wheelyboat are provided, as well as making life much
easier for disabled people who already fish, it gives disabled people who have
never fished before the opportunity to go fishing for the first time. It is
therefore hoped that provision of facilities like the Wheelyboat throughout the
UK and Ireland will encourage many more disabled people of all ages and
backgrounds to experience for themselves the many charms game and course fishing has to offer.
Copyright (c) 1996-2006 Cappoquin Salmon & Trout Anglers Association. All rights reserved.