Top catch as Waringstown angler Brian sets record

Brian Uprichard who has won the Lough Melvin Open for a third time. INLM4212-203
Brian Uprichard who has won the Lough Melvin Open for a third time. INLM4212-203

A WARINGSTOWN angler has set a record that may never be beaten in a prestigious Northern Ireland fly fishing competition.

Fifty-two-year-old Brian Uprichard this year won the Lough Melvin Open for the third time.

Brian, who has been taking part in the competition for over 20 years, had his first success in 1997 and then became the first man to win it twice in 1999.

This year with over 300 anglers taking part the organisers decided to limited the number of qualifiers

Drawn with partner Tom ‘Doc’ Sullivan from Galway Brian won the Thursday heat to qualify for Sunday’s final.

“It’s a big competition in Northern Ireland and people come from all over the UK,” said Brian.

“It has always been lucky to me over the years.”

Fishing from boats Brian and Tom landed nine fish before time was called on Sunday.

With the heaviest bag of fish deciding the winner they felt that at the weigh-in they had a good chance of finishing in one of the top places.

“Tom does an awful lot of competition fishing.

“We knew we were in the top three but Tom thought that the guys closest to us had won.

“It was £700 for second place so that wouldn’t have been too bad but when the results were announced we had won,” said Brian.

It meant that Brian and Tom each received a Burke angling boat, valued at around 3,000 euros, and a piece of Galway Crystal.

It was his father Dessie who introduced Brian to the sport and he fished with the Iveagh Angling Club as well as part of the Irish international team.

“Winning is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill,” added Brian.

“Some people say you cannot be lucky three times but I say I can.”