1955 - 2023


In the past we have dedicated our fair to absent friends and this year I want to dedicate it to one of my closest friends in angling John Todd who we lost earlier this year. John helped me a lot and many others that try to work in fly fishing. A great man with great angling knowledge and who is greatly missed.

John Todd was born Co Antrim, on 1 April 1955. He was responsible for developing angling tourism in the 1990s, bringing many well-known angling personalities over from Britain, including Trout & Salmon editor Sandy Levington, renowned fly-fishing writer Malcolm Greenhalgh, and pike fishing guru Mick Brown. He was actively involved in REFFIS and a founder member of the Wild Trout Society, subsequently the Wild Trout Trust.

John was known and respected throughout Ireland and beyond, as a wonderful authoritative angling writer and commentator, contributing to Trout & Salmon, Flyfishing & Flytying, his weekly ‘Reel Thing’ angling column in the Irish News, and the benchmark guide to angling in Northern Ireland and Co. Donegal, Game Angling in the North of Ireland (Blackstaff Press).

He worked for five years as Fisheries Manager for the Loughs Agency, improving local angling facilities, and developing the potential for attracting visiting anglers. He organised successful angling fairs helped by Stevie Munn in Derry and Carlingford between 2001 and 2006. These were very well attended, featuring well-known British and overseas game angling personalities, fly-tying, and casting experts.

John was never happier than by the rivers and loughs of the north and west of Ireland, with his beloved wife Sheila, dogs Rosie (deceased) and Hollie, visitors from Britain and further afield, or local fishing friends, especially Charlie Hegarty, Roy Graham, and John McLoughlin. He loved too many rivers and loughs to single out just one, but he was especially fond of the river Bush, near Bushmills in Co Antrim, which also provided a key ingredient in his favourite wee tipple. John also loved the Delphi Fishery in Co Galway, rivers Finn, Lackagh, and Lennon in Co. Donegal, and Lough Melvin and the river Drowes in Co Leitrim.

His favourite trout lakes were ‘sweet’ Lough Fern in Co Donegal and Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh. John fished Erne and Melvin regularly with Roy Graham, last of the old school Fermanagh ghillies, who features in John’s last written work, Roy and Me. John finished dictating this book to Sheila from his hospital bed shortly before he died on 2 February 2023. He is survived by his wife Sheila, dog Hollie, and sister Anne. He will be much missed by family, many friends across Ireland and further afield, and the Bushmills distillery in Co Antrim. By Chris Paris

John ‘Toddie’ Todd discovered the joys of fishing with rod and line when he was six years old, and since then there has hardly been a moment when he hasn’t had a rod in his hand. His passion for the sport led to a lifetime of fishing on the rivers of Ireland and Scotland, most of them for salmon, trout and sea trout and many in the company of his great friend Roy – hence the title of this book. He became a much-loved and respected guide to hundreds of visiting anglers over the years that followed, including TV presenter Chris Tarrant. This is his entertaining story, filled with just as much craic as casting. If you would like to read his atmospheric book Roy and I would highly recommend.
Roy & Me: Angling adventures on the great rivers and loughs of Scotland and Ireland

Stevie Munn

Partridge, Cadence,  Fishpal, Veniard, Regal Vise, Ahrex Hooks, Belmorecourt Motel, Semperfli Trout & Salmon & CND Sponsors of The Irish Fly Fair 2024