Thursday 23 November 2017

In Pictures: Fisherman's dream in Sligo as River Lodge hits the market for €295k

Go fly fishing straight from your garden at Sligo's River Lodge

The church-like exterior of the home
The church-like exterior of the home
The Lodge has private access to the Grange River
The spare room which could be a den for teenagers
The timber floor in the hallway
The open-plan dining room leads to the kitchen
The sitting room
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

Of all forms of angling, it is fly fishing, with its extra light rods, fine lines and graceful casting, that is considered to be far and away the most skilful. So much so, that dry-land casting competitions, which see competitors whip forth lines over dozens of metres in a looping, reeling ballet, can draw hundreds of onlookers.

Within fly-fishing circles, the use of the 'dry' fly (that which floats on the surface rather than sinks) is considered to be even more skilful again than the use of 'wet' flies, which sink, cause less disturbance and are less likely to spook the fish away.

And you'll require even more ability if you choose to dry fly-fish on a river rather than a lake - the water moves faster, making your feather-tied lure more difficult to control. There are also far more obstacles to snare your hook and line running alongside an overgrown river bank than from a boat.

Finally, at the very tip of the fishing skill-set pyramid comes small stream/small river dry fly-fishing. The smaller the river, the harder it is to approach the fish unseen from the bank. Fish in smaller rivers are also more open to predation and therefore far more skittish.

The timber floor in the hallway
The timber floor in the hallway

The Grange River which runs through both Donegal and Sligo is one such fishery - and will present endless opportunities to anglers to fine-tune their hunting skills to that level. Fishery guides mention that its banks are quite overgrown and the water can be fast moving. That said, it can produce wild trout up to 3lbs early in the season. It also raises the odd salmon (small runs come in from the Corrib) from February until September.

The testing waters mean that River Lodge at Streedagh, near the town of Grange and with private direct access to the River Grange, should be fly-fishing heaven.

The open-plan dining room leads to the kitchen
The open-plan dining room leads to the kitchen

A recently-arranged two storey cottage, the property comes with an acre of ground, much of it winding along beside the river. For those who don't fish, the river provides other joys.

There's an abundance of wildlife listed as appearing in and around the Grange, including crayfish, minnows, sticklebacks, otters, bats and a whole range of water-feeding birds. Proximity to the flowing river also provides residents of the Lodge with a constant and soothing sound of flowing water.

The sitting room
The sitting room

According to Sherry FitzGerald Draper, which has just placed the property on the market seeking €295,000, this is a home for buyers "who are looking for something that little bit different, where you can be at one with and surrounded by nature every day".

The house itself is an unusual homage to a straight Irish cottage, which has been elaborated with a church-like cut-stone-built gable lending it quite some character.

The spare room which could be a den for teenagers
The spare room which could be a den for teenagers

Accommodation comprises on the ground floor of entrance hall with timber floor and a bright yellow painted inside front door, a rustic style kitchen contained within a doubled open-plan dining room and sitting room.

This has a natural-stone fireplace with a stove, a Gothic window feature and a second fireplace/stove at the kitchen end. There's a breakfast bar, double doors to the garden, wooden flooring and tiles around the breakfast area.

The Lodge has private access to the Grange River
The Lodge has private access to the Grange River

Off this, there's a utility room for keeping those muddy wellington boots and sorting the laundry.

There are three double bedrooms here and one of these is ensuite. There's also a main family bathroom which comes with a stand-alone tub.

The upper floor, which houses the two biggest bedrooms, also features a spare room which can be turned into a den for teenagers, a home office or a hobby room. The house is located within a short walk of Grange Village itself, with all local amenities including shops, church, school, restaurants and pubs.

The renowned Streedagh Strand and Mullaghmore seaside village are also within a short drive away. There's plenty for history buffs here as well.

September's Celtic Fringe Festival saw the Spanish Navy holding a special ceremony in memory of the Armada fleet, paying tribute to the memory of 1,100 souls who perished at Streedagh in 1588 when three of its vessels were wrecked during winter storms.

A fleet of 130 ships sailed from Spain in August 1588 with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. It met with armed resistance in the English Channel and, in their efforts to escape, the damaged ships made their way around Scotland.

Their plan was to sail down the west coast of Ireland and back to Spain, but numerous vessels were wrecked as they fled - three of them off Streedagh.

Two have been positively identified as the La Lavia and the Santa Maria de Vison.

It was thought for many years that the third wreck was La Julianna, but it's now believed that ship wrecked near Glenagivney in Donegal and that this third ship at Streedagh may in fact be the San Pedro.

You'd be far safer sticking to the banks of the Grange.

River Lodge

Streedagh, Grange, Co Sligo

Asking price: €295,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Draper (071) 9143710

Indo Property

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