The 100 River Challenge

Rods up from Dave O’Donovan and Peter Driver who completed the 100 River Challenge.

Part 2

On Saturday morning, 28th May at 3am, Peter Driver from Kilkenny and David O’Donovan from Shanballymore headed into the unknown.

Their venture was to fish 100 rivers catching one trout each in each river – that’s a total of 200 trout and, to make the challenge even more intriguing, it had to be done inside 7 days. Each fish had to be photographed, measured and released.

The challenge had never been attempted before, so there were no guidelines or benchmarks to gauge how the lads were doing. T

he first four days were carried in last week’s edition of The Avondhu, so here we catch up with them on Day 5.

“The famous Nore river was again fished at 04.50 hrs in Thomastown along with the Kells and Arrigle rivers. In Mountmellick we fished the Barrow and a few more tributaries en route. On heading back to base at Peter’s house in Kilkenny, we fished the Deen and the Dinan to finish our day with a total of 85 rivers,” David said.

“Day 6 brought us deep into the Wicklow Mountains. The Avoca River was fished at the Meeting of the Waters and the shortest named river in Ireland, the Ow, was fished alongside the Owenavaragh. The Avoca, Inch, Aughrim, Avonbeg, Dargle etc., were all fished and conquered. We were met by Albert Mulhall and Tom O’Connor who drove a 7 hour round trip to watch us fish for 15 minutes before we had to move on to the River Derrywater.”

David said they tried hard to finish on day 6 but it wasn’t to be. “We simply ran out of daylight. At the end of Day 6 we had 97 rivers completed.”

On Day 7, the Little Brosna was number 98, the Ollitrim was number 99 and at 09.50am on the Neagh River in Co Tipperary, both Peter Driver and David O’Donovan completed their challenge of 100 trout each on 100 different rivers in 6 days 5 hours.

David said he and Peter would like to thank all those who helped make this worthy challenge such a great success. He thanked especially the angling clubs and private owners for their kind permission and his wife Rita and Peter’s wife Deirdre for their support and sandwich making.

The Shanballymore man said that most of all he would like to thank Peter for his enthusiasm and patience.

“I could not have picked a better partner to insure this challenge was met. At times I felt that our challenge was slipping from us and that we physically would not be able to complete it. We travelled over 2,600kms with just 15 hours sleep in over 6 days. Knowing that the proceeds of our efforts were going to the Margaret Murphy Memorial Fund, pushed us to our limits. Thank you Margaret. Rest in peace,” he concluded.