A Faerie Invitation

We are a small fishing club on a stream in Westmeath, Ireland. We are
hopelessly biased, but consider it the finest angling water in the entire
fairy kingdom.
For hundreds of years membership did not change – it was a case of
waiting for ‘dead fairies’ slippers’. During that time we enjoyed our sport
in placid peace.
But more recently some of our members made the mistake of becoming
bored. No longer were they satisfied with 1-inch trout fry (which to the
rest of us seemed enormous). No! They went after 5-inch parr! and
subdued them with heavy tackle after a long fight.
They became competitive with one another, and secretly formed a
separate sub-group – the Belvedere Big Game Club. Then they made
the fatal error. They broke our rules of never fishing after September,
and went after the adult trout which ascended the stream to breed.
Before our committee could step in, these ‘Big Game Fairies’ had, after
imbibing nectar one night, hooked into some of these monsters using
ultra-heavy tackle.
Each time the result was the same. The unfortunate angler was pulled
into the stream by one of these half-pounders, fully three times his own
It did not end there. After their nectar-drinking session, their hands were
too sticky to let go of the rod. The trout pulled them downstream into the
lough, to their doom.
Now we are after all the keening. The last notes of Port na bPúcaí (The
Fairies’ Lament) have faded away. We have bid farewell to our erstwhile
And so it is that for the first time in three hundred years, we invite
applications for three membership positions.
First, a word of warning. Membership is expensive: two hedges of haws
per decade. Additionally, only those considered suitable will be
considered. We are an old-fashioned group, with old-fashioned tastes
and manners. This does not imply excessive formality, as would be
seen in human circles. Rather we enjoy a measure of quietly good-
natured fun and mischief.
The tackle we use is also old-fashioned: hazel rods, dressed spider-web
lines and berries of the holly or haw, found along the banks of our
This stream is what makes our club, in our own estimation, the finest in
the fairy world. It is crystal clear, having its birth in a hole in the ground
in the Fairy Garden. This source is lit by fairy lights.
From there the rill
Dances down the hill
over pure limestone, past woods and over falls, then on into the lough
the humans fish, thought by some of them to be the best trout lake in
their world.
The stream is a joyful one. Except in the severest of droughts, it sings a
happy song. It is impossible to be despondent whilst on its banks,
especially under a bright moon, with a hazel in your hand, and the big
golden 1-inchers rising all over the pool.
The casts, from the lake up, are named as follows:
Outflow, Lake Pool, Fern, Waterfall, Bridge Rapids, Patrick’s (after our
esteemed leader), Holly, December Gold*, Hazel, House (after the
angler’s wooden accommodation on the bank here), Maple, Montbretia
and Hut (where midnight snacks and nectar are served).
*(after an oak on the hill above, which glows at sunset early in that
We hope you will consider joining us.