The Inver River , Larne , Co. Antrim
The Inver is a small spate river approximately 6 miles in length originating around Thorny Hill on the uplands below the better known Shanes Hill. Fed by springs and small burns the river drops several hundred feet becoming a fairly fast moving water for most of its fishable length before entering Larne Lough.
The Association, the forerunner of the present club, fished the Larne reservoirs , Ballyboley and Ballymullock and whilst not having any fishing rights to the Inver, intermittently stocked the river with brown trout, sea trout and salmon fry, the last recorded stocking being sea trout in 1969. The Association was disbanded in 1985 when the reservoirs were drained and capped.
Historically, the Inver was fished by local anglers who enjoyed casting a fly over hard fighting, beautifully spotted brownies rarely exceeding three quarters of a pound in weight.
However, every year , given suitable water, August to October saw a small run of salmon plus a significant run of sea trout.
Over the years, many superb fish were caught on worms or spinners but the majority of fish taken were hauled out by nets and gaffs --------- as an unregulated river with no club to look after it, poachers had free rein to do as they pleased !
Throughout the 80's and early 90's, sporting anglers noticed a gradual decline in the quality of the Inver as evidenced by the decreasing number of good trout caught. The lower stretches of the river had always been subject to relentless industrial pollution from the Inver Bleach and Dye Works but in the upper river where most of the fishing was done, it was becoming apparent that, along with the ongoing problem of poaching, changing agricultural practices such as field drainage, run off from artificial fertiliser and worst of all, the indiscriminate spreading of animal waste slurry posed the greatest threat to the river habitat.