About Geoff Cooper | Life Thus Far


portrait photograph of geoff cooper

I was born into an angling family in Sheffield, Yorkshire. My father was a very good angler winning well over 100 matches both at local and open levels. He ran the family fishing tackle shop in Gower Street and it goes without saying that all my father did, I had no option but to attempt to emulate. When other kids were kicking footballs or playing cricket at the age of 14 I was being taught the art of rod making by a master rod maker who lived at Woodhouse Mill near Sheffield.

My weekends were taken up working in the shop and match fishing. With tuition from my father and also from world champion, the late great Billy Lane success came easy with scores of wins both at junior and senior levels.

My nomadic life began at the age of 21 when I moved South to live in Sunbury on Thames. After a period there I once again pulled up sticks to live in Offord Cluny on the banks of the Middle Great Ouse where my old mate John McAngus, head bailiff at the time recruited me to work alongside him as a fisheries and pollution officer. By then trips to Ireland had become a thrice annual event and almost twenty years ago along with my wife Christine, moved to Tarmonbarry which is situated on the banks of the once mighty River Shannon. We purchased what was a small holding where the previous owner bred pedigree cattle. The property was turned into a twenty bed guest house and was full both winter and summer including Christmas and New Year. Behind the accommodation I dug and created, contrary to the belief of some, the first commercial fishery in Ireland. This was my folly and quickly formed the opinion that overstocked holes in the ground would be the ruination of all that’s good about the English ability. I soon banned all angling on the pool and for years took great pleasure out of feeding the carp by hand. To me there is no greater pleasure than fishing Irelands wild rivers lakes and loughs.

One of my major passions is the protection of Irish fisheries and the ecology in general, something which I am afraid to say is not done too well by some of the people who are paid to do so.

Having sold the guest house we moved to Ruane, where our house now overlooks the magnificent Kilglass Lake. I now live a very busy existence working as an angling guide, writing for angling magazines and also the occasional story for the Countryside Alliance. I also do a little radio work and am currently working on a series of Angling Films with an Irish production company called Cedar Tree Digital Media. One of my major passions is the protection of Irish fisheries and the ecology in general, something which I am afraid to say is not done too well by some of the people who are paid to do so. My life’s work has been and will continue to be centered around angling, rivers and lakes and the protection of all that goes with them.

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