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||Arrow is one of the
great Irish trout fishing loughs, where the trout
average 1½ and fish to 6lb and 7lb are taken on
fly annually. It lies 4 miles to the north of Boyle.
It is a limestone lough, incredibly rich, and while
it has some feeder streams it is mainly spring fed.
The duckfly hatches in late March and early April
and the favoured fly patterns at the time are: Sooty
Olive, Fiery Brown, Bibio, Invicta, Connemara Black
and the Jungle Cock Spider.
Next come the lake olives from mid-April
to mid-May and the recommended patterns are: Olive Bumble,
Green Olive, Golden Olive, Invicta and Greenwells Glory.
May and June see not only the mayfly hatch but also
very good buzzer fishing at night and here red and olive
pupa patterns are popular, together with dry buzzer
imitations. The mayfly season generally begins about
17 May and lasts until the second week of June. Fish
can be caught on all the various mayfly patterns throughout
this time, with the Invicta, Teal & Yellow and Golden
Olive also working well.
The Spent Gnat fishing is one of Arrow's really great
attractions. At this time, murroughs hatch in large
numbers after dark and this is one very exciting way
of getting a big trout. Arrow is one of the few loughs
that still get a good hatch of Green Peter. The season
for this is late July and early August, when the Peter
hatches at dusk. Late August and September is a good
time for drifting traditional-style with wet-fly and
favourite patterns at this time are Green Peter, Bibio,
Invicta and Teal & Yellow.
|This lough lies 5 miles north-east
of Newport and 8 miles north-west of Castlebar.
It is 2¼ miles long and a mile wide and it is essential
that you have an outboard motor to get about. From
the opening day on 20 March, with a north wind blowing,
until the season close on the last day of September,
with the heather turned purple and the leaves beginning
to colour, few fisheries have greater potential
than Beltra to quicken the pulse of the fly fisherman.
It is generally considered to be a salmon and sea trout
lough.It gets a good run of spring salmon and they come
to the fly from March until June. At this time of the
year, some anglers prefer a slow-sinking or sink-tip
line and the rod should be powerful enough to control
large fresh spring salmon.
From June onwards, the grilse begin to appear and with
them come the sea trout to keep the interest going for
the rest of the season. By mid-summer, a floating line
is in order and dapping can often bring the best sea
trout up to the surface.
Favourite salmon patterns are: Silver Badger, Silver
Doctor, Thunder & Lightning, Lemon & Grey, Red Shrimp
and Hairy Mary (sizes 4-8). For sea trout, the Bibio,
Green Peter, Butcher, Connemara Black, Black Pennell
and Watson's Fancy all work well.
Beltra is in a lovely setting; surrounded
by mountains, rough pastures and small farms. And this
can make a lasting impression, whether you visit on
a cold spring day or a hot mid-summer afternoon!
Conn's reputation as a fine brown trout and salmon
fishery goes back to the very beginning of angling
in the west of Ireland. It is a big lough, about
14,000 acres. It measures 9 miles from north to
south and varies in width from 2 to 4 miles. Lough
Conn is regarded as a very free-taking Lough and
is a great favourite with those who like to fish
"traditional-style" in front of the boat, and
because trout take the wet fly so freely very
little dapping takes place there. Salmon are taken
mainly by trolling from the end of March to July
and the best areas to concentrate on are within
the northern end of the lake.
Fly-fishing for salmon is not usually
concentrated on because salmon are frequently taken
throughout the year whilst fishing for trout! About
600 fish are taken annually.
The trout fishing begins to pick up
in April and reaches its climax with the mayfly hatch
in late May and June. The wet fly fishing can be very
good from late August to the end of the season. The
artificial flies that work best can be divided into
three groups, depending on the time of year:
Pre-Mayfly season - Fiery Brown, March Brown,
Connemara Black, Bibio, Sooty Olive, Black Pennell,
Peacock Spider, Golden Olive, Green Olive, Mallard &
Claret and Blue & Black.
Mayfly season - Green Peter,
Teal & Yellow, Invicta, Bumble Olive, Bibio, Claret
Bumble, Watson's Fancy and all the usual Mayfly patterns.
Post-Mayfly season - Sooty Olive, Bibio, Bumble
Olive, Peacock Spider, Watson's Fancy, Black Pennell,
Green Olive, Invicta, Connemara Black and all the sedge
patterns (Green Peters, Murroughs etc.).
These can all be dressed on size 8, 10 and 12 hooks,
with size 10 the most popular. The shallows are all
well marked with tall red iron bars and it is advisable
to stay at least 20 meters clear of these at all times.
The best fishing areas are along the shores, in the
shallow bays and on the shallows out in the middle.
From personal experience, visitors to the shores of
Lough Conn are always made feel extremely welcome, it
is only around competition time that it is really necessary
to book accommodation prior to arrival, and when you
get there, advice, information and boat hire are usually
easily taken care of. (What a lovely part of the world!)
as it is affectionately known, has to be one of
the world's greatest game fisheries! It stretches
crescent-like around Connemara from Galway City
for over 30 miles and offers a magnificent variety
of challenges to the angler over a long season.
The season begins on 15 February and the first trout
are taken by trolling various lures, though artificial
flies will also give results in sheltered bays,
even this early in the season. Serious fly-fishing
begins in late March with the first fly hatches
- large chironomids i.e. "The Duck fly". This fly
hatches in sheltered bays with good weed growth
on the bottom and a depth of from 4 to 12 feet approximately.
The angler can fish chironomid pupa
imitations in calm conditions, but traditional fly patterns
in sizes 10-14 are much more productive with a nice
breeze blowing and a nice rolling wave. Favourites are:
Sooty Olive, Fiery Brown, Mallard & Claret, Connemara
Black, Peter Ross, Bibio, Watson's Fancy and Coachman.
Depending on weather conditions, the lake olives hatch
in late April. The trout again feed freely and can be
taken on nymphs, dry-fly and wet-fly. Popular wet-fly
patterns at this time are Greenwell's Glory, Sooty Olive,
Olive Bumble, Invicta, Green Olive and Claret & Olive.
The mayfly hatch begins around 20 May and is undoubtedly
the high point of the season, when anglers come from
far and near to enjoy its delights. The mayfly fishing
lasts for nearly a month. "Dapping" the natural mayfly
is by far the most successful method and well over 5,000
trout are reported for the mayfly season every year.
After mid-June and into early July, the trout can be
difficult to attract (probably because their bellies
are full of mayfly!), but by mid-August they are back
on the move again and a dapped daddylonglegs is the
most successful approach. Natural grasshoppers can also
be dapped at this time and, with the onset of autumn
and September, wet-fly fishing around the islands, along
by the shore and across the various headlands will once
more get a response from the trout. Recommended patterns
are: Green Peter, Invicta, Black Pennell, Murrough,
Bibio, Watson's Fancy and Sooty Olive.
Lough Corrib gets a good run of both
spring salmon and grilse and trolling catches the majority
of fish taken, but they can also rise to the dapped
natural fly (mayfly, daddy or grasshopper). They can
also be taken on the fly when they come into the fresh
and favourite patterns are: Green Peter, Silver Doctor,
Black Goldfinch, Black Doctor and Thunder & Lightning
- sizes 8 and 10. If you intend fishing for salmon on
this lake it is advisable to rely on the experience
and knowledge of the local boatman because this is a
vast expanse of water and only the local man will know
where the fish lie.
Read Our Fishing Stories from Lough
Corrib by clicking here
||This is another of
Ireland's greatest game fishing loughs! A Lough
that draws anglers from all over Europe and further
afield, and where, with the help of an experienced
and competent boatman, many a novice landed his
or her first salmon.
The spring salmon fishing opens on 17
January and the early-season fish (average 14 lb) are
taken mainly by trolling, but quite a few are also taken
on the fly, and it is not unknown for the first fish
of the season to fall to the fly. A double-handed rod,
floating line and strong leader (20 lbs) are recommended
for the spring fishing and the favourite flies in sizes
4, 6 and 8 are: Hairy Mary, Shrimp fly, Garry Dog, Blue
Charm, Jack Scott and Thunder & Lightning. The Hairy
is probably best of all.
The grilse run begins in June and the salmon lie beside
rocks and islands and at headlands jutting into the
lough. Again, all the usual patterns apply bearing in
mind that the water levels will determine the size of
The big sea trout arrive in April and
Lough Currane produces several Irish specimens every
year. It is usually the second week of June before the
sport hots up, and then the fishing can remain good
until August - depending on water conditions. The next
marker for good sea trout fishing is around the second
week in September and it often remains good until the
end of season (12 October). And it is also worth noting
that these fish lie all over the lough!
Trout flies in sizes 8-14 are essential,
and of all the flies tied by anglers the Bibio is probably
the most consistent fly on Currane and no leader should
be without one. The other patterns the angler shoud
bring are Claret Bumble, Claret & Jay, Claret & Blue,
Mallard & Claret, Fiery Brown, Watson's Fancy, Black
Pennell, Sooty Olive and Wickham's Fancy.
Dapping can pull up a big trout on a dour day and they
don't seem to mind whether it is a daddy or a grasshopper.
||The salmon season opens
on Feb 1, and spring fish are taken trolling the
Garrison area from that date and on the fly in the
Rossinver Bay area from late March and especially
in April. The grilse run begins in June and fish
are taken all over the lough, with the Rossinver
Bay area being especially good.
Lough Melvin remains one of the few
examples of a post-glacial salmoniod lough and it is
still in a relatively pristine state. The quality of
the angling can be extraordinary and it is this, together
with the fish fauna that draws and attracts the anglers.
The lough holds salmon, char and perch in addition to
trout, but it the trout that is of the most interest
to anglers. It is generally accepted by fishery scientists
that there are four genetically distinct races of trout
in the lough. These are: brown trout, ferox trout, gillaroo
trout and sonaghan trout. The ferox trout feed mainly
on perch and char, while the gillaroo diet consists
chiefly of molluscs. The sonaghan feed a lot in mid-water
on daphnia and also take emerging insects.
Early season flies include Sooty Olive, Peter Ross,
Golden Olive, Fiery Brown, Connemara Black, March Brown
and Black Pennell. From mid-May the Green Olive, Green
and Yellow Mayflies, Green Peter and Grey Wulff are
important. From July onwards, Watson's Fancy, Green
Peter, Mallard & Claret, Claret Bumble, Fiery Brown
Invicta and Kingsmill are important. The Green Peter
on the "bob" is by far the most successful pattern for
LOUGH / LOUGH INAGH
These two loughs lie in the lovely
Inagh valley with the Twelve Pins Mountain range of
Connemara rising steeply to the west and the Mamturk
Mountain range to the east. In all there is 5 miles
of lough and river fishing - mainly lough, with two
short connecting rivers. This fishery gets tremendous
runs of spring salmon, grilse and sea trout.
The spring fish are mainly fished in April and May,
the grilse come in June and the sea trout in late June.
There are three sets of "butts", or long fishing piers,
built out into Derryclare Lough for the anglers' convenience.
The famous Derryclare Butts are at the top of Derryclare
Lough where the river flows in. This is a good lie for
a spring salmon and a wonderful stand for a night's
sea trout fishing, and can be good in the daytime also.
It should be worth noting that there are no boats available
on Derryclare Lough and all the fishing is done from
the butts and the bank.
Lough Inagh has eight boats and the
fishing starts here early in July, when it gets its
first run of sea trout, with plenty of 3 lb fish among
them. It has been known in the past for up to 50 trout
to be taken here by a single boat in one day!!!
The west shore together with all its
islands fishes best! There are several good drifts for
both trout and salmon at the top of the lough near the
Favourite sea trout patterns are: Watson's
Fancy, Bibio, Butcher and Peter Ross. While later in
season you can add a Green Peter, Claret & Mallard and
a Dunkeld. And it must be remembered that "dapping"
can rise up the best of the sea trout in august and
September. There is no need to fish special flies for
salmon at this time, as they will take sea trout flies.
Just remember to keep the strike slow!
|Mask is a limestone
lough of some 20,000 acres. It is 10 miles long
by about 4 miles wide. It is noted for its beautiful
free-rising brown trout. The average size is 1 lb
but 3 lb+ fish are common and it holds a big stock
of ferox trout to over 20 lb!!!!! These big fish
are taken by trolling in depths from 10 to 30 feet,
usually around the islands in the middle of the
The season really begins in early April,
with good hatches of chironomids. The lake olives appear
later April and continue into early May. The wet-fly
fishing at this time of the year is usually excellent!
Popular wet-fly patterns at this time are: Fiery Brown,
Sooty Olive, Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Peter Ross,
Watson's Fancy, Greenwell's Glory and Mallard & Claret.
The Mayfly dominates the fishing from mid-May to late
in June and "dapping" mayfly and yellow Mayfly patterns
work well; the Invicta, Teal & Yellow and Golden Olive
are also useful. It is also worth noting that there
is good buzzer fishing on this lake at nighttime!
Dry-fly fishing with a lightly dressed Green Drake works
well when the trout are feeding on mayfly and shore
fishing is possible in a number of places. One such
place is the mouth of the canal, where dry Sedges are
fished off the shore, and Olive Spinners will take good
trout in the summer evenings along many of the bays
along the eastern shore.
The trout fishing slows down in July
but picks up again in August and September. The best
wet-fly patterns from August onwards are: Claret Murrough,
Green Peter, Bibio, Watson's Fancy, Invicta, Golden
Olive, Peter Ross and Black & Peacock Spider. Dapping
the natural grasshopper takes a lot of good-fish in
August / September.
Lough Carra has
an area of 4,000 acres. It is approximately 6
miles long and varies in width from 400 yds to
1 mile. It lies to the north-east of Lough Mask
and is often overshadowed by it, but Carra is
a great brown trout lough in its own right. The
average of the wild trout is greater than in any
other of the other great western loughs!!!! Anglers
believe it still holds trout into double figures
and the best chance of taking one is during the
The water is crystal-clear, much of
it over a white marl bottom, and it is one of those
places where the trout can be clearly seen swimming
up to take the fly. There are good hatches of duckfly
(chironomids) from late March and lake olives appear
in April. The best fly patterns at this time are: Fiery
Brown, Peter Ross, Red Olive, Connemara Black, Bibio,
Watson's Fancy and Greenwell's Glory.
The lough gets a wonderful mayfly hatch all over and
this is one of its great attractions. The hatch begins
about April 25, peaks by May 12 and tapers off by the
end of May. The trout will take most Green Drake patterns,
but it is the superb Spent Gnat dry-fly fishing that
is the chief attraction and brings up the very best
trout. In warm, balmy weather, the fly wait until about
7:30 pm before returning to the water, but in cold weather
they will often go out during the day and the angler
with the patience to sit, watch and wait will be rewarded.
The principal fly hatches in June and July are: Lake
Olives, Claret Duns, Murroughs, Silverhorn Sedges and
various other small sedges. During August and September,
the lake olives, murroughs and small sedges are all
plentiful and the most successful artificial fly patterns
are: Claret Murrough, Invicta, Bibio, Sooty Olive, Silver
Invicta, Dunkeld and Watson's Fancy.
The season runs from March 1 to
30 September, and there is a 6-trout bag limit
and a 30cm size limit.
In March and early April, the
best of the fishing is from Burrow Hill to Hump
Island shallow, along by Bog Island, the Robinstown
shore and between Blind Island and River Point.
Bibio, Sooty Olive and March Brown, sizes 10 or
12, are probably the most effective flies. The
duckfly hatch reaches its peak between 18 and
The lough gets a particularly heavy
hatch and the species that hatches here is very large.
It hatches over deep water around noon and again about
8 pm. Useful fly patterns include: Fiery Brown, Mallard
& Claret (with claret hackle), Connemara Black and various
chironomid pupa patterns in rather large sizes. The
lake olive hatch comes in early May and lasts for three
weeks. It mainly occurs along the shore from Robinstown
to Bog Island and there may be a hatch of alder at this
time too. Fly patterns worth trying are Greenwell's
Glory, Golden Olive, Sooty Olive, Mallard & Claret and
In June, the fishing can be very good
from around 9:30 am until noon and again from 10 pm.
A Sooty Olive, Black & Peacock Spider (size 12) and
claret and apple-green nymphs are probably the most
useful patterns and a dry buzzer can be deadly in the
evening along by the reeds and around Bog Island. A
lot of small black terrestrial flies fall on the water
in early June, which is why the small Black & Peacock
Spider or even a Black Pennell (size 12 or 14) will
take fish. From mid-June until the end of July the lough
is stuffed with perch fry and the trout are very to
August is the month for the sedges -
Silverhorns, Murroughs, etc. - and the trout love them!!!!
The apple-green midge makes a return and the trout come
up for them, particularly at dusk. The lake olives make
a return in early August and last until the season ends.
Useful flies at this time are: Green Peter, Golden Olive,
Black Pennell and various nymphs. The last week in August
and the first two in September often give the best fishing
of the whole season, and a small Black Pennell is a
must as a point fly during this time! Other good flies
at this time are: Green Peter, Green Olive, Invicta,
Bibio, Mallard & Claret and Peacock Spider.
|Lough Owel is a spring-fed
lough, 4 miles long by two miles wide, and lies
just over 2 miles north-west of Mullingar. The size
limit is 12 inches and there is a bag limit of 6
trout. And all legitimate trout fishing methods
are allowed. The average size of the trout can vary
from 1¼ to 2 lb, depending on the time of the season;
the largest rod-caught trout weighed 7 ½ lb, and
the lough definitely holds trout up to 12 lb.
Unlike other loughs, this one fishes
best in a settled northerly wind - possibly because
it reduces the clarity of the water.
The chief fly hatches are duckfly in April, lake olives
in late April and May, followed by a localised mayfly
hatch, with some buzzer fishing and a big hatch of Green
Peter in late July and early August The "duckfly" hatch
begins around the second week of April with the best
hatches occurring in the north of the lough.
There is a big hatch of lake olives
in late April and into late May and all standard wet
flies work well with the small Sooty Olive being especially
good. The mayfly hatches along the north-east shore
and, when the buzzer hatch occurs, the most effective
fly is without doubt a Grey Duster dressed with a good
quality white tipped badger hackle and fished mainly
June and early July is a quiet period
on the lough. The Green Peter fishing is the climax
of the Owel trout season. And it is at this time that
the big trout come to the surface to feed on the huge
sedges after dusk. In a hot summer, the hatch can occur
as early as 14 July but it can be as late as 27 July.
The fly hatches soon after 10 pm each evening and sometimes
continues until after midnight. It generally lasts for
two weeks and the best areas are from the west shore
around to the shore on the north-east side. Daytime
fishing can be moderately good to standard wet-flies
through the months of August and September.
The "dapped" grasshopper is very effective
and the naturals can be caught along the shore.
This is a high-pH
limestone water with extensive shallow bays. The
best fishing in March and early April is mainly
along rocky shores and exposed points. Useful
fly patterns at this time are: Sooty Olive, Mallard
& Claret, March Brown, and Watson's Fancy. (Sizes
8 & 10) The "duckfly" hatch begins in the second
week of April, depending on weather conditions,
and lasts for about two weeks.
It is usually confined to the northeastern
area of the lake and there are normally two hatches
per day - one about 11am and the other after 8pm. Recommended
fly patterns are: Sooty Olive, Fiery Brown, Mallard
& Claret, Dunkeld and Connemara Black in sizes 10 &
12. Chironomid pupa patterns can get good results too
in calmer conditions.
The fishing is generally quiet in early May and the
most prolific period in the whole season begins around
15 May when the action switches to the southern section
of the lake. The fly hatches of importance during the
day are lake olives, chironomids, alders and reed smut,
with murroughs after dusk. There may also be a few mayflies.
The chironomids are the most important species for the
trout, which feed on them in huge quantities. Small
traditional flies such as the Sooty Olive, Golden Olive
and Greenwell's Glory can work well in a good wave but
chironomid pupa patterns probably take more trout in
calm conditions. It is important to have some dry Buzzer
and Murrough patterns for evening fishing, which can
continue until 1am. The importance of fishing in sheltered
bays and at the back of points and islands at this time
of night must be emphasized!!!!
The period from mid-June to mid-July sees the advent
of perch and roach fry. Trout can be taken on bright
flies, for example the Dunkeld. There can be marvellous
fishing to the Caenis at this time, too, particularly
in sheltered areas around 7am.
Late July and early August brings a hatch of Green Peter,
Silverhorns and other sedges. The fishing is generally
best in the evening and chironomids may be hatching
too. "Dapping" the grasshopper brings best results in
September sees a return to traditional-style fishing
and a team of wet flies - which can include a Green
Peter or Murrough, Invicta, Connemara Black, Sooty Olive,
Greenwell's Glory, Dunkeld and a Fiery Brown, fished
in front of a drifting boat can get results almost anywhere
in the lake.
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