Email Us

Browntrout Fly Guide
Lake Fly Guide
River Fly Guide
Salmon Flies
Sea Trout Flies
  Browntrout Flies

FLY FISH IRELAND
.net

 

Fishing Gift Shop


Lough ArrowLough CorribLough CurraneLough MelvinLough EnnellDerryclare Lough / Lough InaghLough OwelLough SheelinLough MaskLough CarraLough ConnLough Beltra
1) Lough Arrow
2) Lough Beltra
3) Lough Corrib
4) Lough Conn
5) Lough Currane
6) Lough Melvin
7) Lough Ennell
8) Derryclare Lough/
Lough Inagh
9) Lough Owel
10)Lough Sheelin
11)Lough Mask
12) Lough Carra

> > > Click on Small Maps to Enlarge < < <

LOUGH ARROW

Arrow is one of the great Irish trout fishing loughs, where the trout average 1 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.




LOUGH BELTRA

This lough lies 5 miles north-east of Newport and 8 miles north-west of Castlebar. It is 2 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!



LOUGH CONN

Lough 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!)


LOUGH CORRIB

"The Corrib" 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


LOUGH CURRANE

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 fly.

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.


LOUGH MELVIN

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 summer salmon.


DERRYCLARE 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 inflowing river.

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!


LOUGH MASK

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 lough.

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

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 mayfly season.

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.


LOUGH ENNELL

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 25 April.

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 an Alder.

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 tempt.

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

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 1 to 2 lb, depending on the time of the season; the largest rod-caught trout weighed 7 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 at dusk.

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.


LOUGH SHEELIN

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 the day.

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.



Quick Guide to rivers
in Ireland

Please select a region for a detailed guide to the fly fish rivers in that area
WEST
MIDLANDS
EAST
SOUTH