Game Fishing in Ireland is a centuries old sport enlivened by innovation but rooted in traditional practices and local folklore
The pursuit of salmon, trout and sea trout holds an almost venerated place in Irish culture and our waters continue to yield world class fishing for almost unique native wild game fish.
Fishing for salmon and trout can be experienced in many different ways, and is accessible and reasonably priced in the large number of clean and unspoilt rivers and loughs.
Local knowledge is the first requisite for success in fishing an Irish lough. Both beginners and experienced anglers are strongly advised to hire the services of a local guide for the first few days on a lough. He will know the best flies, appropriate tackle and local fishing lore. Similarly, on salmon and trout rivers, the services of a local guide will ensure that the angler gets the most out of a visit.
- The Atlantic Salmon is a graceful, muscular fish that is highly prized in Ireland. Spring fish weigh an average of 4kg and can be caught from January onwards in rivers such as Drowes, which flows into Donegal Bay. Salmon can also be caught in some loughs including Lough Currane, near Waterville, County Kerry, from February onwards. Summer salmon also known as grilse or peel average 2kg and are most plentiful in the River Moy, the Munster Blackwater and the River Foyle system. The Foyle System is one of the premier salmon fisheries in Europe, each year producing thousands of fish to the rod, from grilse at 2lb to 6lb and salmon to 15lb. Highly prized Atlantic Salmon can be caught on the Lower River Bann. Carnroe offers the finest Salmon beat in Ireland as fish congregate in low summer waters.
- Sea trout are available in several rivers such as River Boyne, River Moy Estuary and a number of loughs including Lough Currane in County Kerry and are a particularly exciting prospect for the fly fisher. Their size varies from 0.5kg to 4kg.
- Wild brown trout are plentiful in Ireland’s rivers and loughs. In limestone rivers such as River Boyne and River Suir, fish average 0.5kg to 2kg. On limestone loughs such as Ennell, Owel, Sheelin, Ree and Derg, trout generally grow to 3kg, while on some of our bigger loughs like Corrib, Mask and Erne, ferox trout up to 7kg are regularly caught. Indigenous species such as dollaghan, sonaghan, gillaroo and ferox can be found in Lough Melvin and Lough Neagh.
- While game fish can be caught on all legal methods (eg: worms, spinning, etc), fly fishing is the traditional practice for catching salmon and trout. Great hatches of duckfly, mayfly and sedges are the seasonal triggers for top quality trout fishing on many Irish rivers and lakes.