The River Drowes is a good spring and summer salmon fishery. Sea trout only run in small numbers but it holds good stocks of brown trout. The spring salmon season opens on 1 January and fish are usually taken on opening day.
The peak of the spring run is in April and the fishing is always good in May with the peak of the grilse run taking place in June. The fishing usually picks up again in September. The number of rods allowed to fish on the river at any one time is not limited. All legitimate fishing methods are allowed. The brown trout fishing can be good, especially on summer evenings, but it is largely unused because of fishermen’s preoccupation with salmon.
Lough Allen is the first of the three great loughs on the River Shannon. It is eight miles long by three miles wide. The water level is controlled by sluice gates and can fluctuate by as much as eight feet.
Lough Allen is noted as a pike fishery, and holds coarse fish too. It holds a good stock of brown trout averaging about 1 lb. There is a small mayfly hatch, but it is thought that the best of the trout fishing is in April, August and September. Dapping can be very effective in August and September.
Lough Melvin is a beautiful unspoilt lough famous for the diversity and number of salmonids that inhabit it. The lough has salmon, char as well as gillaroo, ferox and sonaghan strains of trout.
The sonaghan is a sub species of brown trout that only occurs in Melvin. This little fish, although only growing to around 2½lb, puts up a great fight.
The gillaroo is a lovely golden coloured trout that grows a bit larger and is similar to the gillaroo found in loughs around the midlands.
The ferox is little fished for in Melvin although fish of up to 15lb are often caught by accident (rather than design) while trolling and sometimes on the fly. Salmon are caught right throughout the season.
Spring fish can be caught all season, with grilse being caught from May onwards.
Trout fishing can be patchy early in the season, but Kinlough Bay can fish extremely well in March and April with the sonaghan concentrated in the top of the lough early in the year. The fish then start to spread down the lough and through the rest of the year productive areas include the sunken islands, Farell’s Bay, the shores along Inishmean Island and Church Island, Rossinver and long drifts down towards Garrison. The sonaghan however, can be caught anywhere in any depth of water (140ft in the middle!). Since their staple diet consists of mainly daphnia, the sonaghan occur where the daphnia are concentrated. The gillaroo are found close in to the rocky shores and around the sunken islands. Their staple diet is mainly the molluscs that live on these shores. A good wave is normally needed before the gillaroo will come to the fly.
The most popular early season flies for the trout (especially during the Duck fly hatch) are a Doobry, Teal and Black, Coachman, Bibbio & Hot orange, Black Pennell and a Connemara Black, though any black fly seems to work well especially if it has a touch of orange and/or white. A Sooty Olive, Fiery Brown, and Golden Olive also produce good results. From mid May the most popular patterns are the Bibbio, Green Peter, Goslings, Green Olive, green and yellow mayflies (dry & wet). From July onwards Green Peter, Bibbio, and Claret, Fiery Brown, Bumbles (especially Claret), Dabblers, Invicta and late in the season wet and dry Daddy’s.
Coarse Angling Mohill
Mohill is a liverly market town just east of the river Shannon with a broad selection of excellent waters and an ideal location for the holiday angler, between both the Shannon and Erne system. There is good Bream, Hybrids and Pike fishing available. In May and June there are Tench to 6lbs in Lough Rinn.
The Duff (or Bunduff) flows for 14 miles from the Glenade valley to the sea. It is joined by the Ballanaghtrillick River, which runs out of the Horseshoe Pass. The bottom 3 ½ miles is most fished. This is a prolific little spate river for salmon. The Duff gets a good run of summer salmon and grilse. The fish start to enter the river at the end of May with the peak of the run in July / August. With good water levels it can fish through to the end of September.
The Duff is a spate river that can fish very well given the right conditions, especially after a freshet. Most anglers choose the deep pool below the falls close to the sea and consequently this pool can become overcrowded. Once a flood has let fish run the falls there is some good fishing available above the falls and also some good water upstream of the main road
North West Angling Services
North West Angling Services was set up in the late autumn of 1997 to promote game angling in the highly productive and relatively unspoilt region of the country comprising of counties Sligo, Leitrim and part of Mayo and Roscommon. The proprietor of North West Angling Services, Ken Henry, is a qualified Marine and Countryside Guide and a founder member of the Professional Angling Guides of Ireland (PAGI). He is an approved Bord Failte guide.
Course Angling Ballinamore
This very well developed coarse angling centre has hosted numerous All-Ireland Championships. Ballinamore is situated on the Shannon Erne Waterway amongst the hills of East Leitrim with 28 lakes within a 5 mile radius, plus some 17km of riverbank.
Bream and Roach are the speciality catch in this area – Bream averaging 2.5lbs, going up to 7lb specimens. Roach run at 8 – 10 ounces, going up to 1.5lbs. Lake Bolganard a short distance from the town produced the current Irish record Bream weighing 12lbs. 3ozs in 1997. This water is one of a chain of lakes the others being Corgar Lake and Drumlonan Lake both of which contain Tench to specimen size. Garadice Lake, 1200 acres in size, is one of Ireland’s premier waters with big shoals of Bream. It also holds Roach, Hybrids, Rudd, Perch and Pike. Kiltybardan Lake and St John’s Lake hold Bream of 1 – 2lbs with Roach and Hybrids also.
Other waters include Ardameenan, Corduff and Willowfield Lakes and Lough Awaddy. Access to the waters has been well developed with fishing stands, stiles, lakeshore drives and car parks well provided. Bait stockists and boats are available locally.
Drumharlow Lake lies a little over a mile west of Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim. It holds a good stock of brown trout with a big average size, probably over 2 lb. They are mainly taken at mayfly time. Access to the lake is difficult. Boats and outboard motors can be hired.
Course Angling Carrigallen
Carrigallen is set among lakes that form part of the great Erne system and here the angler is ideally positioned to explore some of the richest waters of the region that spread out across three counties yet within a 3-mile radius. In fact there are no less than 14 first class waters within this 3-mile radius.
Gulladoo LakeThe largest lake in the Carrigallen area divided in two halves with a short connecting river channel.
The Upper and Lower Lakes produce consistent fishing for Bream, Roach, Rudd, Pike, Perch, and Eels. Tench have begun to appear regularly in some swims in the Upper Lake.
Both lakes are now regular venues for the King of Clubs.
The Town Lake Easily accessible with lakeside car park, holds Bream, Roach, Rudd Tench, Pike, Perch, and Eels.
Gangin & Mosey LakesOn the outskirts of the town. Fishing from stands for Bream, Roach, Rudd ,Pike, Perch, and Eels.
Tully and Beaghmore LakesRudd/Bream Hybrids are a feature in the twin lakes, reaching up to 5lbs in weight. Tully also yields significant catches of Bream and Roach.
Cullies LakeEasy access with lakeside car park. Fishing from bank for, Bream, Roach, Rudd ,Pike, Perch, and Eels.
Glasshouse LakeAccess via private and forestry road with waterside car parking to a 30-peg match length. Bank fishing for Bream, Roach, Hybrids, Perch, Pike and some Tench.
Bait and boats are available locally