Mayo is an angler’s paradise offering some of the best salmon, trout, and coarse fishing waters in Ireland. County Mayo is also the destination for big-game fishing with anglers from all over the world coming to enjoy some of the most exciting sea angling in Europe.
The River Moy in Ballina is the premier salmon fishing river in Ireland.
And fishing has got off to a busy start this year, according to Markus Müller of Inland Fisheries Ireland, with salmon being caught throughout the River Moy system, including the first fish of the season on the Ridge Pool by local ghillie, John Howley.
Among the most popular destinations for anglers is Carramore Lake which always provides excellent spring salmon fishing. In recent days, a total of 20 salmon were caught by local and visiting anglers alike, 12 of which were returned.
The average weight was somewhat lower than previously with most fish ranging between 4 lbs. and 8 lbs. German anglers, Frank Sommer and Marco Feltes, who were guided by professional angling guide, Paddy McDonnell, had 4 salmon (3 released) for 4 day’s fishing.
Other successful anglers included Owen Warner, Galway and Larry McAlinden, Northern Ireland. Most successful flies for the week were Green Peter, Jaffa, Noone Zulu and various Cascade patterns.
The Newport River is also noted for spring salmon fishing. Fly-anglers Kate James and P. Richardson, guests of Newport House, had a fish each weighing approx. 9 lbs. and 12 lbs. respectively. Both fish were safely released.
Some of the best trout fishing in Mayo is on Lough Conn and Lough Cullin.
Trout anglers experienced good fishing on Loughs Conn and Cullin during the week. On Lough Cullin, father and son, Richard and Gary Binley, Foxford, kept 8 trout, best at 2 lbs. on dry mayfly patterns, while Liam Flynn and Michael Hopkins, both Roscommon, caught and released 5 fish averaging 1.5 lbs., also on dry mayflies.
Fishing out of Brackwansha and around the Cormorant Rocks, Philip Coogan and boat partner, Danny Kilcawley, both Sligo, had 5 trout between 1.25 lbs. and 1.5 lbs., all on dry mayflies and Green Peters, while Victoria Bay produced 3 trout, best at 1.5 lbs. for Gerry Walsh and Michael Coleman, both Galway.
The northern end of Lough Conn also fished well with many nice trout up to 2 lbs. taken by anglers. Amongst the successful anglers were Dessie Ruthledge and son Pierce with 3 fish on Green Peters and Vincent O’Boyle and Michael Cawley with 5 fish on wet and dry mayflies.
Kelly’s Boat Hire reported good fishing for local angler, Padraig Kelly Senior and Dermot Dunne, Offaly, who boated 9 trout in Home Bay, best at 1.5 lbs. Karl Henry, Northern Ireland, had 6 fish in Castlehill Bay on dry olives, while Fintan Phelim, Castlebar, was successful off Cloghans with 4 trout on traditional wet flies.
For sea trout fishing, there is no better place to go than the River Moy Estuary.
Judd Ruane, skipper of the Pegasus, reported excellent fishing for a group of anglers from Switzerland with good numbers of sea trout between 0.75 lbs. and 1.5 lbs.
Cloonamoyne Fishery, Enniscoe, Crossmolina, is located in one of the most picturesque places in the county with anglers boat fishing in the shadow of majestic shadow of Nephin.
There was excellent fishing Cloonamoyne Fishery in recent days with John Baker and Julien Linton from the UK catching 13 trout over 2 days on wet Goslings and Fan Wings, best at 2.25 lbs. Ian Wise and boat partner, David Flynn, UK, enjoyed very good fishing in Bog Bay with trout up to 2 lbs.
The Ballin Lough Fishery near Westport has also produced some decent fish for visiting anglers this week. Amongst the lucky anglers was John Muldoon with his boat partner who had a rainbow trout of 4 lbs. and 3 browns, best at 1.75 lbs. Pat Murphy, Galway, boated a 3 lbs. rainbow trout and a nice brown trout weighing 1.75 lbs. Best flies included Dabblers and nymph patterns.
Mayo is also staking its claim as one of the best Pike angling counties in Ireland.
The Foxford area with its many different lakes such as Levally, Conn and Derryhick provides some of the best pike flyfishing opportunities in the country.
Paul Dennis and Wayne Oldfield, both Dublin, met up with local angling guide Kenny Sloan for a day’s fishing. Conditions were good with a moderate southerly breeze. The pair fly-fished on several lakes around Foxford and ended up with a fantastic 18 pike for the day.