Salmon and sea trout fishing in Donegal

  1. Duff
  2. Drowes
  3. Melvin
  4. Erne Estuary
  5. Eske
  6. Eany
  7. Glen
  8. Owenea
  9. Gweebarra
  10. Rosses
  11. Clady and Crolly
  12. Tullaghobegley and Ray
  13. Lackagh
  14. Crana and Fullerton

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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.

Photo: A gillaroo trout, one of the uniques species in Lough Melvin

Salmon are caught right throughout the season. Spring fish can be caught all season, with grilse being caught from May onwards.

The early runs of salmon, averaging around 8lbs, are fished for by trolling in February and March. Salmon running from early April travel directly up the Lough or along the southern shore. This late spring run normally tails off in late May when the grilse start to run.

The best period for fly-fishing for salmon is from the later part of April until late June. Favourite flies include the Shrimp fly in all its most popular forms, i.e. Curry’s Red, Faughan shrimp, Bann Special etc. Other effective flies are Silver Doctor, Thunder and Lightning, Jock Scott. In warmer weather a yellow fly is often used. Many salmon are caught by design or by accident on Trout flies. The Rossinver fishery can arrange accommodation and Ghillies if required.

Rossinver fishery

The Southeastern quarter of the lough i.e. Rossinver Bay and the Roosky shore constitute the Rossinver fishery (see below for permit details). Most of the salmon that have run up the River Drowes congregate in this area of the lough, prior to running up the spawning rivers in December. Rossinver Bay, which comprises the red buoy on the eastern side of Ross Point to the similar buoy at the Southern end of Roosky shore, is strictly fly only. The area inshore of the marker buoys from Ross point to the Border is fly only from the 15th May to the end of the season.


The salmon season is from 1st February to 30th September inclusive.
The brown trout season is from 15th February to 30th September (inclusive of the Rossinver Fishery).


Southern Ireland

A permit is required for the Rossinver Fishery as listed below:

Permits are available from:

Salmon licences are available from

Northern Ireland

The North East corner of the Lough lies in Northern Ireland and as such requires Northern Ireland licences and a Garrison Angler’s permit to fish.

Permit: A permit from the Garrison Anglers is required which costs £80 per season or £10 per day for a salmon fishing permit. £10 per day for a trout fishing permit. Juvenile permit £5 per season. These are available at Sean Maguire's, Main Street, Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
Tel: (048) 686 58194.

Licence:You will require one of the following game rod licences:
Full year - £17 Stg, 14 Day - £9 Stg, 3 Day - £3.50 Stg, Juvenile (full season) £2.00 Stg, Senior Citizens (60 years and over) £5.00 Stg. These are available from Sean Maguire’s Tackle Shop (see above).

Lough Melvin Garrison Salmon Tags are issued on a Garrison Permit. Anglers are allowed to kill 2 salmon per year on the Garrison Waters of Lough Melvin. 2 tags per angler are issued annually. 3 salmon only can be killed between the 1st February and the 1st March

Boat Hire

Local guides.

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