The Delphi Fishery consists of the Bundorragha River, and two large lakes draining the Delphi Valley – Finlough and Doolough. The fishery is privately owned, with a fishing lodge and rental cottages providing accommodation and offering guided fishing to visitors. The Bundorragha River is a short river draining Finlough and dropping steeply over 2.5km to the sea. Over the whole of this distance, the myriad pools are bounded by fast rapids and waterfalls, giving ideal flyfishing water, and fish rest frequently in the holding pools along its length. The lakes are set in fantastic scenery, with mountains rising steeply on either side.
Fishing is strictly limited to 12 rods (8 in early season), rotated between the lakes and the river. Flyfishing only is the general rule, although trolling is sometimes allowed on Doolough. In former times, the fishery was more noted for its sea trout (more below), but since the decline in sea trout, the owners have improved the salmon fishing to compensate, with thousands of smolts released each year to boost the number of returning adult fish.
Spring salmon, averaging 8-10lbs, run into the fishery from the start of the season right up to June, with most taken on the river or Finlough. Grilse, averaging 3-6lbs, enter the river from late May, with the run peaking in July. In low water conditions the lakes tend to fish better, with spate conditions favouring the river.
Delphi was once famed for its runs of large and plentiful sea trout. However, the collapse of sea trout stocks in Connemara in the late 1980s hit the fishery hard. The river now gets a small run of sea trout throughout the summer, averaging 0.5lbs. Current legislation requires that all sea trout are released alive.
- Salmon: 1 February to 30 September
- Sea trout: 1 June to 30 September