Shane Gallagher

Opening Day on the Drowes

Despite a large number of rods and excellent conditions no fresh, wild Atlantic salmon were reported from the river on the first day of the 2019 salmon fishing season. Prospects were encouraging with extremely mild conditions and favourable water levels but apart from the odd sighting of fresh spring fish most of the activity on the water was from kelts.

salmon fishing
Anglers on the water

Thanks to all the anglers, both young and old who traveled from near and far to spend the first day of their season on the Drowes. It is always a disappointment not to start the first day of the season with a fresh spring fish but it is some consolation to be back on the river bank, meeting fellow anglers on what has been one of the most pleasant opening days in many years.

International Year of the Salmon

2019 is the International Year of the Salmon and we will be marking it at the Drowes in a very special way.

  • Firstly, all anglers starting their salmon fishing season at the river in 2019 will be given a special stainless steel commemorative pin.
  • Secondly, the angler who catches and releases the first salmon of the year from the river will be presented with the newly commissioned Conservation Cup.
  • Finally the angler who catches and releases the first salmon from the Drowes in 2019 will be presented with a 1 kilo bar of pure silver worth approximately €750.
A bar of silver for a bar of silver!

A fresh run spring salmon is commonly referred to as a bar of silver and for anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing one it is easy to see why.

Catching and releasing the first salmon of the season, or any salmon during the season, is not by itself, going to address the decline in salmon numbers seen in recent years. However, it can be used to create awareness among the non angling public of how precious a resource the salmon is.

Inland Fisheries Ireland commissioned a report by Millward Brown in 2015 as to the economic contribution of salmon angling to the Irish economy. The findings were that salmon and sea trout angling contributed over €210 million annually to the Irish economy.

In 2015, 25,107 salmon were landed by anglers in Ireland. This means that every salmon landed in Ireland in 2015 was worth €8,364 to the Irish economy. The average weight of the salmon landed by anglers was 2.7kg.
Clearly our salmon are precious. They are in fact more precious and more valuable than the bars of silver to which they are so often compared. (All figures can be fact checked at

As anglers, as people with an interest in and love for salmon, we can use 2019, the International Year of the Salmon to be mindful of how precious salmon are and to make an extra special effort to ensure its survival and return to abundance in the future.

(Full terms & conditions for eligibility & verification process of C&R will be announced prior to opening day).

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River Drowes

The Drowes Fishery is one of Ireland’s premier spring salmon and grilse fisheries. The river is some 5 miles in length, with over 70 named pools, flowing from Lough Melvin at Lareen Bay and entering the sea at Tullaghan, just outside Bundoran. The Drowes has a wide variety of water suitable for all fishing methods, including several miles of good fly water and deeper slower moving pools suitable for spinning and bait fishing.

For information and bookings on the Drowes Fishery & Lough Melvin see
Tel: 071 9841055 (8am to 12 noon).
Mob: +353 (0) 87 8050806