Jackie Mahon writes from his blog at jackiemahonfliesandguiding.com

I got some exciting news during the week, I will now be offering a guiding service on the beautiful Glencar Lough, with Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout as the targets. I am very excited to be laying down roots here as this was one of my grandfathers favourite lakes for Salmon and Sea Trout fishing. Yellow can be a fantastic colour for Glencar, and Teal and Yellow was my grandfathers favourite fly for Glencar and it was never off his cast, that with a size 8 Green Peter and a Daddy Long Legs. Back in those days there was no such thing as a Dabbler, so these days we have a few more options.


Glencar Lough, Irish Loch Ghleann an Chairthe, meaning Lake of the Glen of the Pillar Stone, is locally known as Glencar lake. It is a short 15 minute drive from Sligo on the borders of Sligo and Leitrim, and you will enter W.B. Yeats country where Glencar Lake is situated with it’s wonderful waterfall which inspired Yeat’s “The Stolen Child”:

   Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

The lake gets a really good run of Salmon, Spring fish and Grilse. The average size of the Salmon is 4 to 5 lb and spring Salmon is 8 to 10 lb. For Salmon, June, July, Auguest and September on Glencar can be good. When you have the first good run of Grilse on it in the middle of June, or when you get a flood of water, you can get a good run and it can be superb. You need a breeze on it though, as it’s down in a valley.

Some of my grandfather’s own flies

The lake also gets a good run of Sea Trout with average sizes around 1 & 1/2 lb. Sea Trout fishing can be superb some days, especially after a good flood of water. If you get a lot of rain it can be brilliant 2 days later when the water starts to clear.

Glencar also has a resident stock of small Brown Trout, and it can get a good hatch of Olives, Mayfly and Sedges. Sea Trout are also taken regularly on these patterns. The best Sea Trout in recent years caught on the fly weighed 6 & 1/2 lb and the best Salmon was 22 lb. The fish can be very free rising especially when freshly run.

Glencar is also unique in that if there is a turn in the weather and you can’t get out on to lakes such as Melvin or Erne, you can go to Arrow as it’s inland, or Glencar as it’s sheltered and it’s down in a valley.

A licence is required to fish Glencar Lake for Salmon and Sea Trout, and a permit is required from Sligo Anglers which I can arrange on the day. You can review the Salmon and Sea Trout licence options on the Inland Fisheries website. The fishing dates:
– For Salmon- 1st February to 30th September
– For Seatrout: 1st February to 12th October
– For Brown Trout: 15th February to 12th October

Go fishing…

For guided fishing please do not hesitate to contact me as there are still some dates available for 2023.

Jackie Mahon Flies and Guiding

Address Barnadearg Grange Sligo F91HW68 Ireland Mobile Phone: +353 87 9222458 Website: jackiemahonfliesandguiding.com

Glencar Lake and Drumcliff River