FOYLE AND CARLINGFORD LOUGHS
A Loughs Agency rod licence is required to fish on rivers and lakes (known locally as ‘loughs’) in the Loughs Agency area. This applies equally to those fishing for trout, coarse fish and salmon.
In addition to a rod licence, it is a requirement to hold a permit to fish on many stretches of river and on many of the lakes in the Foyle and Carlingford systems. These are often sold locally – at license distributors, tackle shops, and even the occasional rural hardware store and grocery shop! As an indication of affordability a typical day permit costs in the region of £10.
The best salmon and sea trout fishing
The Foyle is one of Ireland’s major salmon fisheries but most of the salmon angling takes place in the tributaries. Spring salmon are fish that have spent more than one winter in the sea. They are considerably larger than the single sea-winter fish, or grilse, and that’s why they are sought after so keenly. They are called “spring” salmon because they enter the rivers earlier in the year that the grilse. Runs of spring salmon have declined in most rivers but they are still healthy in the Foyle system.
The rivers and streams entering Carlingford Lough have runs of large sea trout in the summer. Sea trout that feed in the Irish Sea are normally bigger that ones that feed in the Atlantic. Sea trout angling is similar to salmon angling, though the tackle is lighter and sea trout, unlike salmon, are often fished for at night.
City of Derry
The Faughan is good for salmon and is the best sea trout river on the Foyle System. Season: 20th May to 20th October. Find out more about the Faughan
The Derg is a large (10-20m) spate river. Best time from late May to August. Season: 1st April – 20th October. Find out more about the River Derg.
Ballybofey, Co Donegal/Tyrone
The Finn and it’s tributary the Reelin are probably the most prolific salmon and grilse rivers in the Foyle catchment. The grilse arrive in late June and July is the best month. There can be a run of fish from late August. Season: 1st March to 15th September. Find out more about the River Finn.
Sion Mills ,Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone
Spring salmon are best from April to mid-May with the most of the grilse and salmon arriving from June to July. Season: 1st April – 20th October. Find out more about the River Mourne.