Closed for for salmon fishing for 2023
April 1st to September 30th inclusive.
The Eske fishery consists of the 5km River Eske, the 900-acre Lough Eske and its tributaries. The Lough and its tributaries are amongst the most picturesque in Donegal set among the Blue Stack and Tawnawully Mountains. The fishery is noted for its spring salmon, sea trout and char and it is also a productive brown trout fishery. The fishery has a run of spring salmon, a good run of grilse and late salmon. Sea trout angling is at its best from late July onwards.
Salmon fishing can be good from ‘Easter’ to the end of the season with salmon to 20lb plus present throughout the season. The sea trout fishing begins in earnest from July and continues to the end of the season on both river and lough. The sea trout average ¾lb and can be as big as 5lb. The brown trout average ½lb but there are numerous better trout caught up to 4½lb on the fly with the record for the lough being 9lb 2oz.
The River Eske itself is best fished from Timony’s Turn to the Mill Pool on the outskirts of Donegal Town, below and above Miss Jenny’s Bridge in the Middle section of the river and at the Eel Weir Turn downstream of Lough Eske Bridge. Fly fishing and spinning are the most popular angling methods on the fishery depending on water heights. Popular flies include the Fiery Brown, Jacob’s Ladder, Donegal Blue, Dark Mackerel or any of the shrimp patterns. Flying ‘C’s or a Blue Devon are the most effective baits on the river and a Silver Toby is a popular lure on the lough. Most of the standard lough flies will work well on Lough Eske such as a Clan Chief, Bibbio, Dabblers, Daddies, Connemara Black, Claret Bumble & Fiery Brown. The brown trout often show a liking for flies with orange or yellow in their makeup.
With ongoing development work catches have improved in recent years. There has been extensive work on the fishery such as the construction of a fish counter and the creation of a fish pass on the Lowerymore River which has virtually doubled available spawning habitat for salmon. The Lowerymore River above the pass has been seeded with unfed salmon fry for a number of years. In 2005 a number of these salmon returned and salmon redds were recorded on the Upper Lowerymore River for the first time!
The Eske Anglers and Inland Fisheries Ireland have provided access along the river and have also provided wheelchair friendly access at the Mill Pool. The river is divided into 4 beats with only 2 visitor rods permitted on each beat. IFI have constructed a purpose built angling centre and jetty on the shores of Lough Eske from where permits/licenses are issued and boats are hired for fishing the lough. The lough is boat angling only. 5 boats are available for hire and are limited to 2 anglers per boat. In the interests of safety all anglers must wear a floatation device. Anglers are not permitted to launch their own boats.
How to find the Eske fishery. Click on the thumbnail below.
River: A permit is required to fish the River.
- Daily Adult permit €35,
- Daily Juvenile Permit €17,
- Weekly permit €155.
- Juvenile Weekly permit €65
Lough: A permit and boat hire is required to fish the Lough.
- One angler, boat, engine & petrol €55
- Two anglers, boat, engine & petrol €90
All permits are available from the Eske Angling Centre, Lough Eske Demesne. Tel: (074) 9740781.
Licences are available from:
- IFI, Eske Angling Centre, Lough Eske Demesne.
Tel: (074) 9740781.
- Doherty’s Tackle Shop, Main St. Donegal Town.
Tel: (074) 9721119..
Boat Hire and Bookings
Beats and Boats may be booked in advance:
- Buy online: https://permits.fishinginireland.info/product-category/donegal/eske/
- Eske Angling Centre, Lough Eske Demesne.
Tel: (074) 9740781.
Beat maps have been prepared by IFI for the Owenea fishery. Click on the thumbnails below to print a high quality map.