The Bunowen River rises in the Sheefry Hills in south Mayo, and flows though peatland and rough pasture to the sea at Louisburgh, near the mouth of Clew Bay. Although this is a spate river, there are some deep pools providing excellent lies for salmon and sea trout.
The salmon angling is best from mid-June onwards. The river flows through the town of Louisburgh and is deep and sluggish in the lower reaches from the town to the sea. Upstream there is very good fly water, with pools and glides interspersed with fast water. The grilse begin running in June, and continue throughout the summer, with a lot of fresh fish caught in September. The average size of the fish is about 5lbs, but fish around 10 lb are regularly caught throughout the season. Fly-fishing is most practiced but there are some stretches where worm and spinning is allowed. There is no shrimp fishing allowed.
The river gets a small run of sea trout throughout the summer, averaging 0.5lbs. Current legislation requires that all sea trout are released alive.
Part of this fishery is owned by the Harman family and is private.
- Salmon: 1 April to 30 September
- Sea trout: 1 June to 30 September
- Season permit – All – €100
- Day permit – Adult – €30
IFI Office, Ballyhip, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
Tel: +353 (0)98 66404
Permits are available from Durkan’s Gala Shop in Louisburgh