Your Essential Guide To Trout Angling In Ireland

If you’ve ever dreamt about catching wild brown trout in Ireland and wondered how to turn your dream into reality then the answer is at your finger tips. Begin planning your trip with this easy to use guide providing information about where to go and who to contact to help you get the most out of your trip.

With a huge network of rivers and loughs, Ireland is the one of the few last refuges for truly wild trout attracting anglers back year after year. This useful guide provides information on Irish fishing conditions, where to find specimens and suggested methods to help in the pursuit of that catch of a lifetime. To help you further we have put together a selection of the very best fishing locations around the country, including the nearest towns and villages where you can find all you need to make your stay even more enjoyable. We have included tackle bait and suppliers as well as listings of ghillies and guides so you can plan your visit from start to finish before you even start packing.

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) or Breac Donn (Gaelic) is a native Irish species and the most widely distributed freshwater fish in Ireland. It thrives in waters of all types, from small mountain streams to broad limestone rivers and loughs. It’s main requirements are clean water and gravel in which to spawn. Ireland has 16,000 km of main river channel and 10,000 km of tributary which are unspoilt and relatively unpolluted. They provide ideal habitat for trout. In addition, there are in excess of 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) of loughs. The habitat of the wild brown trout is diminishing all over Europe and at the same time the majority of fly fishing for trout has an artificial character based on catching ‘rainbows’. In this respect Ireland offers the essence of the sport – the pursuit of wild trout taking hatching fly in natural waters.

Irish trout can and do achieve a large size. Every year trout over 10 lbs are caught with the occasional one up to 20 lbs. The trout angler can use a wide range of methods including, bait, spinning and fly fishing.

Licences and Permits

In general a licence is not required to fish for trout in the Republic of Ireland – except in the Loughs Agency waters in counties Donegal and Louth as well as within Northern Ireland. The majority of waters are owned either privately or by the State. Many are leased to angling clubs or associations. A fishing permit issued by the owner or the lessee gives the permit holder the right to fish for set periods ranging from a day to a season.

In the Republic of Ireland, permits for the best waters generally cost between €10 and €20 a day. Many of the big western loughs offer free fishing for brown trout. Some fisheries such as Loughs Mask, Corrib, Conn, Derg, Carra, Ree, Cullin, and Arrow do not require permits.

Most trout fisheries open between February 15th and March 17th and close on September 30th with some exceptions that close on various dates between September 15th and October 12th. Some clubs may have their own regulations on opening and closing dates.

Essential information for trout anglers

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