The Stoneyford River rises south of Oldcastle, at the base of Slieve na Caillaigh Co. Meath. It then flows south easterly for 15 miles through counties Meath and Westmeath. It enters the River Boyne half a mile downstream of Scarriff Bridge. This river is spring fed which helps maintain water levels in summer. This river has some excellent fly hatches, particularly olives.
Stocks and access
The Stoneyford has high banks post drainage. However, there is good access to the river in most areas. Some rehabilitation was carried in 1984 thus enabling trout stocks to recover. Fishing on this river is controlled by the Stoneyford Angling Association. It holds extensive stocks of wild brown trout.
Most of these are small in size. However, these are complemented by a stock of larger fish, which all regularly oblige the waiting angler. The largest trout in 1997 was 3lbs 10ozs (an exceptional fish). It is possible to wade the river and chest waders are essential. Some areas are too deep even when using chest waders.
Catch and release
There is excellent fishing from South Hill Bridge to twhere it joins with the River Boyne. The exception is the stretch at Woodtown West. This is mid-way between Lisclogher and Clockbrack Bridges. Parking and access are located close to the bridges. The Stoneyford can be described as an all day fishery. Trout can be seen feeding avidly throughout the day. There are however some periods of inactivity. However, these are usually short lived. The best of the fishing is from May to September. The stretch from Stoneyford Bridge to its confluence with the Boyne is fly fishing only, catch & release.
Counties Meath and Westmeath. The main towns and villages are Ballivor, Kildalkey, Athboy, Delvin and Clonmellon.
Fishing takes place from March 1st September 30th.
The Stoneyford River is a wild brown trout fishery.
Fly fishing, dry fly, wet fly, and nymph fishing are all successful.
- Dry Flies: Grey Duster, Sedges, Olives, Black Gnat, Black Midge and Pheasant Tail.
- Wet Flies: Wickhams Fancy, Black Pennell.
- Nymphs: Assorted Nymphs.
This water is controlled by the Stoneyford Angling Association. The club supports a policy of catch and release.
Take along a short rod and a good supply of small dry sedge patterns.
The Stoneyford contains an abundance of fish food in the form of bugs, insects and flies. The most abundant and prolific of these include the following orders.
- Ephemeroptera (upwing flies)Baetidae (olives) Ecdyonuridae.
- Trichoptera (sedges) Hydropychidae Limnephilidae.
- Diptera (flatwing flies) Chironomidae (midges).
- Amphipoda Gammaridae (freshwater shrimp).
- Coleoptera (beetles) Elminthidae (small brown beetle).
- Lympets (crustation) Ancylidae (tiny snail).
Permits for this river are available from:
Davis’s Shop in Ballivor, Co. Meath.
Access to fisheries
Access points are located close to the road bridges on the river. It is provided by the goodwill and of local farmers. However, access does not imply a right of way. Anglers should ensure that they have permission to enter or cross private lands. So, where possible, anglers should walk along the riverbank.
Please follow all the principles of Leave no Trace when angling. Ensure that gates are closed and that fences are not damaged or broken. Take care with crops and livestock. Do not discard litter and do not light fires. Park vehicles in areas provided. They should not cause obstruction. For detailed information on the principles of Leave No Trace please visit the following link https://fishinginireland.info/enjoy-irelands-fisheries-leave-no-trace/