The River Dodder rises in the mountains above Bohernabreena Reservoir south of Dublin. It then flows in a north-easterly direction for 14 miles through the southern side of the city before entering the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay. This river has a good stock of brown trout, which is complemented by stocking. In addition, the Dodder has a small stock of sea trout. Fishing is best between Old Bawn in Tallaght and Ballsbridge. Sea trout fishing can be found downstream of Ballsbridge. Annual stocking of the river with brown trout from 4 oz to over 1 lb. is carried out by the local angling club.
The Dodder is an extraordinary little river in that it provides very good fishing for trout, despite the fact that it runs right through urban Dublin. It is a fantastic local amenity, and anyone walking the river on a summer evening will likely encounter a number of anglers trying to tempt a trout or two. Much of the river is bordered by linear parks, which provide good access to the river, and pretty much anywhere downstream of the Old Mill Pub in Old Bawn is worth fishing. The further downstream you go, the more built up the surrounding area becomes, but it doesn’t seem to impact the fishing too much. A google map outlining some of the main areas, with nearby bus stops is available here.
The wild trout in the Dodder are on the small side, but there are some big fish in places, especially in the deeper pools e.g. above and below weirs, and these can be tempted, particularly when fishing from evening into dusk. The river is often stocked early in the season, and this tends to be a busy time of year on the riverbank, and anglers using bait or spinner are pretty active, hoping to catch one of these bigger fish. From May onwards, the pace of the fishing relaxes a bit, and as natural fly life starts to kick into action, fly anglers tend to become more plentiful on the banks.
The Dodder is an amenity shared by the whole community, so anglers need to be prepared for areas of the riverbank area to be busy with walkers, cyclists, etc. and take due care when casting. Sometimes wading is the best way to keep your distance. Dog walkers also like to use the river to provide a bit of fun for their dogs, so patience may be required from time to time…
The fishing on the river is controlled by the Dodder Anglers Club: https://www.facebook.com/dodder.anglers/ and a permit must be purchased to fish the river. They are a very active club, welcoming juvenile members and holding plenty of competitions during the year. They keep the price of permits very low to enable a wide range of people to fish the river.
You can join the angling club or buy a day ticket for your fishing from the following stockists
Licences, sea-trout and regulations
Sea trout fishing can be good on the lower reaches in late summer (please note the salmon and sea trout regulations). Anglers fishing for sea trout must have a salmon licence. In the tidal area near Ringsend some fine specimen mullet were recorded in recent years. Fishing on this river is controlled by the Dodder Anglers and riparian owners.
Ballsbridge – Tallaght, South County Dublin.
Brown Trout and Sea trout
17 March – 30 September
All legitimate methods are allowed including fly fishing, worm fishing and spinning. (subject to salmon regulations)
Green, Black, Brown and other shades of midges, size 18 & 20. Wet and dry olive patterns size 14 & 16.
Access to fisheries
Access does not imply a right of way and anglers should ensure that, they have the necessary permission to enter or cross private lands. Where possible anglers should walk along the river bank.
Anglers should ensure that gates are closed and that fences are not broken or damaged. Care should be taken with crops and livestock. Litter must not be discarded and no fires are allowed. Vehicles should be parked in designated areas and in such a manner that they do not cause obstruction.
Errors and inaccuracies
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this webpage is accurate. However, no responsibility will be accepted by Inland Fisheries Ireland for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein. Any errors brought to our attention will be corrected immediately.