Home The Kells Blackwater

    The Kells Blackwater

    Fishing the evening rise on the Boyne Valleys Kells Blackwater, Ireland
    Fishing the evening rise for trout on the Kells Blackwater Co. Meath

    The Kells Blackwater is the largest tributary of the River Boyne and it is fed by Lough Ramor in County Cavan. It flows in a south-easterly direction passing north of Kells, Co. Meath to its confluence with the Boyne at Navan.

    Hatches and stretches

    This river has all the usual fly hatches associated with a limestone river with sedges and olives being important. Presently the best of the brown trout angling on this river is on the waters controlled by Kells Angling Club. This includes the stretches from the Nine-Eyed Bridge at its source to Mabes Bridge, which is located just north of Kells. This river holds good stocks of wild brown trout up to two pounds and over and most of the stretches provide good angling.

    Brown trout fishing Ireland
    A beautiful wild brown trout from the Kells Blackwater
    Brown trout record

    In 2004 the Blackwater produced a new record brown trout for the river which weighed in at over 9lbs 11ozs. The Kells Blackwater has produced several wild brown trout weighing from 3lbs to 5lbs. This river can fish well from March to September.

    Restrictions and requirements

    Angling Bye-law No. 982 of 2020 prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single or double barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish downstream of the Nine Eyed Bridge.


    Co. Cavan and Co. Meath. The main towns and villages in the area are Kells and Carnaross.


    Fishing takes place from March 1st to September 30th.

    Fish species

    The Kells Blackwater is a wild brown trout fishery.

    Fishing methods

    Fly-fishing, dry fly, wet fly, and nymph fishing are all successful.

    Best flies
    • Dry Flies: Grey Flag, Grey Duster, Hares Ear, Olive patterns including the Sherry Spinner.
    • Wet Flies: March Browns, Wickhams Fancy, Greenwells Glory, and Hares Ear
    • Nymphs: Assorted nymph patterns, including Goldheads, Hares Ear and Sawyers Nymph.
    Angling Clubs
    • The Kells Angling Club which supports a policy of catch and release controls the fishing from The Nine Eyed Bridge to Mabes Bridge.
      Website: http://kellsanglers.com
    • Kilbride Anglers Club controls fishing on the middle and lower stretches of the Kells Blackwater.
      Website: https://kilbrideanglersclub.com/


    Fishing tip

    Evening time produces the best results but daytime fishing can also be productive if the angler uses the correct methods.

    Entomoligical information

    The Kells Blackwater 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)
    Access to fisheries

    Access points are generally located close to the road bridges on the river. It is provided through the goodwill and assistance of the farming community. However, access does not imply a right of way. Anglers should ensure that they have the necessary permission to enter or cross private lands. So, where possible, anglers should walk along the riverbank.

    Country Code

    We ask anglers to follow all the principles of Leave no Trace when angling. Firstly, anglers should ensure that gates are closed and that fences are not damaged or broken. Secondly, care should be taken with crops and livestock. Thirdly, litter must not be discarded and no fires are allowed. Finally, anglers vehicles should be parked in designated areas. 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/

    Trout fishing on teh Kells Blackwater, Boyne Valley, Ireland

    Other trout fishing waters in this area
    The River Boyne
    Boyne tributaries and other waters