Home River Fergus & Lakes

    River Fergus & Lakes


    OPEN SEASON (TROUT)- February 15th to September 30th.

    The River Fergus rises in the heart of the Burren Region in North Co Clare, flowing through about 7 lakes before it reaches Ennis town and tidal water. This is a sizable angling district and good fishing for brown trout both on the river and some of the lakes in the Catchment.

    River Fergus

    With a limestone base the river produces nice brown trout fishing with fish averaging about 1lb. Many fish of over 2lbs and larger are caught each year. Dry fly fishing is a very popular method with flies used as associated with rich limestone rivers. The best trout waters are up river of Ennis on the lower stretches of the river particularly around the vicinity of Knox’s Bridge. The river tends to weed up in mid summer limiting fishing at these times.

    Many of the lakes in the Catchment are primarily coarse fisheries but trout can be taken on some, especially Inchiquin Lake and Ballyline Lake. Shore fishing is limited on most lakes and a boat is necessary to access these waters. See our section below on the Lakes on the Fergus system. Access to the river is at the road bridges.


    There are a number of lakes on the system which are well worth a visit. They are generally brown trout fisheries.


    Lough Inchiquin is located about one kilometre outside Corofin village, 10 kilometres from Ennis. The lake is currently being developed by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board as a trout fishery. This is primarily an early season lake and fishes best from March to May. This is a deep lake and consequently the most productive areas are along the shore line or adjacent to the islands. Popular stretches are Bog Bay (opposite the carpark) and also the bay where the River Fergus enters the lake. The best times to fish are from open season mid February to May and again in September. Over recent years excessive weed growth can limit fishing during high summer in some areas of the lake. The best time to fish Lough Inchiquin is during late evening with wet flies such as the Cock Robin, Olives and Greenwells Glory, Hares Ear, Peter Ross and Claret & Mallard, these being among the better flies. Midge chironomids are often prolific and should be in your fly box in April. Other flies associated with limestone waters also work well. The lake can fish particularly well after a flood and is well worth a visit for a day or two on a dropping flood.

    The river as it flows into Inchiquin has some very nice deep pools where trout lie and are worth fishing. Further downriver there are fast flowing sections which are productive trout waters and are especially good for fishing dry fly during the summer. Weed can be a problem in low flow conditions.

    Trout fishing is free and no permit or licence is required to fish the lake or the river. For more information on fishing the area contact Mr

    DROMORE LAKE ( and Black and Ballyline Lakes)

    These lakes which are linked together are located on the Fergus system near the village of Ruan, north of Ennis. They hold a small stock of good sized trout. The River Fergus and the Millbrook River flows into Ballyline Lake. Both of these are good spawning waters and anglers have a good chance of encountering wild brown trout here. Trout range from about 1lb to 3lbs, with occasionally larger fish present. Fly hatches are similar to those earlier described. It too tends to fish best earlier in the year from open season up to the end of May or early June. Midge chironomids are often prolific and is recommended you have a supply in your fly box in April. Other flies are similar to those mentioned for Lough Inchiquin.

    To get there – from Ennis town centre take the old N18 for about 2 kilometres. Turn left at ‘Ennis Supply Shop’ and take the local road to Ruan village. From here follow the signposts. Access to Dromore Lake is via the nature reserve which leads to the car park beside the lake.

    For those visiting the area, there is an Interpretive Centre adjacent to the car park at the lake. Entry is free and information on wild life is available.

    Angling regulations

    All legitimate methods subject to Bye Law restrictions


    25 cm


    Trout fishing is regarded as free – no fishing permit applies.


    Dated 2nd June 1865 prohibits fishing for salmon or trout by any means whatsoever within a space of 20 yards (18.29m) from the Weir Wall of Ennis.

    Other useful information


    In Corofin Village O’Callaghan’s (Day Break) are a good contact for boat hire and some tackle. Tel: +353 65 6827047. Also call to tackle suppliers Tierney’s in Ennis who provide a good stock of tackle for the local market – see listings.


    Ennis & District Anglers and if interested in membership of the Irish Ladies Flyfishing Association, please visit www.irishladiesflyfishing.com or contact Moira Cosgrove Chairperson ILFA, Corswood, Ballyalla Ennis Co. Clare.

    Guides and Instructors in the Shannon Region

    Tackle shops in the Shannon Region