Fishing In Ballinrobe


Ballinrobe is a beautiful town in the very heart of the Lake District of Lough Carra, Lough Mask and Lough Corrib, a superb expanse of lakes ideal for those of us who enjoy fishing. The town is well known as a fishing centre and its annual trout competitions attracts many angler visitors every year.

Ballinrobe offers the visiting angler excellent fishing and a wide choice.  The other  Western lakes near Ballinrobe, Loughs Carra, Mask and Corrib, provide great brown trout fishing. Lough Carra supports an excellent stock of wild brown trout averaging 1.5 lbs. and Lough Mask is well known for the large ferrox trout taken annually which often weigh in excess of 10 lbs.

Lough Corrib

The season for brown trout on Lough Corrib opens on February 15th (the same as Lough Mask) and trout are usually caught on fly from the very first day of the season. However, the best wetfly fishing is at the beginning of April, for about two weeks, and again during the Mayfly period, May 16th to 30th , or sometimes later, all depending on weather conditions.

Ballinrobe Fishing Dapping the natural mayfly is highly productive in Mayfly time. Dapping the grasshopper or daddylonglegs in August and September is also productive provided conditions are suitable. Wet fly-fishing during the same months usually gives good results.

Trolling can take salmon and big ferox trout, the salmon from April onwards and the warmer summer months are often best for the large ferox trout. In certain areas of the Lough, fresh-run grilse are caught on fly from about the third week in May. But one needs to know the fishing grounds well to locate them. However, one cannot go far wrong to fish near the mouth of some rivers, such as the Cong River and Owenriff River. The Carrick shore near Cornamona is also a good place for grilse.

The Corrib is a great place to fish during the Mayfly time, as also are Loughs Mask and Carra, when hatches of mayfly bring wonderful trout to the surface to make every angler’s dreams come true.

Dry fly can take plenty of trout during the daytime, even if trout are not rising freely. Fished on the “blind,” it can bring up excellent trout. Mayfly dry tyings are important, including a few tyings of the Gray Wulff and Yellow Wulff.

A boatman with boat and engine can be hired for about €50, a boat and outboard for about €25 and a boat for about €15. However, in the interest of safety, it is recommended that visiting anglers hire a boatman.

There are insured boatmen round the loughs and most hotels and guesthouses engage them for their guests. Tourist Board approved guesthouses, hotels and self-catering (as found in Bord Failte’s “Angling Ireland” list) provide a full service with boats, Ghillies, etc. the Fisheries Board provides a list of all insured boat operators. You can contact us for further information.

Lough Mask

Lough Mask lies at the meeting of two landscapes, the Connacht Uplands with the Central Lowlands. The rocky structure, the geology, of these areas is the major control on the shapes of the landscapes.Ballinrobe Fishing

Lough Mask is a large limestone lough of 22,000 acres in area and, along with Lough Corrib, is one of the best known brown trout fisheries in Ireland. The lough produces good catches to wetfly from about mid-April. Dapping the mayfly, daddylonglegs or grasshopper can bring about excellent results during the various months of the season. The lough continues to produce more trout with every season, last season been one of the better ones even though weather conditions were very unsuitable from July onwards.

Fishing the wet fly is good on Lough Mask in April and during the Mayfly period, which is usually from May 20th, or a little later sometimes, to the first week in June. Wet fly can also be very productive onwards from the end of July. There are many areas of the lough where dry fly fishing can take big trout from May onwards. The lough is famous for dapping the different natural insects. Trolling for large ferox trout up to 18lb gives good results. There is good chironomid fishing in March and April. August and September is normally an excellent time to visit the lough as this is during the Mayfly period, of course.

Lough Carra

Lough Carra has an area of 4,000 acres. It is approximately 6 miles long and varies in width from 400 yards to a mile. It lies to the north-east of Lough Mask and is often overshadowed by it , but carra is a great brown trout lough in its own right.

The average size of the wild trout is greater that in any of the other great western loughs and it once produced an 18lb trout. Anglers believe it still holds trout into double figures and the best chance of taking one is during the mayfly season. The water is crystal clear, much of it over a white marl bottom.

Fishing Ballinrobe The lough gets a wonderful mayfly hatch all over and this is one of its great attractions. The hatch usually begins in the first few days of May, peaks by about 12 May and tails off by the end of the month. The trout will take most Green Drake patterns, but it is the superb Spent-Gnat dry-fly fishing that is the chief attraction and brings up the very best trout.

In warm, balmy weather, the flies wait until about 7.30 pm before returning to the water, but in cold weather they will often go out during the day and the patient angler will be well rewarded.

Lough Carra is a late lough so little fishing takes place there until the first week of May, when the Mayfly usually appears. A lovely lake to fish from then onwards, even in the warmer evenings when other waters are gone off in June and July. Wet fly and dapping are equally productive. A very beautiful lough and well worth a visit anytime from early May.

Boats and ghillies can be arranged through Bord Failte approved guesthouses and hotels in the different areas around Loughs Corrib, Mask and Carra.

There are detailed angling maps for Lough Corrib, Mask and Carra available if needed.

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