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Brown Trout Fishing at Derry Quay Lodge

MayflyThe warming effect of the Gulf Stream ensures a long season for the angler, from mid-February to the end of September. The area is renowned for the abundance and variety of brown trout fishing readily available to the visitor.  Almost every stream and lake has a resident stock of wild brown trout.

The large western lakes comprise Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn and Cullin. Lough Corrib is the largest at 44,000 acres and it is here on the shores of Lough Corrib that Derry Quay Lodge is situated in rocky bay know as Salthouse Bay and is credited with having some of the best brown trout fishing on the Corrib. Fly-fishing from a drifting boat is the angling method most favored for brown trout and in May dapping comes into its own with the hatching of the Mayfly. These three lakes are predominantly rich limestone waters, producing wild brown trout averaging over 1lb. (0.45kg) to 3lbs. (1.36kg) with some to 10lbs. (4.53kg) caught on fly every season, but it's the high quality of fly fishing and dapping for which these lakes are renowned.

2 from the deepIn the early weeks of the season fly are scarce on the water. However, trout are taken on the fly in areas of shallow water such as Salthouse bay from opening day, providing modest success for the persistent angler. Trolling dead bait, spoons and minnows are successful methods of catching trout in early season. During March the 'duck fly' (a black chironomid) hatches and trout rise freely to pupa emerger, wet-fly and dry fly patterns.

Duck fly fishing in early April can be excellent for all fly fishing, a period that deserves more attention from anglers. The day catch per rod during April is equally as good, or better, than during the highly productive Mayfly period.

Duck fly fly patterns include: Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Blae & Black, Watson's Fancy, Bibio, Mallard & Claret, Duck fly, Sooty Olive, Cock Olive, Peter Ross, Fiery Brown, Claret Dabbler and Golden Dabbler, Hog lice patterns, Coch-y-Bondhu, Duck fly Pupa and Emergers. Sizes 10-14.

Mayfly hatches can appear as early as late April in the shallower, warmer bays and from early Mayelsewhere. With a warm winter and spring one can expect the fly a week earlier. During the Mayfly hatches, trout feed eagerly on the surface taking the emerging nymph, Green Drake and, later on, the Spent Gnat. While fly fishing gives best results, 'dapping' the natural insect using a long rod and blow line, is perhaps the most popular method employed. The Mayfly are picked by hand along the shoreline of the islands or from bushes and kept in special wooden boxes. As the hatch progresses, the spent fly, as it falls back on the water, becomes the choice food item particularly of the larger trout. Spent Gnat dry-fly fishing provides the best opportunity to record a specimen fish (10lbs. [4.53kg] weight on the lakes).

Brown troutAlso from April onwards through to June, in the more sheltered areas of sediment and weed, extensive hatches of lake olives and chironomids provide unlimited variation and challenge. Late evening buzzer fishing, given the appropriate conditions, can be an unforgettable experience, larger trout coming more freely when the 'balling' buzzer appears.

Mayfly time fly patterns: Green Peter, Green Drake, French Partridge Mayfly, Fan Winged Mayfly, Golden Olive Bumble, Cock Robin, Green Dabbler, Olive Dabbler, Claret Dabbler, Invicta, Golden Olive, Spent Gnat and Buzzer patterns. Sizes 8-12.

When the Mayfly hatches end the trout concentrate on feeding on perch and roach fry. Fry patterns and lures are then effective around the shallows. In late June, large sedge fly appear in late evening and provide good fishing through to August and September. Locally these fly are called Murrough and Green Peter and artificial tying of these fly produce great sport, fished either wet or dry to surface cruising large trout.  Anglers should not leave the water too early at this time of year but stay out late and wait for the feeding trout in calm, sheltered bays. Lough Corrib is noted for the quality of its evening fishing in the summer months.

Fine Trout caught dappingTowards the end of August, wet-fly fishing improves and continues to the end of the season and generally is not to any specific hatch of fly. Terrestrials of all descriptions are important as also are fry, sedge and shrimp. Dapping large terrestrials (Grasshoppers, Daddy Longlegs) tempts larger than average 3lbs. plus fish. Indeed 'dapping' during the last two months of the season should be practiced more often as the method undoubtedly attracts the larger trout to the surface

Extremely large trout may also be caught on fly during September. These are frequently found in shallow water accompanying grilse and salmon.

For the latter part of the season, suggested fly patterns include: Green Peter, Murrough, Brown Sedge, Invicta, Silver Invicta, Kate McLaren, Blue Bottle, Daddy Longlegs, Bibio, Claret Dabbler, Golden Olive Bumble, Claret Bumble, Connemara Black, Raymond. Sizes 8-12


A 10-11.5 ft. rod is suitable for lough style wet-fly angling, shorter perhaps for dry fly. Floating lines are widely used for wet as well as dry fly. However, an intermediate sinking line is also a must for certain conditions.

3 nice trout on the dapWhen fishing specifically for Ferox trout, deep water trolling is required. Ferox trout reach 20lbs, or more, so tackle must be suitable and of good quality as these are strong, hard fighting fish.

For dapping a 12-15 ft. rod is required with a centre-pin, or spinning reel, loaded with blow line/monofilament line and dapping floss. Hook sizes should range from 6-10.

For trolling or bait fishing for both salmon and trout, an 8-10ft spinning rod with fixed spool or multiplier reel is recommended. 100-200yds. of 10-16lb breaking strain monofilament line is necessary. Baits include dead bait, spoons, plugs, Mepps, Rapalas, Toby's and Tasmanian Devils, Silver, Gold and Yellow-bellied Devons, Lane Minnow and rubber tailed spinners.


All legal legitimate methods (live baiting is not permitted).


No licence required for brown trout fishing. Check out the following for regulations governing brown trout fishing in the Corrib catchment. http://www.wrfb.ie/Fisheries%20Protection/wildbrowntroutcorrib.html


Loughs Corrib, Mask and Carra 13" (33cm). Bag limit - 4 trout/angler/day and, of this number, only one trout of 4.53kg or more can be taken.
Loughs Conn and Cullin 12" (30.48cm)

Another nice brownieSPECIMEN FISH

All specimen fish caught including salmon, trout, coarse and sea, should be reported to the Fisheries Board, from whose Head Office a claim form can be obtained.


Brown trout lakes varying in size from 50-1,000 acres include Lough Rea, Lough O'Flynn, Castlebar lakes, Callow Loughs, Bilberry Lough, Lough Muck, Luimnagh, Moher Lough and Kinlooey Lough. Some are limestone and consequently produce good-sized trout averaging over 1lb. Native brown trout stock is augmented by local clubs and Regional Fisheries Boards. Regulations vary from one water to another, most being fly-only with a bag limit.

Generally, trout are easier risen than in the large lakes. Consequently, anglers often turn to them during the low periods on the big lakes. Shore angling can often give good returns. Fly hatches are similar to those found on the big lakes and some produce the highest average rod catches in Ireland.

Mount Gable from the lake'BROWNIE LAKES'

There are hundreds of small lakes in the Western Region. Only a large scale map can show that there is almost a greater area of water than land. Usually these waters are acidic and do not have the abundance of fly life found on limestone lakes. Important flies are chironomids, small dark sedges and a variety of terrestrials including ants, moths and Daddy Longlegs.

The lakes are located in mainly mountainous districts of great scenic beauty, or in extensive areas of bog land which characterises large ares of Ireland West. Trout are small in the lakes, weighing 0.25-0.75lb. They are prolific, free-rising and give tremendous sport to wet and dry fly all season and are invaluable for the novice angler. These lakes vary greatly and there are some real gems amongst them with trout in excess of 1.25lb. Local advice is invaluable to ensure success. Dark flies are best: Black Pennell, Bibio, Connemara Black, Blae & Black, Mallard & Claret, Watson's Fancy, Sooty Olive, Butcher, Invicta, Silver Invicta, Green Peter, Dry Sedge and Daddy Longlegs. Sizes 12-14.

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