The West of Ireland is, undoubtedly, one of Europe's top angling destinations and visiting anglers from around the world consider it as a 'salmon fishing paradise' providing excellent salmon and sea trout fishing opportunities using both fly and bait methods.
The importance of the region as a producer of salmon is underlined by the fact that almost 30% of Ireland's total salmon catch is caught in the region. This includes the Rivers' Moy, the Glencar Lough/Drumcliffe River system in Co. Sligo and the Burrishoole Fishery (Loughs Feagh and Furnace) near Newport in Co. Mayo.
The region is dominated by the mighty River Moy, celebrated as Ireland's premier salmon river, with huge numbers of salmon landed each season. The average annual salmon rod catch on the Moy during the last ten years is a staggering 6,000 plus fish.
The Moy straddles the counties of Mayo and Sligo and is approximately one hundred kilometers long with extensive tributaries and drains a catchment of over two thousand square kilometers. For most of its course, the Moy flows through pastureland, with the mountains which feed almost always in view from its banks. The Nephin Beg range lies to the western horizon and the Ox mountains mark the eastern watershed. The main River Moy channel is deep and up to forty metres wide in the middle and lower reaches.
The system includes great loughs such as Conn, Cullin and Arrow including many small lakes, streams and tributaries producing wild brown trout.
The upper Moy river has a different character and is more akin to a spate river in parts. The fishing here can be superb and the pioneering angler can find excellent Salmon fishing in solitude.
Middle Moy. Some of the best fishing can be found in the middle reaches of the Moy between Ballina & Foxford. with excellent sea trout and salmon fishing late in to the season.
Lower Moy The Moy estuary has large stocks of sea trout which can be caught on fly and bait. Angling on the tidal beats of the Moy fishery is affected to some extent by the tide and depending on height and location of the beat, water may be unfishable for up to 2 hours at high tide. Anglers should check tide times prior to angling.
As well as the Moy, the region has several other important fisheries which enjoy good runs of salmon and sea trout.
In the west Mayo area, the Owenmore and Owenduff Rivers provide salmon and sea trout fishing. Carrowmore Lake, near Bangor Erris, also has excellent salmon and sea trout fishing. The Glenamoy River also produces salmon and seatrout angling during the summer in suitable conditions. In the Newport area, the Burrishoole Fishery (Loughs Feagh and Furnace) provides high quality lake salmon angling.
In Co. Sligo, the Easky River, 12 km east of Ballina, offers superb spate river game fishing on one of the region's most beautiful fisheries. The Ballysadare Fishery, located about 5 km south-west of Sligo town, is well known as a prolific salmon fishery and catches of up to 2,500 salmon annually are the norm. The Garavogue and the River Bonet system.
Further north, the highly scenic Glencar Lough/Drumcliffe River fishery gets a run of salmon from 1 February and enjoys reasonable runs of grilse and sea trout during the Summer/Autumn period.
Disabled Angling Facilities
There are disabled angling facilities on the Moy Fishery in Ballina including the Ridge Pool & the Fresh Water Beat. Additional facilities are provided on the Ballina Salmon Angler's Association water and the Foxford Salmon Angler's Association water.
For the latest information contact North Western Regional Fisheries Board.