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  1. Ireland
  2. Bann
  3. Trout and more


Whilst the Lower Bann is more noted as a salmon and sea trout fishery, the tributaries of both the Bann and Lough Neagh provide superb troiut fishing

Agivey River

The Agivey River is a spate river some 15 miles in length rising in the Sperrin Mountains south west of Garvagh. The river runs through the Aghadowey on its way to meet the River Bann approximately 10 miles from the sea. There is an abundance of wild brown trout throughout the river system and fishing for these is best from late May until August when fly life is most prolific.

Ballymoney River

This is an attractive small river which is fishable from its confluence with the Bann up to Ballymoney town. The lower reaches are slow and deep slowly giving way to tree shaded pools and riffles as you move upstream towards Ballymoney.

Above Ballymoney the river is typically spawning and nursery habitat which the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is improving as a source of wild stock to enhance the river downstream. Small numbers of salmon and sea trout enter the lower stretches of the river providing opportunities for a surprise encounter with a bigger fish. From August to October a run of dollaghan from the Bann can provide good sport.

Clady River

The small-to-medium-sized Clady river flows from the Sperrin Mountains down through the historic linen village of Upperlands and past Culnady and Clady before emptying into the Lower Bann below the town of Portglenone. The river has a very good stock of wild brown trout where it meets the rich, flat agricultural land around Culnady. Here the river was sympathetically dredged a number of years ago and there are now plenty of deep pools and good riffles.

The river enjoys a good run of salmon from August through to the end of the season. Clady and District Angling Association have recently provided superb facilities for anglers, including those with a disability located just outside the village of Clady. Ghillies are available on request from the club. Prawn/Shrimp fishing is not permitted on the river.

Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake in Ireland and the British Isles and tributaries such as the Ballinderry River and Moyola River are especially attractive for the trout angler. Here, the dollaghan, a unique species of Lough Neagh migratory brown trout can be caught when they run the many tributaries from mid July to the end of the season (31st October).

Dollaghan are, in many ways, similar to salmon and grow by up to 3lbs every year while in the lough. Successful methods are spinning, worming and fly fishing. The fly is often most productive in the evening and into the night. These trout weigh from 6-7lbs upwards. Often after flooding the fish run into the tributaries and can be fished using tactics similar to sea trout fishing.

Macosquin River

The Macosquin River is a small 3-5m wide river which flows into the Lower Bann. The main quarry in this river is brown trout, of which there is an abundance. However, the river also yields a few sea trout and salmon in the autumn.

Numbers of all these fish have been supplemented in recent years by the release of substantial numbers of fry. Although the river would be considered small, it has developed a fine pool and riffle system and there is plenty of good sport to be had. Angling is restricted to fly fishing only and the river is under the control of Coleraine Anglers Association.

River Maine

The Maine is a wide river with a fine head of brown trout which can often give the best sport to the fly fisherman from April to mid June. However, the big attraction is really the salmon and dollaghan fishing. This is generally best from July to October but it really depends on water conditions. This is excellent fly water, but spinning and worming may be allowed in certain conditions and stretches of the river. There is a bag limit of two fish per day and 4 fish in any seven days. A fishing guide service is available.

The Six Mile Water

The Six Mile Water is a medium-sized river with a good head of wild brown trout which are best fished from April through to June. The river is perhaps best known for its dollaghan fishing which is best from August to the end of the season. Salmon are also caught at this time of year. Fishing is fly only until the 31st August after which spinning and worming are also allowed. A fishing guide service is available.


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Moyola River

The Moyola River is famous worldwide for its angling. It not only offers angling amid peace and quiet, but the river itself runs through some of the most beautiful countryside in Ireland, flowing 27 miles from the Sperrin Mountains to Lough Neagh, emerging at the entrance to the Lower Bann. It is here that the returning Atlantic salmon join the native dollaghan (a form of trout which migrates to, and matures in, Lough Neagh, before returning to its native river to spawn) on their spawning journey upstream. Wild brown trout are also found in abundance. For nearly all of its length the Moyola flows at suitable speed over gravel into pools making it excellent fly fishing water. Locally trained ghillies are available on request. The river is managed and enhanced by the Moyola Angling Association.

The Crumlin

The Crumlin is a medium-sized river flowing into the eastern side of Lough Neagh. It has a large head of wild brown trout which can give good sport to the wet and dry fly. Later in the season and especially during the months of September and October dollaghan and occasional salmon may be caught in the lower river (ie. below the falls downstream of Crumlin) using all legal methods.

The Upper Bann

The Upper Bann is a medium-sized river (5-20m in width) mainly known for its brown trout fishing although from July on there is always the chance of a salmon or dollaghen. The best of the trout fishing is from the start of the season until July and although all legal methods are allowed there is a lot of water particularly suited to fly fishing. A ghillie or guide can be arranged with prior notice.

Ballinderry River

The Ballinderry River flows eastwards through the county of Tyrone, Northern Ireland. As it raises in the foothills of the Sperrin mountains, it twists its way through the Kildress countryside to Cookstown, onto Coagh and finally Lough Neagh. With its large populations of free rising brown trout up to two pounds in weight, the Ballinderry River is quite rightly thought of as one of the, if not the, best trout rivers in Northern Ireland. Although the trout are in the main smallish fish, in the region of 4 - 6 ounces, they are hard fighting and plenty in number to keep the angler interested.


River Blackwater between Clogher and Aughnacloy, is a lowland river meandering through farmland providing excellent river fishing for trout, salmon and dollaghan.



Other Fishing

Coarse fishing

The Lower Bann provides some the of the best wild coarse fishing in Europe, with large, mixed bags being the norm. Some of the fishing has been improved recently and provides numbered pegs. There is wheelchair access for many of the pegs and those sited just off main roads are suitable for all anglers.

The main areas and hot spots are set out below.

Agivey Bridge

The banks of the Lower Bann at the Agivey Bridge are very angler-friendly and there is superb coarse fishing to be had. The river slightly gains speed at the point and produces good bags of bream and hybrids which tend to be in the 4-7lbs+ range and are renowned for their fighting quality. The beat also has good shoals of skimmers, roach and hybrids with many specimen fish reported each year. Fish available are: bream, perch, gudgeon, pike, eel and trout.

Movanagher Canal

Situated off the Vow Road, on the laneway to Movanagher Fish Farm, this 10m wide and 3m deep canal produces excellent coarse fishing, especially when the Lower Bann is in flood. Access to the pegs is straightforward as the road runs along the canal's entire length. There are also a number of pegs specifically designed for wheelchair users.

Bream is the main quarry here, averaging 2-4lbs in weight, although roach are also plentiful in the 4-6oz range. Bags of bream to 90lbs are recorded each year and Roach consistently yield bags of 7-22lbs. The best methods are considered to be pole, waggler and ledgering. In addition to bream and roach, perch and pike are also found in various parts of this canal. The best pegs are numbers 3-15 and 45 upwards.

River Bann, Ireland

Movanagher West

Situated about two miles form the town of Kilrea, just off the A54 road to Coleraine, and on the west bank of the Lower Bann, Movanagher West is a beautiful setting for 79 fishing pegs.

Unlike most of the Lower Bann fishing, access can be difficult, with a 200-300m walk from the lay-by to the pegs. The fishing here is variable, but shoals of bream, roach and hybrids are all common. Perch, pike and eel are also present. As a result pleasure bags of up to 100lbs are not unknown, particularly if feeder tactics are used. The maggot and castor are recommended in particular. However, this is mainly a summer venue as high water levels can make access to the pegs difficult.

Portneal Lodge

This prolific stretch lies upstream of the Bann Bridge, Kilrea, and is conveniently adjacent to Portneal Lodge. There are a number of custom-built pegs here and access to the river is straightforward, with the fishing being highly recommended.

The main species available here, which are found in good numbers, are roach, pike and bream. As a result, pleasure bags of 100lbs+ are commonplace. Fishing is considered to be slow here during the summer, but autumn and winter sessions can provide good sport.

Portna Canal

This 100m long canal is a piker angler's haven. As soon as the Lower Bann reaches winter flood levels the pike take up residence and remain there throughout the winter months.

Larger pike are mainly taken on ledgered baits, with rainbow trout being particularly recommended, while the jacks are mostly caught on spinners. Most recently, fly fishing has become a popular method of fishing for pike; successful fly patterns vary from angler to angler, but any fly with a touch of tinsel should work well. Other fish species found in the canal include bream and perch. Access to the canal is excellent, with parking being available within 10m of the canal.

Hutchinson's Quay

This section of the Lower Bann is quite often overlooked by anglers. It is situated in the most beautiful surroundings, with straightforward access, allowing wheelchair users to reach the fishing with ease.

However, there are no custom built pegs. Anglers may fish from the jetty on the site, the deep water alongside being most suited to pole or feeder fishing.

In this area roach and perch are the main quarry, being found in good numbers when the river is in flood during the autumn. Despite this fishing can be sporadic with bags of 15lbs being considered average.

Portglenone Forest

Located in a beautiful wooded area of the Lower Bann, this facility was created in 1992 to cater for increasing numbers of coarse anglers. Access was improved by the creation of a road leading to the river and one mile of pathway along the bank. 89 competition-standard pegs were also constructed.

River Bann, Ireland

Good fishing is to be had at this site all year round, although it can slow down at spawning time, with the main species being roach, skimmers and bream.

At Ulster coarse fishing federation and international events' average bags are between 5-15 kilos, although this can be far exceeded during pleasure sessions, when 40kg bags are not uncommon.

According to local experts, pegs 1-4; 15-25; 40-54; 82-89 are the best, depending on water flow and season. The pole/feeder are considered most suitable during the winter months and the slider during the summer. In addition to the coarse angling some good pike fishing is also to be had in this area.

Newferry West

This stretch has recently been developed, through the creation of a large number of fishing stands between Newferry and Lough Beg and provides competition-standard angling. Access is reasonably easy.

In particular, Newferry West is renowned for its large hybrids and bream, which can reach weights of 5lbs and 9lbs respectively. As a result 100lb bags of fish are not uncommon, feeder and pole being considered the best methods, and heavy ground baiting often proving fruitful.

The autumn and winter are the best times of year on this stretch, fishing being considered rather slow during the summer. Perch fishing is also reputed to be good here.

Due to the presence of a slipway at Newferry, there can be disturbance from boats and waterskiers on this section during the summer. To avoid this fishermen are recommended to start fishing early in the morning before boating commences.

Toome Canal

This canal is about 1.5km long, a short walking distance from the village of Toome, and easily accessible by road. Although there are no custom built pegs the canal is readily fished from the bank. There is a floating jetty from which wheelchair users can fish, in the absence of moored boats.

The main fish species found here are roach and perch, which can provide bags of between 50-60lbs on an average pleasure session. Pike fishing can also be found in the river, canals and loughs with the Lower Bann producing a number of specimen pike every year and it may only be a matter of time before an Irish record is achieved.

By far the most successful method is spinning and trawling but to catch big fish, dead-baiting is recommended. Local anglers find pollen, mackerel, rainbow trout and roach to be the best bait.

Lough Beg

For the past few years anglers have fly fished for pike in the winter months and a number of good fish have been taken of up to 42.5lbs on both the river and Lough Beg.

The Lough Beg area is a premier pike fishery within Ireland, having a sluggish flow and some shallow bays. Pike are also found in the deeper navigational channel running through the lough. Access to Lough Beg is most convenient by boat from Newferry or Toome.

Outside Lough Beg the best pike fishing areas are the three canals at Movanagher East, Potna and Toome.

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