Lough Erne, County Fermanagh
Fishing in Northern Ireland means casting into some of the most unspoilt waters in Europe.
Here are five places where the catching will be great too…
1. Lough Erne
Welcome to the 300 square miles of Lough Erne, the premier mixed game and coarse waters in Northern Ireland. This is your chance to get hooked into the magic of County Fermanagh’s excellent fishing, accommodation, food, and the slow pace of peaceful angling amid the bays and islands – over 150 of them – scattered around these vast lakelands.
Mixed wild brown trout, salmon, pike, bream and perch can all be landed from boat, bank, stand or jetty. The wild trout of a lifetime is a possibility during Lough Erne’s famous the mayfly hatch, and there’s every chance of landing specimen pike throughout the season.
2. The River Bush
A beautiful salmon and trout river just minutes away from the world famous Old Bushmills Distillery and Giant's Causeway sounds like a dream fishing trip. Well, at the River Bush it is.
This County Antrim river is best known for its superb salmon fishing, and with the right conditions you can land something really special. Excellent hard fighting trout are also plentiful. With impressive sights and lovely named pools along its 35-mile length, the River Bush is fishing heaven. Escape here and at the very least you’ll catch the beauty of nature on picturesque waters weaving through the Glens of Antrim.
3. Lough Melvin
The pristine waters of Lough Melvin have a worldwide reputation. No artificial stocking of this eight-mile long waterway has ever taken place here, and that means the native trout have not changed since the Ice Age. This is game fishing par excellence.
The wild fish include four varieties of trout, and there’s a good run of salmon plus sea trout, char and perch. All are present in great numbers. Time has stood still in this corner of Northern Ireland. Reel in some local accommodation and maybe a local fishing guide and you’ll find the perfect destination for a tranquil break in the breathtaking landscape of west Fermanagh.
4. The Six Mile Water
The Six Mile Water in County Antrim is a wonderful river for pursuing a truly big wild trout. It’s one of just a handful of rivers in the world where anglers can catch dollaghan, the large brown trout-like species native only to Lough Neagh and its feeder rivers.
Dollaghan migrate to and from lough, and many of these impressive fish surpass their sea-faring salmon cousins in size – a 20-pounder has been taken in the Six Mile Water. The river holds salmon and a good head of brown trout too, but have a go for the dollaghan, particularly at night. It just might be trophy trout time.
5. The River Bann
Coarse angling doesn’t get better than on a rod trip to the River Bann. Northern Ireland’s longest river, it rises in the Mourne Mountains and flows into and then out of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the UK.
In the Upper Bann, the stretch downstream of Portadown to the lough is regarded as one of the best coarse fisheries in Europe. Big bags are just a few casts away. On the Lower Bann, the stretch around Portglenone also contains a fantastic head of bream, roach, eels and hybrids. Whether you are a pleasure, specialist or match angler, the Bann is always ready to offer big bites.