About the Lakes

Lough Corrib, Evening time.

LOUGH CORRIB
Lough Corrib is one of the best game fisheries in the world and it is a wonderful place to experience what Ireland has to offer both in terms of the game angling and the hospitality of the local people. It is a vast lake of 44,000 acres and stretches some thirty five miles from Galway City to Maam Bridge in Connemara. The season for brown trout on Lough Corrib opens on February 15th 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. Dapping the natural mayfly is very popular in late May / early June. Because of its size and numerous underwater hazards it is very advisable to use a guide on your first few visits, until you feel comfortable and confident enough to rent a boat yourself. The use of a guide also has the benefit of getting you to the best and most productive fishing grounds straight away, hence making your day more productive and enjoyable.

Trout Fishing
Lough Corrib is now recognised as the leading Wild Brown TROUT- FISHERY in the World. Fishing for the wild brown trout starts on 15th February and runs through to end of September.
FLY FISHING and TROLLING
From March 1st to end of April is without doubt the premier time for WET-FLY FISHING when trout are feeding freely on DUCK FLY and OLIVES.

Even when the fish are feeding on flies, trolling lures and baits is also very rewarding. The evening time, when conditions are suitable, can witness good bags of trout rising to the DRY FLY. 1st May to 1st week of June usually witnesses the famous MAYFLY. Fishing the natural Mayfly, with a long FISHING ROD of around 15/16 feet, is known here on Corrib as DAPPING.
This is an ideal time to introduce people, both young, not so young and a little bit old, to the sport of fishing as dapping is a rather simple method of angling where beginners luck quiet often outshines the seasoned angler.

After 1st week in June to end of September :This period sees the trout turn their attention to Perch Fry for the 1st few weeks, and thereafter are caught on the wet-fly, dry-fly and dapping the Grasshopper/Daddy Longlegs. Trolling in the deep water of Upper Corrib often sees FEROX TROUT of 20 lbs and over coming to the landing net. Fish of 10 lbs. and over are in the SPECIMEN-TROUT category. During the very hot weather nightfall can witness the hatching BUZZER bringing the trout to the surface – a scene that has to be witnessed to be believed.

Pike Fishing
As with the Wild Brown Trout, PIKE-FISHING on Lough Corrib is ranked very high indeed in the World. In Fred Buller’s famous book “The Doomsday Book of Mammoth Pike” very many of the large SPECIMEN PIKE mentioned were taken from Lough Corrib. Anglers go on the trail of the TROPHY-PIKE on Lough Corrib from the middle of July onwards to the middle of December. Most pike anglers coming to Lough Corrib for the 1st time usually record a personal best, and very often this record is broken on several occasions. Several methods of angling are used to catch pike. Trolling - driving the boat slowly with the bait/lure fishing behind the boat. Spinning – fishing from a stationary boat with baits/lures. Dead-Baiting- fishing with a dead natural bait (usually Perch, Roach, Herring Eel) using a float. This method of angling is best when there is enough wind to make the boat drift. Dead-baiting and Spinning are usually carried out at the same time. Jerk Baiting - this is a rather new method of pike fishing on Corrib and the angler will require a special Rod & Reel and a selection of Jerk Baits.

Coarse Fishing
Coarse fish include Bream, Roach, Perch, Rudd, Tench, Hybrids, Skimmers & Eels.
The waters give good Roach fishing over most of the year, but usually best from April to December. Hybrids are always plentiful in summer and early winter months. Roach to over 1lb. and Hybrids to over 3lb. are common. Bream fishing is best from April and skimmers are plentiful the whole year round. Bream to over 9lb. have been caught in Ballyquirke Lake. Tench are also present in most of the lakes but are often hard to locate because of the size of the waters.

Salmon Fishing
Lough Corrib flows into the Sea at Galway City and the Wild Atlantic Salmon have a free run into the lake and the salmon can be seen in their hundreds at the famous Salmon Weir Bridge beside Galway Cathedral. Corrib gets a good run of both spring salmon and grilse and the majority of fish taken are caught by trolling. The standard baits are Tobys and copper and silver spoons. The majority of spring salmon are taken in the Cong – Carrick shore area, while the grilse, which are much more numerous when they arrive in June, are likely to take either a fly or a bait in any shallow area. Favourite grilse areas on Lower Lough Corrib are Billybeg, Muckrush, Rabbit Island and the Narrows, while on the upper lough they can be taken anywhere along the west shore from Inishgarraun to the mouth of the Fallomer River. Hot spots in this area are Bog Bay, Oughterard Bay, Inishdawee and along the Glaun shore. Another good area is around Inishdoorus and along the west side of Doorus Peninsula, with special emphasis on Hut Bay. The other good area is the Carrick Shore, east past Cong to Inishmicatreer. It is generally agreed that more grilse are taken along the west shore – Inishgarraun to Fallomer River – than anywhere else. They can also be taken on a fly when they come in fresh, and favourite patterns are Green Peter, Silver Doctor, Black Goldfinch, Black Doctor and Thunder and Lightning – sizes 8 and 10.

LOUGH MASK
Mask is a limestone lough of some 20,000 acres, and 10 miles long by about 4 miles wide. It is noted for its beautiful free-rising brown trout. The average size is 1 lb 3 oz but 3 lb fish are common and it holds a big stock of ferox trout to over 20 lb. These big fish are taken by trolling in depths from 10 to 30 feet, usually around the islands in the middle of the lough. The area in question stretches from Carrigeendauv in the north to Ram’s island in the south. There is excellent wet-fly fishing, and dapping the mayfly in late May and June is most productive. Dapping the natural grasshopper takes a lot of good fish in August – September. Dry fly fishing with a lightly dressed Green Drake works well when the trout are feeding on mayfly and shore fishing is possible in a number of places. One such place is the mouth of the canal, where dry sedges are fished off the shore, and Olive Spinners will take good trout in the summer evenings along many of the bays on the eastern shore. There are good hatches of chironomids from early April and later in that month the lake olives appear and continue into early May. Popular wet-fly patterns at this time are Fiery Brown, Sooty Olive, Blae Sooty Olive, Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Peter Ross, Watson’s Fancy, Greenwell’s Glory, Mallard and Claret and Cock Robin. The Mayfly dominate the fishing from mid-May to late in June and dapping mayfly and yellow mayfly patterns work well; the Invicta, Teal and Yellow and Golden Olive are also useful, there is good night buzzer fishing. Trout fishing slows down in July but picks up again in August and September. The best killing patterns from August onwards are Claret Murrough, Green Peter, Bibio, Watson’s Fancy, Invicta, Daddy, Golden Olive, Peter Ross and Black and Peacock Spider. Pike and coarse fishing available on Lough Mask also.