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Fishing News


6th July 2012

Fantastic June Fishing in Connemara

An unexpected early run of grilse throughout June combined with the inclement weather brought about some of the best fishing of any June over the past 10 years. 

The progressively later running grilse over the past decade had left June an ‘in-between’ month; after the spring run and before the arrival of the grilse. This reversal of the trend was a welcome surprise to us at Ballynahinch as well as the other fisheries in 
Connemara. Kylemore, Lough Inagh, the Upper Ballynahinch Fishery and Owenglin all registered some really fantastic catches. The run through the Ballynahinch counter nearly doubled the best June run since its construction 7 years ago.

Some really good, plump grilse have been landed on the Castle Stretch over the past few weeks. Nearly 20 fish were recorded for the month, whereas single figure catches had not been breached in 10 years during the month of June. 

Sna Beg and Beat 4/5 have been the most productive given the high water we have experienced. Kildare angler, James Moore (pictuire on the right), landed a fantastic 7lb grilse from Beat 4 on a Stoat’s Tail whilst local guide, Michael Van Mourick also released a similar sized fish from the Iron Pier on the same beat. Patrick O’Flaherty landed his second of the season whilst, Simon Ashe also managed to get his name in the book.

Local angler Gary Brow landed a fine, fresh 7lb grilse from the middle pier in Sna Beg whilst The Stewart Family from the USA landed and released a fish and lost another the following day.

The sea trout have been coming in from the estuary in big numbers over the past few weeks, however, we have only managed small catches on the Castle Stretch due to the high flood. Colin Folan from Lough Inagh Lodge informs us that they have had some great sea trout fishing over the past week with the high water.

The prospects are very good for the remainder of the season and I would predict that we will finish the season with a very respectable catch given the really encouraging start. Availability is limited so please book your fishing as early as possible.

21st June 2012 

Best Start to the Season in a Decade

The favourable water conditions accompanied by a late run of spring fish and an early run of grilse has given us the best start to our season in over a decade. Given the fact that angling pressure has been quite low over the past few weeks, the catch per unit effort has been very high for this time of year. The daily increase in the grilse run over the fish counter, along with perfect water height in the river bodes well for the coming weeks at Ballynahinch.

Stephen Cullinane landed a beautiful 9lb salmon on 16th June after local guide, Jonathan Broderick, had taken a 12lb fresh fish. Jonathan was teaching a client to roll cast with a trout rod and 6lb nylon when he hooked into this fish. After 45 minutes (and with a very tired arm!) the fish was landed by the short pier on Beat 1.

A number of smaller grilse in the 4 - 5.5lb bracket have been taken by guests at the hotel with quite a number lost.

The numbers of sea trout finnock entering from the estuary has been quite low at this stage and we were expecting more to run this past week. Hopefully the run should pick up in the coming weeks. Watch this space!

Largest Salmon in 10 Years

On yesterday, our resident fishing guide, Cyril Biggins, landed the most magnificent 16lb fresh-run summer salmon from Beat 1. This fantastic fish, pictured above, was the largest landed at Ballynahinch in ten years and is unlikely to be surpassed this season.

8th June 2012 

The rain has arrived!

The almost Biblical rain of the past 24 hours might not have enthused most of the guests staying at the Castle, however, there sure are some happy fishermen out there! 

The river has risen a good deal and will continue to rise for a further day even though the rain has stopped. Regardless, the river will not go out of order and it will help to encourage the last remaining springers into the system along with the sea trout and any early grilse. There is a good deal of space on the river for the coming week and it is certainly worth fishing 

Spring Fishing

The large multi sea winter salmon, typically elusive at Ballynahinch at this time of year are proving very difficult to catch. Yesterday, visiting angler, Bart Shea from Arizona, landed a fantastic 9.5lb fresh springer from the stream of Beat 1 under the watchful eye of local guide, Frank Flaherty. 

Local angler, Ulrich Treusch hooked and lost into a great salmon earlier in the week on Beat 4. The fish made a couple of great long runs up and down the stream with a few leaps before throwing the hook. Other encounters have been few and far between.

Early Grilse?!


The grilse run; not due to arrive for another 10 days to 2 weeks appears to be kicking off a bit earlier than the last few years. Patrick O’Flaherty landed a fresh 4lb fish from Beat 1 on Wednesday whilst 2 others have been lost since. This is a great sign to see grilse this early. Hopefully it is a sign of a good run for 2012. 

Big Sea Trout

The elusive large maiden sea trout (2-4lbs) are entering the system in greater numbers since the last week of May. Whilst we see these fish on the counter every morning they are proving rather difficult to catch. Tom McManus caught and released a sea trout of circa 3.5lb and we have seen numerous others throughout the river. It bodes well for good sea trout fishing for the remainder of the season on the lakes and also for the spawning stock.

16th May 2012

First Fish of the Season Landed

On 15th May, Michael the Dutchman and Club Member, Tom McManus landed the first fish of the season from the Ballynahinch Catchment. The 8.5lb fresh springer took a small Badger at the tail of the stream from Beat 1. We have seen a slow start to the fishing season here at Ballynahinch as we have been hampered by low water conditions for the past few weeks.

The small rise in water brought some fine springers in from the sea earlier in the week and Cyril Biggins managed to land the second fish of the season; a fresh 7lb springer on 16th May from from the stream on Beat 4/5.

Record Brown Trout

The record 15lb 4oz brown trout, caught by Stephen Cullinane last September has taken pride of place on the wall in the Fisherman’s Pub. The taxidermist did a fine job and the fish really looks fantastic. It is the largest brown trout ever caught in West Connemara (as far as we are aware!). After a great deal of examination by fisheries scientists it was adjudicated that the fish was indeed a brown trout that had not spent any time at sea. I can only imagine how many small trout fell prey to this monster!


Fishing Reservations for 2012

There are still some fishing days available during the peak weeks in the middle of the summer. Please contact martina@ballynahinch-castle.com or phone the hotel reception on +353 95 31006 to book your fishing for the summer.

2011 was our second best season in 20 years and it was the best season on the catchment in 25 years. We are expecting a fine run of grilse in 2012 and all we need now is the weather!