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Tackle and Techniques


Fly-fishing is a delight at Ballynahinch. The seven loughs on the system ensure that the water is always clean and clear and is rarely dirty even in the highest of water. The river is well developed with many riffles and glides, perfect for presenting a downstream fly. The slower deeper pools invite the angler to work the fly resulting in the fish following the fly many times before it finally takes.

A 9ft - 11ft single-handed rod capable of throwing a 8-9 weight line is adequate for summer fishing although 6-7 weight tackle would be more appropriate for sea trout fishing. During the higher water and windy days of spring a 12-14ft double handed rod throwing a 9-11 weight line is a favoured option.

Floating lines have always been a tradition at Ballynahinch although, in recent years, intermediate and sink-tip lines have become more popular, particularly in higher water.

Due to the clarity of the water in the river, small single and double flies are mostly used. Any popular pattern of salmon fly will catch fish, however, Badgers, Doctors, Stoats Tails, Shrimps and Silver Rats are favourites here at Ballynahinch. The wet flies of choice for sea trout are Butchers, Black Pennells, Bibios and Connemara Blacks with Daddy’s and Klinkhammers being popular dry fly patterns.

Spring daytime temperatures can range from 4 ° C - 12 ° C and warm, waterproof clothing is essential. Summer daytime temperatures vary from 10 ° C - 20 ° C and again warm, waterproof clothing is usually necessary!

The fishery has rod and reel outfits, waterproof clothing and Wellington boots for hire. Clients can purchase flies and tackle from the fishery manager at the hotel. We can recommend our custom tied flies, as they have been designed to best suit the needs of our anglers under the varying conditions.

Other recommendations include polarised sunglasses for eye protection, insect repellent for biting midges and a floatation jacket for boat fishing. The above are also available at the hotel. Guests sometimes wear waders but they are not essentially needed, as most of the fishing is much easier from the riverbank.