Fishing Breaks in Ireland

Fishing

Renowned as one of the finest fisheries in Ireland, the Ballynahinch Catchment drains an area of 68 square miles and is a diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers, drained by the Ballynahinch River and offering the very best of fly fishing in Ireland. This majestic river, with fishing rights owned exclusively by the Ballynahinch Estate, winds its way underneath the Castle for three kilometres until it reaches the wild Atlantic Ocean at Bertraghboy Bay, Connemara Ireland. 

All salmon and sea trout entering this magnificent system must swim up this river through the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate giving Ballynahinch its world-renowned reputation as a famous salmon and sea trout fishery making it the ideal place for fishing weekend. The closure of the Irish drift net fishery in 2007 has had a profound impact on the stocks at Ballynahinch with the run of salmon doubling in the first year following the closure. The average size of salmon has also increased given that the larger fish were being taken by the nets as they returned to the coast.

Enjoy the very finest fly fishing holiday that Ireland has to offer within Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate Connemara Ireland.

This really is the perfect location for a fly fishing vacation in Ireland. The river is well developed and easily accessible. The fishing beats are either a short stroll from the Castle or a small drive downstream where you will never be more than 5 minutes walk from your car. Over 70 casting piers were constructed on difficult throws when His Highness, The Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, better known as Ranji, owned the fishery. Casting piers and fishing huts on the seven beats on the river enable anglers of all ages and experience to enjoy fishing at Ballynahinch.

All fishing at Ballynahinch is by fly only. This should not however deter anglers who have never fly fished before. Experienced guides are available to teach all aspects of the sport and make your Ballynahinch fishing experience all the more enjoyable. Fishing is let by the beat and may be reserved on an individual basis or shared with a partner. Anglers are moved downstream on a half-day rotation to ensure a maximum amount of water is covered during the day.
The season officially opens on 1st February and extends to the 30th September. The effective season, however, begins with a small run of large spring salmon, averaging 10lbs, during the month of May. Ballynahinch is, however, traditionally a summer fishery. The main run of grilse (salmon that have been at sea for one winter) appears in early June with fresh fish continuing to turn up until the last day of the season. The Ballynahinch grilse are traditionally very large, by Irish standards, averaging 5-7lbs with grilse up to 8lbs being caught late in the season.
The season officially opens on 1st February and extends to the 30th September. The effective season, however, begins with a small run of large spring salmon, averaging 10lbs, during the month of May. The main run of grilse (salmon that have been at sea for one winter) appears in early June with fresh fish continuing to turn up until the last day of the season. The Ballynahinch grilse are traditionally very large, by Irish standards, averaging 5-7lbs with grilse up to 8lbs being caught late in the season. There are also a few areas on the river where anglers can fish for resident brown trout by wet fly, dry fly or upstream nymphing. Sea Trout are also abundant with the best time to catch these stunningly energetic fish is from early June until mid-July.
Method: Fly Fishing Only
Season: 1st February – 30th September
Age: No children under the age of 12 are permitted on the fishery

Beginners Fly Fishing Tutorials
For our guests interested in learning how to fly fish, or who are looking for a novel way to spend a morning, why not partake in a half or a full day’s fly fishing tutorial at the hotel with one of our experienced tutors? Whilst you may not become an expert fly fisherman in a morning, the tutorial intends to give the participants a good insight into the basics of fly fishing. There is a maximum of 3 people per tutorial with a minimum age of 12 (Children aged from 12-16 must be accompanied by an adult). It is imperative to book fly fishing tutorials in advance to avoid disappointment. Participants are taught how to set up their tackle correctly, cast competently, learn which flies to use and much more. The tutorial commences on the where initial casting techniques begin. Later in the session, the students are taken to the river where they will put their skills into practice.

Half Day Tutorial (3 hours)  Full Day Tutorial (6 Hours) 
10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm 10am to 5pm
x1 person: €160x1 person: €190
€70 per person thereafter€90 per person thereafter

We recommend a maximum of three people per tutorial, please contact our reservation team to determine how best to accommodate you.
Method: Fly Fishing Only
Season: 1st February – 30th September
Age: No children under the age of 12 are permitted on the fishery

For those who have fly fished before, why not try fishing with one of our qualified guides? Included in the price is your one day fishing license, equipment hire, wellington boots & flies. We recommend a maximum of two anglers per guide, however if there are more in your group, please contact our reservations team to determine how best to accommodate you.

 Guided Fishing  Half Day (3 Hours)  Full Day (6 Hours) 
  10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm  10am to 5pm
 Guided River Fishing  x1 person: €190 x1 person: €220 
  €80 per person thereafter €100 per person thereafter 
*Please note: To avoid being disappointed, please ensure that you reserve your fishing guide prior to your arrival. Guides for evening session are limited.
Method: Fly Fishing Only
Season: 1st February – 30th September
Age: No children under the age of 12 are permitted on the fishery

For those with previous fly fishing experience, we are very happy for you to fish the river without a guide. Guests are provided with fishery maps and allocated a beat by the fishery manager in the morning. Included in the price is your one day fishing license, equipment hire, wellington boots & flies. We recommend a maximum of two anglers per beat, however if there are more in your group, please contact our reservations team to determine how best to accommodate you.

Self Guided River Fishing Half Day (3 Hours) Full Day (6 Hours) 
 10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm 10am to 5pm
Self Guided River Fishing €110 per person€130 per person
(Salmon & trout)  

Our river is home to wild Brown Trout and during the season is visited by spawning Salmon and Sea Trout. Our stocked lake is filled with Rainbow Trout. Below is a guide that suggests the best time of year for each species:

Salmon – Mid-May to September - 1 fish per day, catch and release encouraged.
Sea Trout – June to August - Catch and release.
Brown Trout – May to Mid-September - Catch and release.
Rainbow Trout – March to October - Catch and release.
Flies:
Salmon Flies: €4.50 each
Trout Flies: €2.50 each

Rod Breakage: €30
Ballynahinch Castle is a mere thirty-minute drive to Europe’s premier wild brown trout fishery. Anglers flock from all over the world to fish on this great lake and especially during the famous mayfly fishing in early summer. 
Large ferox (cannibal) trout of up to 20lbs are caught every year on deep lures and fish up to 5lbs can be caught on the wet fly, dry fly or dapping. Daily fishing packages can be organised from Ballynahinch with local guides and a full picnic lunch provided. Early booking is advised during the mayfly season.
The Ballynahinch system of interconnecting lakes, streams and rivers has a large capacity of producing young salmon and trout before they make their journey to the sea. To maintain this healthy state of affairs, the Ballynahinch Catchment Management Programme has been set up to ensure that the system will continue to have high levels of productivity for a long time into the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fly fishing at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is not only for experienced fishermen and women, our guided fishing tutorials are ideal for people interested in learning how to fly fish, or who are looking for a nice way to spend a morning. Half or a full day’s fly fishing tutorials are available with one of our experienced tutors. While you may not become an expert fly fisherman in just one morning, the tutorial intends to give the participants a good insight into the basics of fly fishing. With all levels of experience catered for, Ballynahinch Castle the perfect place for fishing weekend breaks in Ireland.
The Ballynahinch Catchment drains an area of 68 square miles and is a diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers, drained by the Ballynahinch River. Casting piers and fishing huts on the seven beats on the river enable anglers of all ages and experience to enjoy fishing at Ballynahinch. It is renowned as one of the finest fisheries in Ireland, all salmon and sea trout entering this system must swim up this river through the estate making the Ballynahinch Fishery the ideal place for fly fishing in Ireland.
Killeen Lake, on the grounds of the 700 acre Ballynahinch Castle Hotel & estate, is a stocked rainbow trout fishery, making it the ideal place for trout fishing in Connemara. The Killeen Lake season extends from mid April to August and is a very exciting and rewarding morning’s fishing; particularly for the novice angler.
The Ballynahinch Fishery really is the perfect location for a fly fishing holidays in Ireland. The river is well developed and easily accessible. The fishing beats are either a short stroll from the Castle or a small drive downstream where you will never be more than 5 minutes walk from your car.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the perfect location for fly fishing holidays in Ireland. The river is well developed with a catchment area which drains an area of 68 square miles. This is diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers. The season officially runs from 1st February to the 30th September. The main run is early June continuing until the last day of the season. The salmon are traditionally average 5-7lbs in weight up to 8lbs late in the season. The fishing beats are easily accessible and are either a short stroll from the Castle or a small drive downstream where you will never be more than 5 minutes walk from your car. These beats have a wonderful history as the where originally built by Prince Ranji when he owed the castle and estate. The Wading List Fly Fishing Magazine said it best when they said Ranji turned Ballynahinch into an El Dorado for fly fishermen. 
The grilse on in the Ballynahinch Fishery are traditionally very large, by Irish standards, averaging 5-7lbs with grilse up to 8lbs being caught late in the season, making it the perfect location for salmon fishing. The season officially opens on 1st February and extends to the 30th September, the effective season, however, begins with a small run of large spring salmon in May with the main run of grilse in early June with fresh fish continuing to turn up until the last day of the season.
The fishery at Ballynahinch Castle is a system of lakes and rivers that is famous for its salmon and trout run. All salmon and sea trout entering this system must swim up the Owenmore river at the front of the hotel and through the estate, making it the ideal place for a fishing trip. The season begins at the end of February and ends at the end of September with the main run of salmon from late May to September 30th. Guests can enjoy fishing during their stay during the season, even if they have never fished before. Tutorials & guided fishing is suitable for beginners or for those who want to build up their confidence. Self-guided fishing is available also for the more experienced anglers. Our fishing guides are always happy to share their knowledge and know the best places for resting salmon as they make their way up stream.