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. 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.
Killeen Lake, on the hotel grounds, is our stocked rainbow trout fishery, with fish up to 4lbs. Fished from a boat and with one of our experienced guides, this is a very exciting and rewarding morning’s fishing; particularly for the novice angler. The Killeen Lake season extends from mid April to August.
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.
Contact the Activities Coordinator for rates and bookings.
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: €160 || x1 person: €190 |
| €70 per person thereafter || €90 per person thereafter |
We recommend a maximum of three people per tutorial, however if there are more in your group, please contact our Activities Coordinator to determine how best to accommodate you.
* Guided Fishing Packages
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 Activities Coordinator 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 |
|Guided Lake Fishing || x1 person: €150 || x1 person: €180 |
| || €50 per person thereafter|| €70 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.
Self Guided Fishing Packages
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 Activities Coordinator 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)|| || |
| Self Guided Lake Fishing || €50 per person|| €70 per person|
| (Stocked trout only)|| || |
Fish Species and Bag Limits
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.
Government fishing licences are required for all anglers.
One Day €20
21 Day €40
District Season €56
Countrywide Season €100
Under 18 Season €10
Salmon Flies: €4.50 each
Trout Flies: €2.50 each
Rod Breakage: €30
Salmon 1 fish per day, catch and release encouraged
Sea Trout Catch and Release
Brown Trout Catch and Release
Rainbow Trout Catch and Release