A Salmon Angler’s Paradise
By Markus Müller, Angling Advisor, Inland Fisheries Ireland
Carrowmore Lake, situated in the northwest of Ireland, is probably one of Europe’s most prolific still-water salmon fisheries. The 1000ha lake lies in the tranquil wild moorlands of County Mayo and gets an important run of spring salmon, grilse and sea trout, but also has a substantial number of small- to medium-size resident brown trout. Carrowmore is a rather shallow lake which provides ample habitat for salmonids and an abundance of fishable areas. On the downside, the lake can become discoloured easily and it can take a few days after a storm before it can be fished again.
Fishing is fly only from the 1st of April until the end of the season and confined to boat only. In general, the lake is fished with a so-called “team of flies.” A typical lough style setup includes two droppers and a tail fly. Some of the most popular patterns are Green Peter, Dabblers and various Bumble patterns, some tied with a muddler head. For lough style fishing, long 10- to 11-ft rods (# 7/8) are recommended in order to present the flies effectively. Particularly, the top or “bob fly” should be fished at the surface, creating a wake which often results in a spectacular salmon take close to the boat. As regards fly lines, most situations can be mastered with either a floating line or an intermediate.
Salmon run in Carrowmore Lake as early as January, but the best time for spring salmon fishing are the months of April and May. From June onwards, the lake usually gets a good run of sea trout as well as a grilse run. The season closes on 30th September. Carrowmore Lake is a private fishery: Boats and guides are available through Bangor Angling Club. Further information on regulations and permits is available at www. bangorerrisangling.com.
Please note that anglers need a state licence in order to fish for salmon or sea trout in Ireland. Licences are available online at https://store.fishinginireland.info/ and general angling information is provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland at www.fishinginireland.info