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 fisherymaking it the ideal place for fishing weekend.
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, in early to mid March extending into May. Ballynahinch is, however, traditionally a summer fishery. The main run of grilse (salmon that have been at sea for one winter) appears in late 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 6-7lbs with grilse up to 9lbs being caught late in the season.
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. 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.
Ballynahinch was a celebrated fishery for its colossal catches of sea trout. During the nineties and up to four years ago the stocks of these stunningly energetic fish were seriously damaged by local salmon aquaculture and its attendant parasites. Since the downsizing of the salmon farm in the estuary, the stocks have bounced back at an alarming rate and the fishery is on the road to being one of the premier sea trout fisheries again. Catches increased by 12 fold in the first year of the recovery. The best time for sea trout fishing breaks is from early June until the end of July.
Enjoy the very finest fly fishing holiday that Ireland has to offer within Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Estate Connemara Ireland.
THE CASTLE FISHERY
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 you 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. With a maximum of two rods per beat, anglers are moved downstream on a half-day rotation to ensure a maximum amount of water is covered during the day. There are also a few areas on the river where anglers can fish for resident browns by wet fly, dry fly or upstream nymphing.
Complimenting the river is the Lower Ballynahinch Lake. This fine lake, fished from a drifting boat, can produce fine brown and sea trout during mid summer. Killeen Lake, also on the grounds of the Ballynahinch, is a more manageable lake for the less experienced angler. This lake is stocked with rainbow trout up to 4lb weight and can provide a great mornings entertainment for those who do not have long at Ballynahinch.
We look forward to welcoming you to Ballynahinch Castle for the very best of fly fishing in Ireland.
Method: Fly Fishing Only
Season: 1st February – 30th September
Licences: All anglers are required to purchase a government licence
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. It is imperative to book a 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 lawn in the walled garden where initial casting techniques begin. Later in the session, the students are taken to a section of the river where they will put their skills into practice.
Half Day Tutorial (3 hours)
€160 – 1 Rod
€240 – 2 Rods
€280 – 3 Rods
Full Day Tutorial
€190 – 1 Rod
€260 – 2 Rods
€320 – 3 Rods
* Children aged from 12-16 must be accompanied by an adult on all tutorials
* Guided Salmon & Trout Fishing
For those who have fly fished before, why not try salmon or trout fishing with one of our qualified guides? If you are unsure whether trout or salmon is the best option, please do not hesitate to ask one of the fishery team. Included in the price is equipment hire, wellington boots & flies. There is a maximum of 2 anglers per guide. Government licences are additional.
Guided Salmon Fishing
€180 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€200 – 1Rod – Full Day
€250 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€270 – 2 Rods – Full Day
Guided Trout Fishing
€150 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€180 – 1Rod – Full Day
€210 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€250 – 2 Rods – Full Day
To avoid being disappointed, please ensure that you reserve your guided fishing the evening before you intend to fish. This can be organized through reception.
Self Guided Salmon & Trout 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 equipment hire, wellington boots & flies. Government licences are additional.
€90 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€110 – 1Rod – Full Day
€160 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€190 – 2 Rods – Full Day
€60 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€90 – 1Rod – Full Day
€120 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€160 – 2 Rods – Full Day
Salmon & Trout Fishing
For our anglers who have all their own equipment and licences:
€85 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€85 – 1Rod – Full Day
€130 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€130 – 2 Rods – Full Day
€50 – 1 Rod – Half Day
€70 – 1Rod – Full Day
€90 – 2 Rods – Half Day
€110 – 2 Rods – Full Day
Government fishing licences are required for all anglers
Under 18 Season
Tackle & Equipment
Salmon Flies: €4.50 each
Trout Flies: €2.50 each
Rod Breakage: €30
1 fish per day, catch and release encouraged
Catch and Release
Catch and Release
Catch and Release
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