West of Ireland's Lake District include three world renowned brown trout Lakes of Mask, Carra and Corrib. These lakes are predominately limestone waters, producing wild brown trout averaging over 1lb. Trout of over 3lb are regularly caught with some up to 10lb caught on the fly every season. Large Ferox trout, 10lb - 20lb, are caught by trolling deep water or along the deep side of the shallows.
The season starts on February 15th on Lough Mask and Lough Corrib, and from March 1st on Lough Carra. The season ends on September 30th on all three lakes.
In early season fly life is scarce on the water. However, trout are taken on the fly in areas of shallow water from opening day. From early March the Duckfly (Chironomid) hatches and trout rise freely to pupa emerging.
April can be a great month for all fly fishing and is the favorite time for many anglers on these lakes. The daytime catch at this time of the year can be equally as good and even better than Mayfly time. Best fly patterns for this time of year include: Black pennell, Connemara Black, Watsons Fancy, Bibio, Mallard and Clare, Duckfly, Sooty Olive, Peter Ross, Fiery Brown, Claret and Golden Dabbler. Cochy - Bondu Duckfly pupa and mergers. Sizes 10 - 14. Late evening Buzzer fishing in the more sheltered bays can be very productive from April onwards and is a great way of catching that specimen fish you dream about.
Mayfly hatches appear on Lough Carra from early May and mid May onwards on Lough Mask and Lough Corrib. During the Mayfly, trout feed eagerly on the surface taking merging nymphs, Green Drake and later on spent gnat. Dapping the natural Mayfly is an excellent method during this time. Dry fly fishing with the spent Gnat can catch very big fish especially towards evening. Popular patterns during Mayfly time include: Green Peter, Green Drake, French Partridge, Fan Winged Mayfly, Golden Olive Bumble, Green Dabbler, Claret Dabbler, Golden Olive, Spent Knat and Buzzer Patterns. Sizes 8 to 12.
June and July on Mask and Corrib can be difficult during the day as the trout are feeding on Perch Fry. Evening Buzzer and Sedge fishing such as the Murrough and and Green Peter can be especially good during this time. This is a good time of year for bringing family and enjoying the wonderful scenery and activities the region is famous for, then partaking in the late evening fishing when the rising trout can almost take your breath away. Lough Carra can continue to have excellent fishing during the day at this time also with some great evening fishing.
From August onwards fly fishing improves and continues right to the end of the season. Dapping large terrestrials such as Grasshoppers and Daddy Longlegs can tempt up larger than average fish from 3lb plus. No angler should let the season go by and not try this method for great sport. For the latter part of the season recommended patterns include: Green Peter, Murrough, Brown Sedge, Silver Invicta, Kate McLaren, Daddy Longlegs, Bibio, Claret Dabbler, Connemara Black, Golden Olive and Claret Bumble. Sizes 8 to 12
There are some gems of small mountain lakes in the region many of them very lightly fished. They hold average trout of 3/4lb with many up to 2lb weight. Excellent Pike fishing is also available on the lakes in the region. Pike up to 40lb have been caught dead baiting. Live baiting is not permitted on these lakes. Fly fishing for Pike is getting very popular and some very big Pike have been caught by this method. For regulations and further information on fishing on the great Western Lakes go to www.wrfb.ie
Accommodation is readily available in Ireland's Lake District, from hotels to guest houses to self catering. Many are featured on our website in the local business guide section. It is also possible to hire boats and boatmen around any of the lakes.
We at Lake District, are happy to help with any queries that you may have in relation to angling, boat-hire or to find suitable accomodation. When you come to Ireland's Lake District you will have an angling experience of a lifetime, the people are very friendly and more than willing to help.