WHERE TO STAY, WHEN TO FISH, WHAT TO TAKE

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Irish Salmon -

FISH­ING AND AC­COM­MO­DA­TION

A FULL day of un­guided salmon fish­ing costs ¤110; a half-day is ¤90. The ho­tel has guides that are avail­able for ¤200 per day or ¤180 per half-day for one rod; ¤270 a day or ¤250 a half-day for two rods. Room rates vary de­pend­ing on sea­son, but start at ¤185 for a dou­ble room per night. Most guests at Bal­ly­nahinch tend to fish the ho­tel water for a day or two as part of a wider trip to other rivers on the Ire­land’s west coast. Con­tact: Bal­ly­nahinch Cas­tle Ho­tel, Re­cess, Con­nemara, Co. Gal­way, Ire­land. Tel: +353 95 31006. E-mail: info@bal­ly­nahinch-cas­tle.com Book in the UK through Fly Odyssey. Tel: 01621 743 711. Web: www.fly­o­dyssey.co.uk

GET­TING THERE

We flew to Shan­non air­port and the ho­tel ar­ranged a trans­fer, the drive tak­ing us past Lough Cor­rib. An al­ter­na­tive method would be to hire a car at the air­port, which would be use­ful for get­ting around the river dur­ing a stay at the ho­tel (par­tic­u­larly if not fish­ing with a guide) be­cause some of the pools are a cou­ple of miles from the ho­tel. It also opens the pos­si­bil­ity of fish­ing else­where.

SEA­SONS

While salmon move up the river from April un­til Oc­to­ber, the best months to fish are June and July, when the grilse run peaks. Be­fore this, there is a run of spring salmon from March un­til May.

TACKLE

Take two rods. Where the river slows and widens, or in high flows, a longer 13 ft-14 ft rod will cover the water ef­fec­tively, whereas a shorter 11 ft switch rod or even a sin­gle­han­der are bet­ter tools for the smaller pools and runs. Owing to the cast­ing piers that have been built on the river, wad­ing is largely un­nec­es­sary. Bring a se­lec­tion of salmon flies to cover all even­tu­al­i­ties. While the salmon David landed was taken on a small size 16 black Ice­landic pat­tern, more typ­i­cal flies for the river would be Badgers, Doc­tors, Stoat Tails, Shrimps and Sil­ver Rats.

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