WHERE TO STAY, WHEN TO FISH, WHAT TO TAKE
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Book in the UK through Fly Odyssey. Tel: 01621 743 711. Web: www.flyodyssey.co.uk
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.
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.
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.