Game fishing.... a saintly sport
THE SALMON OF KNOWLEDGE
The ancient sagas are full of magical salmon and enchanted trout. Legendary game fishing has been our heritage for millennia…and still is in the Southeast.
St. Patrick first landed in Ireland in County Down, and no doubt he was soon catching the plentiful local salmon for his supper. Today game anglers can follow his steps
through the ancient, atmospheric landscapes between the Mountains of Mourne, Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough and west to Craigavon and Armagh.
Brown trout, rainbow trout, salmon and sea trout in lakes and rivers, high or low lying, spate or slow flowing, a fishing adventure awaits every visitor. Stillwater enthusiasts can choose from numerous fisheries. In County Armagh alone, there's Shaw's Lake, Lowry's Lake, Seaghan and Tullynawood reservoirs, together with Loughs Kiltybane, Cashel, Glassdrumman and Mullachban.
County Down has McCourt's Lake, Writes Lough, Ballykeel, Cowey, Money and Loughbrickland, just for openers. Near Newcastle, fish popular Castlewellan Lake, in the middle of a wooded Forest Park, complete with glorious gardens and Ireland's finest Arboretum.
You can even catch salmon right in Belfast! The Lagan River enters the Irish Sea through the city centre, offering the option of walking a bank or wading upstream with the dryfly through beautiful parkland, literally country in the city. Enhancement work in recent years brought the return of salmon and grilse - the first self-sustaining run in many years took place in 2000. Not far upstream, there's wonderful trout fishing. Still further upstream, wild trout fishing is at it s best from April to June in Dromore.
Noted for trout fishing, the Upper Bann, draining west and north from headwaters in the Mournes to Lough Neagh, will have salmon and dollaghan from July (water allowing), though September floods bring more anglers to the river.
The east coast rivers of Newry & Mourne give good sport with sea trout and salmon. Try Moneycarragh, Shimna and Whitewater, short waters falling through the Mournes to the sea. The Moneycarragh is good for sea trout and occasional salmon. The Whitewater, with good back end salmon, is another marvellous sea trout water; some of our biggest are caught here. October floods will find the angler casting to sea-liced salmon on the Shimna. When this steep and rocky river is in full spate, fish rush for the headwaters straight from the salt. The Irish Record Sea Trout was captured on the Shimna October 1983, weighing in at an impressive 161b 6oz (7.3kg).
Strangford Lough adds a special ingredient to the region - saltwater sea trout. Expert local guides can help you enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience. But this is just one of the unique features of a region that allows visitors, whether business, pleasure, family or angling, to cast for wild fish in the centre of bustling towns or cities or in the midst of a mountain wildness.