Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fishing in Donegal, Ireland

My absence from blogging can be explained by a family holiday to County Dongeal, Ireland. After a few days visting family, we arrived in Dunfaeghy on Sunday afternoon. We simply marveled at the beautiful lanscape on our doorstep and quickly realised we made the right choice for our annual family holiday.

Even if the fishing is poor, sights such as this would be enough.

New Lake was the first setting on the fishing part of the holiday. I have fished here before. This is an interesting and quite beautiful lake to fish - it was formed in the 1920s as a result of an atlantic storm. Donegal has a deeply indented coastline which has formed a number of natural loughs. On the lake that day, there was a good wave, ideal for the wets. However, I spent a lot of time rowing the boat. Indeed, I found it very difficult to move across the lake on the oars. I was taking a long time to move up the lake and drifting back in no time. Talk about hard work!   I was taught a real lesson that day - get a engine and an anchor!  I gave up and returned home thinking about the fish I could have enticed on a golden olive bumble. Indeed, the experience made me recall a recent letter in the 'Trout and Salmon' proposing an option to relieve the fishing pressure in the West of Ireland  - bann outboard motors. I am pretty sure it would have an impact for the better!

We were staying not too far from the Rosses Fishery (130 loughs). This famous Salmon and Sea trout fishery is spread over five river systems. As the town of Dungloe is at the centre of the fishery, we visted Bonar's tackle shop in the town to see what was happening with the fishing, or in other words, if fish were up. So with the word that some sea trout were, I eagerly set out on Dunglow Lough (1 mile east of Dungloe) with the prospect of catching sea trout. I have fished this once lough before - landing a 1 1/2 stocked fish on a dry daddy. Interestingly, I was informed how the fishing club no longer stock the lough to avoid interfering with the sea-trout stocks.

It is a lovely lough and a joy to fish despite the labour with the oars on the boat. Yet, the sea trout were staying elusive that day. My saving grace was a handful of brownies taking kindly to my Blue Zulu when worked on the bob. As way say in Ireland, good craic!

We returned to the 'New Lake' for some evening fishing. It was a calm and warm night. As sedges and midges are out in good numbers we got excited and expected a fantastic rise. The Gillie (AKA, my Brother) searching for rising fish.

We both set up with the dries and with the fourth cast a lovely small fish took my small dry sedge on the point. I have to say, this is one of the nicest looking brownies I have ever caught. I was well pleased! Yet, a significant rise never materalised.

Despite the absence of rising fish we fished near dusk - just enoying the lake on a beauitful August night. For myself, I was delighted with my stunning small brownie. Indeed, I looked at this photo multiple times - amazed at the sheer beauty of the trout. 

That was near the end of the holiday to Donegal. Despite the very few fish we had a great time fishing on beautfiful loughs surrounded by gorgeous scenery. We also got to the beach - taking my baby boy to the beach for the first time and dipped his toes into the Atlantic. Funny enough, he didn't seemed bothered! 


  1. Sounds like a great time. Pretty brown trout there, and I dig those boats. Wouldn't mind having one like that myself (look way more stable than my canoe...)

    How long are the rods you were fishing? All I can see in the last pic is the butt of the rod, but that's a pretty hefty butt section - I'm guessing 11 + feet?

  2. Amazing landscapes, and if you can seems the paradise!!

    Grettings from Spain, you are in may list, good blog!

  3. Mark, thanks. My bro in the pictures is fishing a 10 1/2 ft. I was fishing with a 10ft rod. Yes, there were decent boats OK, but no engine supplied so hard work on the oars.

    Carlos, thanks for visiting the site. Appreciated.

  4. That photo of the brown. I can't take my eyes off it either. The trout, the wood, the fly. It is the perfect sum of things. Beautiful post, Martin...