Trout
Mayfly
Mayfly Spent Gnat

Lough Erne

Best known for its Mayfly fishing, Lough Erne is a large limestone lake and a prime game fishery for Brown Trout with the occasional salmon and some sea trout also being caught. There is something to interest the fly fisher from the start of the season in March through to September. While the lake is deep, the margins and shallower bays are where the fly fisher can connect with their quarry, and some conditions occasionally justify fishing over deeper water.

From March to May fishing is driven by the hatches of flies like Duck Fly (buzzers) and Sedges and fishing shrimp and louse patterns or fry imitators in the margins. Hatches are crowned by the emergence of the Mayfly, when success is enjoyed by most fly anglers, although even this may be sporadic and localised. Again, this is driven by local conditions -weather, including wind and temperature, and the general climate up to the time of the hatch. It is not unusual for anglers to experience very different fishing days as different areas can produce fish at different times.

The fishing continues through the season with Sedge/Caddis, Buzzers, Crane Fly (Daddy-long-legs) and even Mayfly through until September.

Here you may also try the traditional Irish method of dapping, letting the wind fish a natural or imitative pattern for you on a blow-line, or trolling, where spinning baits are towed behind a moving boat. Fishing for Pike using fly or spinner is now popular and in demand from some clients.

At 18 miles long and up to 5 miles wide Lower Lough Erne can be a daunting prospect for visiting anglers. Faced with such a large expanse of water the problem can simply be ‘where to go?’ There is also the safety aspect. While rock shoals and shallow points on Lough Erne are well marked for safe navigation, the wind can have great effect with such a long reach from certain directions.

Planning is all important and your guide, with experience of boat fishing here for 20 years, is familiar with the lough, from which launch/retrieval sites are best placed to manage a trip safely; to the areas that are most likely to ‘produce’; to when not to go out at all! This leaves you to relax, enjoy the day and concentrate on your plan of attack for the next drift with your guide on the oars. (On the days that wind keeps us ashore or that may be too ‘uncomfortable’ we may try some of our rivers for Salmon or Trout.)

Having done it, Lower Lough Erne is one of those venues you will be proud to say you have fished!

Local government fishery managing dept (DCAL) guide for Lough Erne

Tourist board details on Lough Erne angling

Lower Lough Erne, located in the Marble Arch Geopark, is one of the most scenic in Ireland, surrounded by stunning mountain and lake scenery. County Fermanagh and the town of Enniskillen is popular with tourists but uncrowded and is well served with accommodation from camping/caravanning, often beside the lake, to top-class hotels like the Lough Erne Resort (venue for the 2013 G8 conference). There are plenty of B&Bs and hotels dotted around the lough and each town and village has their own unique charm.

Lough Erne Resort

Lough Erne Hotel

Castle Archdale