Fly Fishing In Ireland Great Fishing Houses of Ireland

The Loughs

Lough Furnace

Located outside of Newport, Co Mayo

Lough Furnace lies about 2½ miles north-wet of Newport village and is the lower lough on the famous Burrishoole salmon and sea trout fishery. It is well signposted. The season opens on 10 June and runs to 30 September for salmon, sea trout and brown trout. It is a tidal lough and the water can become quite brackish after a prolonged spell of dry weather. Artificial fly and dapping are the only angling methods allowed. This lough gets a good run of grilse and sea trout and the fishing can be good at any time from June to September. Salmon up to 12 lb have been taken in recent years. The average weight of the sea trout is 1 lb and the best fish in the last five years weighed 7 lb 2 oz. It was on this lough that I took my first salmon from a boat – on a Kenyaman (size 8) on the point as we drifted over the Carrigeen on a lovely September afternoon.

Blacksod Bay, the Yellow River mouth and the Black Stone are good areas for sea trout, while there is always sure to be a salmon lying in Fahy’s Bay, the Carrigeen, Duffy’s Point, the Long Shore, the mouth of the Mill Race and the Salmon Leap. It was on this lough that the Revd Canon P J Gargan, the Cavan priest and international fly fisherman, first popularized the Green Peter as a fly for salmon. Fly patterns worth taking are Green Peter, Daddy, Bibio, Black Pennell, Fiery Brown, Bumble patterns, Delphi, Camasunary Killer, Silver Doctor and Butcher – size 8 for salmon and size 10 and 12 for sea trout. There are boats and outboards for hire and it is one of the few fisheries that can provide resident boatmen if required. Bank fishing is not allowed, except, with permission, at the Mill Race, the Salmon Leap and the Back Weir. All are very productive locations in the right conditions. Furnace is a lovely lough, with shallow bays that can turn up either a sea trout or a salmon and there is always somewhere to fish, no matter what point the wind is from.

Excerpts taken from "Trout & Salmon Rivers of Ireland, an angler's guide" by Peter O'Reilly.