Salmon: 1 February to 30 September
Brown Trout: 1 March to 30 September
The fishing is free but a small fee is charged by Ashford Castle Hotel for admission to the grounds. The Cong River rises in the village of Cong. It is, in fact, the outflow from Lough Mask, further to the north, that escapes through huge fissures in the cavernous limestone of the district and rises again in the village of Cong. It is about one mile long. This is a big, wide river, perhaps 100 yards wide in places, and divided by an island at one point. It pushes down strongly past Ashford Castle. Some of it can be fished off the bank and it is possible to wade it, but more of it is better fished from a boat. To fish it well, the visitor would be well advised to employ one of the local gillies. They can be contacted through any hotel or guest house in the village of Cong.
The river gets an excellent run of spring salmon and fishing can start on opening day if the water is not too high. The peak of the spring run is in April and then the grilse come in May. June is particularly good, as is early July, and salmon are taken here in lesser numbers for the rest of the season.
The early-season fish are mostly taken in spinning but the fly can take fish from April onwards and shrimp and worm are also used.
The river also holds excellent stocks of good brown trout and some are very large. It has good hatches of olives, mayflies, sedges and midges and dry-fly fishing can be especially good. Body waders are very useful for the dry-fly fishing but care should be exercised while wading.
Excerpts taken from "Trout & Salmon Rivers of Ireland, an angler's guide" by Peter O'Reilly.