Fly Fishing In Ireland Great Fishing Houses of Ireland

The Rivers

River Drowes

Season (between Lough Melvin and the sea)

Salmon and sea trout: 1 January to 30 September
Brown trout: 15 February to 30 September


All of the left bank from Lough Melvin to Bundrowes Bridge and most of the right bank is owned by the Gallagher's, Edenville, Kinlough, Co Leitrim

The River Drowes is one of Ireland’s premier spring and summer salmon fisheries. Sea trout rarely enter it. It has a good stock of brown trout.

The spring salmon fishing opens on 1 January and rarely does a season pass without a fish being taken on opening day. The peak of the spring run is in April and in some seasons March can be quite good too. The fishing can be very good in May, and June sees the peak of the grilse run. In August and September anglers are mainly fishing over resident fish.

The Drowes is a delightful little salmon river, some 4½ miles long with a catchment of 103 square miles. It has 55 named pools . The upper section, down to the Fur Masters Bridge, has a lovely series of streams. The middle section to Lennox’s Bridge is mostly fast-flowing and fishes best in medium to low-water. The third section down to the tide has a mixture of stream, pool and deep, slow water and a very prolific sea pool, which is always well worth fishing at high tide. It is especially productive on a spring tide. The commercial traps at the mouth have not been operated since 1979 and are now derelict.

There is no beat system and the number of rods per day is not limited. All legitimate fishing methods are allowed and the fish take a fly from April. Silver Doctor, Curry’s Red Shrimp, Silver Rat, Hairy Mary, Blue Charm, the Badger and the Garry Dog are some of the favourite patterns – fished as small as size 14 low-water double in summer.

The brown trout fishing is largely ignored but good sport can be had with Blue-Winged Olives and Sedges on summer evenings.

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