Irish Fishing
The Irish fishing holiday is recognized as being the most desirable of fishing vacation destinations in Europe. The vast variety and quality of fishing in Ireland has given the country a reputation of which there is no equal.

The basis of fishing in Ireland is the discovery of native fish in wild waters. Ireland offers a unique opportunity to experience such fishing. Salmon, trout and sea trout are native species with a special standing in Irish culture. Ireland's loughs (lakes) and rivers have changed very little over the centuries. The fisherman on Lough Mask, one of the great western limestone lakes, experiences a timeless scene in his surroundings. This is one of the pleasures of fishing in Ireland, with the many types of Irish rivers and lakes. Lough Mask is like an inland sea but there are also countless smaller lakes, where one can fish in sheltered solitude. Major rivers in Munster, in southern Ireland, offer the sport with salmon and scenery on a grand scale. A more intimate experience can be found on the smaller trout streams that wind through County Meath. While Irish fishing is a sport of numerous landscapes and many seasons, it still offers a rare experience in a world where it is increasingly harder to find such a variety of choices.

The Atlantic salmon has always been a prize Irish fish. Irish salmon fishing is easily accessible and reasonably priced. The largest fish run in the early months of the year and average about nine pounds. A spring fish from cold water is magnificently silver, muscular and graceful. To catch one in a week of fishing is a triumph. They can be caught from January onwards in rivers that flow into Donegal Bay. As other rivers open, spring fish may be found all over Ireland. They can also be caught in some lakes in County Mayo from March onwards. Generally, salmon fishing in rivers or lakes is best when they are fresh in from the sea but they can also be very active after floods.

Sea trout can be found in rivers and lakes near the Irish coast, with population variable in different areas. They are closely related to brown trout, swimming to sea as smolts, and usually returning as mature adults. They are a wonderful sporting fish, which can be caught by all methods in rivers and lakes. They range in size from three quarters of a pound to some weighing over six pounds. Normal trout fishing tackle can be used when fishing for sea trout.

Fishing Ireland WestBrown trout can be found in almost any Irish river and lake. Even though it is a single species, in Ireland, they come in a large variety of colors and sizes. The brightly colorful fish of mountain streams are usually small, however, the selective trout of limestone rivers in County Tipperary may weigh three pounds or more. Great Irish fishing catches of over ten pounds are caught every year from the larger limestone lakes, like Lough Corrib in County Galway, or Lough Sheelin in County Cavan.

The salmon and sea trout season opens on January 1st in some fisheries. Most fisheries open at a later date up to March 20th. Most brown trout fisheries open between February 15th and March 1st. Most fisheries close on September 30th with a few exceptions that close on dates between September 15th and October 12th. Most brown trout fisheries close on September 30th with some exceptions, which close on various dates between September 15th and October 12th.

The Emerald Isle has a seriously busy Irish fishing season. There are many Irish travel and tourism businesses offering Irish fishing holidays everywhere in Ireland. People come from all over the world just to fish in Ireland for one week. On our first trip there in 1998, we met a group of fishermen from England. Their tour organizer was the same person that we rented our self-catering accommodation from. He invited us to join his group at a nearby pub on the last night of their holiday. It was a great time, and I'm sure that the British fishermen loved their Irish fishing holiday.

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