Spinfish Where to Fish in Northern Ireland - Public Estate

The Spinfish Northern Ireland Where to Fish A to Z

Loughs | Rivers

A Fermanagh trout, just a wee one!

This must be the best bargain fishing in the country, I just wish it was available UK wide. The Department of Culture, Art and Leisure (DCAL) in Northern Ireland has the right to acquire fishing waters for its Public Estate, it currently has 64 fisheries. All you need is a DCAL Permit and you can fish on any of the waters listed below. Licenses and permits are available for 3 days up to a full year. Where there are brown trout and rainbows the season is from 1st March to 31st October, where there are just rainbows the season is longer, generally 1st of February to 31st of December. The catch limit is 4 fish per day and fishing is usually allowed from 8am to 10pm, this permit even entitles you to fish for salmon on several rivers and loughs. Catch and release only for salmon and seatrout on DCAL waters. Call 028 9025 8861 details about where you can buy permits or call 028 9025 8875 to buy or buy on line by following this link; www.dcal-fishingni.gov.uk


Altnahinich Reservoir

Near Ballymoney, 17.8 hectares at the head of the river Bush on peaty moor land. stocked with rainbow and brown trout to supplement the wild brown trout spopulation. Test netting recently found fish up to 10lbs were present, fly, spinning and worm allowed, bank only. Best flies small attractors, Bibio. Google Map Reference 55.045181, -6.247254

Dungonnell Lough

Near Ballymena, a 28 hectare reservoir on the upper reaches of the Clough river in open moor land offering fishing for wild brown trout to 5lbs. The rocky shore by the dam is recommended for some good sport. Google Map Reference 54.988437,-6.137817

Killylane Reservoir

Near Larne, 20 hectares in open moor land surrounded in a pine forest which offers good shelter. The banks are open with easy access and good casting room. Fishing is for wild brown trout supplemented with stocks of about 5,000 fish a year. Fly only, bank fishing only. Best flies Heather Moth, Black Pennell. Google Map Reference 54.815761, -5.993245

North Woodburn

Near Carrickfergus, 7 hectares set in woodland fishing for stocked rainbows with fly, spinning and worm allowed, bank fishing only, not suitable for wading though. Google Map Reference 54.750157, -5.872005

Lough Mourne

Near Carrickfergus, 50 hectares, fishing for brown trout, bank fishing only, fly spinner or worm fishing allowed. Fish average 1 to 2lbs which is pretty good. Caution is advised when wading. There is a good population of perch which might interest the course angler and will provide good sport for the fly angler when the fry are about in the later part of the summer. Google Map Reference 54.762467, -5.805700


Near Carrickfergus, 9.7 hectares, a small very productive reservoir with good fly hatches holding rainbows and browns. Bank only (care when wading) fly spinning and worm allowed. Google Map Reference 54.751571, -5.783727

Lower South Woodburn

Near Carrickfergus, 9 hectares, bank only (take care when wading), fly, spinning and worm for rainbows and brown trout. Good fly hatches. Google Map Reference 54.729394, -5.872950

Middle South Woodburn

Near Carrickfergus, 25.9 hectares in woodland, fishing for rainbows and brown trout, fly only (except for disabled person). 54.730330, -5.871619


Near Donaghadee, Bangor, 31 acres fly only for rainbows, bank fishing only. Stocked annually with about 6000 fish. Google Map Reference 54.667290, -5.586073

Lough Cowey

Near Portaferry, 18.2 hectares. Holding salmon, brown and rainbow trout and pike the lough is managed by the Ards District Fly Fishing Club who let 10 day tickets to DCAL, call 02842729019 to book a ticket which allows you to take 2 trout or salmon, when you catch your limit you can continue to fish by buying a day ticket from the club, the fishery is open all year. Reconed to be a good match the hatch water which fishes best from a boat, Best flies are Irish traditionals and buzzers. Google Map Reference 54.413257, -5.542919

Stoneyford Reservoir

Near Lisburn, 65 hectares holding rainbows and brown trout. Fly, spinning and worm allowed, bank fishing only and stocked throughout the season. There are good hatches of caddis and in the early season lures and streamers do well. Google Map Reference 54.560041, -6.117888

Hillsborough Lake

This 16 hectare lake is a popular picnic destination so fly fishers are asked to cast with care. Stocked with 5000 rainbows per year, fishing fly, spinner and worn bank only. Big population of hog louse which the trout feed on. Gold heads, buzzers and woolly worm are recommended. Google Map Reference 54.457937, -6.076821

Lough Money

Near Downpatrick, 21 .4 hectares holding rainbows (pike and perch). Fly spinning and worm allowed on this clear water spring fed lough where trout up to 3lb plus are regularly caught. The shores are rocky making for firm wading, the water is deeper and less weedy along the east bank. Google Map Reference 54.458879, -6.076493

Castlewellan Lakes

41.6 hectares holding brown and rainbow trout. Part of the Castlewellan Forest Park the are are a range of facilities including a cafe, caravan and camping and BBQ area. The loch is stocked with about 10000 fish a year and you can fish fly, spinner and worm. You can launch your own boat for a fee, a maximum of 10 boats are allowed with two anglers per boat and there are some boats for hire, call 0284 3778937 to book one. Google Map Reference 54.263186, -5.966786

Lough Brickland

Near Banbridge, 25 hectares holding rainbow and brown trout, stocked with about 3000 fish a year. Google Map Reference 54.306381, -6.292680


Ballinamallard River Riversdale Stretch

1.6k fishing for brown trout and salmon from July onwards. Flowing through woodland the stretch is very productive and has some good dry fly water. Google Map Reference 54.411361, -7.640149

Ballymoney River

A short river of 3.4 k in length offering fishing from the junction with the river Bann up to Ballymoney town for brown trout with some salmon and sea trout in the lower reaches which are slow and deep. There is also a run of brown trout from the Bann during August to September which provides for interesting sport. You need an FCB game license as well as the DCAL permit. Google Map Reference 55.062957, -6.541539


2.5k of fishing right hand bank upstream of Blackwatertown bridge fishing fly, spinner or worm for salmon, trout and dollaghan. Google Map Reference 54.412368, -6.706022


Have 4 beats on the river Bush for which day tickets are available although your DCAL permit does allow you to fish the upper river for free where the salmon fishing is reasonable from July onwards and the trout fishing is good all season. Google Map Reference 55.205759, -6.526612

The 4 beats are Dundarave, Leap, New Stretch, and Town Stretch. You can pay a supplement on the day ticket price if you do not have a DCAL permit and there are Full Day, Morning, Afternoon and Evening tickets available.

 New Stretch Google Map Reference 55.206153, -6.526599 and Dunvarave Google Map Reference 55.219228, -6.534874

Town Stretch

Google Map Reference 55.204704, -6.524576


Google Map Reference 55.200663, -6.526335

Colebrook River

8 miles from Enniskillen, good trout fishing from the Lisnaskea Bridge upstream with the average trout being in the .75 to 1.5lb range. Plenty of fly life with an improving Mayfly hatch ensures that the Colebrook is a great fly fishing venue. When the big lough trout run bibios and butcher do well. Some of the river is covered by the DCAL permit while much of the rest is controlled by the local angling club. Permits for the club water from the Spar store in Maguiresbridge. Google Map Reference 54.294932, -7.464801

Margy, Carey and Glenshesk Rivers

Near Ballycastle are managed by the Ballycastle Angling Club who issue 18 daily tickets free of charge to DCAL permit holder. The rivers are short, Margy is only 0.8 k long but is a renowned sea trout fishery with salmon late in the season. The Carey is 3.6k long and the Glenshesk is 5k long. The Margy is fy only from Bonamargy Bridge to the junction with the Carey. You will need a FCB game fishing license to fish here as well as your DCAL permit. Permits from Moyles Outdoor Angling and Leisure in Ballycastle. Google Map Reference 55.201613, -6.255266

River Laggan

Shaws Belfast

1 k fishing for salmon and brown trout from Shaw's bridge to below Red Bridge. Good access for disabled anglers. Some good fly water with deep slow pools below the Red Bridge suited to spinning. Google Map Reference 54.552420, -5.952720


11.3 k of fishing for salmon and brown trout, fly only except for the stretch between Steps Bridge and Spencers Bridge where spinning and worm are allowed for the 1st of June. There is a limit of 6 trout here and no Sunday fishing allowed except on the Steps to Spencer Bridge stretch. Day tickets are on sale from Premier Angling in Donacloney, the PO in Lurgan and the Islanddery Trout Fishery in Dromore. Google Map Reference 54.413977, -6.149292

River Maine

Near Cullyy, a short river of about 6.5k holding good brown trout averaging about 1lb with dollaghan to 5lb and salmon running up from loch Neagh in the late season. The season is from 1at April to 20th October. Permits are issued from the Bridge garage in Cullyy and cost£4.50 with a limit if 18 issued each day, you need an FCB game fishing licence as well. Fishing is by fly, spinner and worm although spinning is not allowed from April to June and there is no Sunday fishing. The limit is 6 brown trout. Google Map Reference 54.726181, -6.301686

River Mourne

Near Sion Mills, fishing for salmon, sea trout and brown trout. DCAL have made an arrangement with Sion Mills Ac to manage the this 6.4k stretch of water. This is top salmon water with fantastic runs of fish starting with springers in April and May with the main runs coming June onwards. Fish average 5 to 7 lbs with many double figure fish taken each year. A big water it recommended that you use a double handed rod 15', use chest waders and as the wading can be tough you should have a wading staff and flotation vest. Local shrimp fly patterns are best. Spinning and worming is allowed (no floats). The club issues 30 tickets per day to DCAL permit holders, there is an additional charge for insurance, permits from the Tourist Information Office in Strabane. Google Map Reference 54.784134, -7.460337

River Roe

This stretch of about 2k is is spectacular with the river flowing through the Roe Valley Country Park streaming through forests and gorge. The fishing is for salmon averaging 15lbs, sea trout averaging 7lbs and brown trout. The fishing is with fly, spinner or worm and is best on a falling spate from June to October. Bright flies are recommended as are flies with a purple dressing. You will need a Foyle and Carlingford licence as well as your DCAL permit to fish here. Google Map Reference 55.025810, -6.936895

Roe Angling Association

Have 25 miles of fishing on the Roe which is not covered by the DCAL permit however they do issue 26 day ticket per day throughout the season except October which is restricted to members only. There is some first class fly water and spinning and worm are allowed. Trout are small but the sea trout average 1.5lbs and the salmon 7lbs. Best for sea trout in July and August and for salmon from August onwards. Tickets from SJ Mitchell & Co, Limavady, call 02877 722128. Google Map Reference 55.106496, -6.984095

Shimna River

Near Newcastle is jointly owned by the Shimna AC and DCAL who have a stretch of river in the Tollymore Forest Park. The fishing is for salmon and sea trout, the salmon arriving in August. There is a two fish limit for sea trout and anglers must cease to fish when the limit is reached, no Sunday fishing. Fly, spinner or worm is allowed. DCAL issue 6 tickets daily and a further 4 are available from the Shimna AC for their water. Google Map Reference 54.211281, -5.892706