Ireland Fishing: Lough Corrib and Lough Mask

Catch superb wild brown trout in idyllic surroundings


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The Area

The Lodge

The Fishing

Best Times to Go


Map Location

Recommended Reading

Booking Enquiries

Fly Fishing Videos and Clips

Watch a video of our various fishing trips.
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Link to Fly Fishing at Lough Corrib and Lough Mask PDF 

Download the Lough Corrib and Lough Mask 2007 Fly Fishing Brochure to view on your computer screen or print out.
CLICK HERE to Download Brochure PDF


The Area

‘The Gillies Lair’, Ardnasillagh Lodge is situated on the western shores of lough Corrib near the village of Oughterard in Connemara County Galway.

Oughterard being the nearest town is only two kilometres away and has numerous pubs and restaurants. The beautiful historic city of Galway is only 25 minutes away by car and offers excellent shopping, pubs, clubs and restaurants.

A short distance away is the renowned Kylemore Abbey and Maam Cross of the “Quiet Man” film fame. Apart from the sight-seeing and hill-walking this area is well known for its golf courses and sea fishing as well as its breath taking scenery and numerous beautiful beaches.

Fly Fishing - Lough Corrib and Lough Mask <<< Click here to find out where Lough Corrib and Mask is.

The Fishing

The west of Ireland is blessed with large crystal-clear limestone loughs that support a massive population of wild brown trout. These trout are some of the fittest and strongest you will catch anywhere and fight far beyond their size. You will have the chance to catch the trout of a lifetime and fish over 10lbs are taken on the fly every year with trout of 5lbs to 7lbs not uncommon. There is, also, an opportunity to catch large ferrox trout but these are normally only caught deep trolling (the Corrib record was broken in 2004 with a fish of almost 22lbs).

The fishing season on these loughs falls into distinctive periods when certain methods far-out fish others. From opening day on 15th February wet fly fishing is the norm when the fish can be found feeding on shrimp, hoglouse and small fry. This is followed by the duck-fly which usually starts in mid-March and continues to mid-April. At this time buzzer fishing is by far the best method but dries and small wets can also work.

From mid-April to mid-May there is ‘Olive’ fishing on wet, dry and nymphs during which time buzzer can also play a major part. Early May to mid-June brings the famous ‘Mayfly’ hatches. The fishing at this time can be superb for both wet fly and dry fly, as well as dapping the live insects. Hatching throughout the olive and mayfly hatches are massive ‘greyboy’ and ’campo’ buzzers which trout also feed on. An evening spent gnat fishing or ‘ball and buzzer’ fishing is also highly recommended.

Around these great loughs the local school children get a special week’s holiday to collect Mayfly and sell them to the visiting anglers to make some pocket money.

June to mid-August daytime trout fishing depends on weather conditions, whereby early morning and late evening fishing can be more productive when sedges hatch in large numbers. Mid-August through to the end of the season trout can be found over deep water feeding on daphnia as well as on sedges and fry in the shallows.

In summary, throughout the entire fishing season, these loughs offer the visiting angler ample opportunities and varied methods to catch beautiful wild brown trout for which this region has become so famous.

Ireland Fishing. Early morning boats on the shores of Lough Corrib

Wise Men Fishing Tips

Your guide, the famous Lough Corrib fly fisherman, Basil Shields points out that:

Tip 1:  "It is essential to use fluorocarbon leader material in the crystal clear water or the trout will see your line."

Tip 2:  "When buzzer fishing don’t be afraid to use small flies and light leaders, but be prepared for the trout to run a long way."

Tip 3:  "Apart from early season a floating line is suitable for most fishing but do experiment."

Tip 4:  "When dry fly fishing you need to concentrate as these trout can drop your fly in an instant."

Basil also highlights that the "trout fishing on these loughs is as good if not better today than it was 30 years ago and where else can boast this?"  He also notes that "Lough Corrib and Mask complement each other well as when one turns moody the other turns on and vice versa, so you will always have somewhere to fish."

Ireland Fishing. Basil Shields fishing for brown trout on Lough Corrib

The Lodge

The Gillies Lair Ardnasillagh Lodge
Basil and Maura Shields have developed the lodge over the past 10 years and it now boasts four twin rooms and two double rooms all of a high standard. A newly extended dinning room / lounge and kitchen offer a friendly comfortable atmosphere and the recently built rod / drying room and boat house are an excellent addition.

Ireland Fishing.  Gillies Lair Lodge on the shores of Lough CorribNo matter what you have forgotten to pack all the necessary tackle is available from Basil. There is no other lodge on Lough Corrib so well equipped, so angler friendly, or so convenient to fishing the lough.

Also available is a self catering cottage just next door.  The cottage is of a high standard with a fully fitted kitchen, a large lounge, and three bedrooms all with ensuite facilities.  All bed linen is supplied and adjacent to the lodge is a garage and drying room with freezer facilities.

Best Times to Go

Fishing is excellent throughout the season.  However, the following is a summary of the best times to go:


- Mid-March to mid-April for the Duck fly.
- Mid-April to mid-May for the Olive hatches.
- Mid-May to mid-June for the Mayfly (although this can vary greatly as the Mayfly hatch is very weather dependent).
- Mid-August to the end of the season for fry and daphnia feeders.

Availability and Pricing for the 2007 Season

Season:  The 2007 season runs from 15 February to 30th September.

Rate:  Seven nights bed and breakfast and six days fishing (including boat with engine, lunch and a guide) is €1,580 Euros for two anglers.  For the self catering the cost per week ranges from €480 to €530 Euros depending on time of year.  One night stay with breakfast, boat with engine, guide and pack lunch is also available and is approximately €200 Euros per person.  

Typical Package Includes:



- Seven (x7) nights bed and breakfast.
- Six (x6) days guided fly fishing.
- Boat with engine.
- Daily Packed lunch.

Note:   Lodge capacity is ten anglers (plus five self catering).  Not included is transport to and from the lodge.  We recommend you rent a car on arrival (e.g. at Dublin, Shannon or Galway airports).  We are happy to arrange your travel should you so require.

Ireland Fishing. Lough Corrib and Lough Mask Brochure PDF

If you would like to know more about the fishing in the western loughs, please contact us and we will provide you with more details.  For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:

Ireland Fishing. Mark Patterson with a Brown Trout from Lough Corrib Mark Patterson

Mobile: +44 (0)7771 892 506
Office: +44 (0)845 603 1552


Online Enquiries



 Background reading for your trip:

"Flyfishing in Ireland" by Peter O'Reilly


Fly fishermen have been catching trout and salmon from Ireland's abundant rivers and loughs for centuries. This practical fishing book, written by Ireland's top fly-fishing instructor, Peter O'Reilly, looks at the rich tradition of game angling in the Emerald Isle. This is your perfect companion guide to fishing Ireland's loughs and rivers. Includes details for tying 41 patterns for salmon and trout on loughs, rivers, and estuaries with hints on choosing the right fly.

US customers: Buy at Amazon.Com

UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK

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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Ireland, please contact us at the following: 

United Kingdom Office:
Mark Patterson
UK Country Code: +44
Mobile: (0)7771 892 506
Telephone: (0)845 603 1552

United States Office:
US Country Code: +1
Telephone: 347 284 6333

Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.

Booking Enquiries

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