Ireland Fishing: Lough Erne and Lough Melvin

Boat fishing for wild trout on some of the best lakes in Ireland


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The Area

The Hotel

The Fishing

Best Times to Go


Map Location

Recommended Reading

Booking Enquiries

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Fly Fishing - Lough Erne and Lough Melvin

Download the Lough Erne and Lough Melvin Brochure to view on your computer screen or print out.
CLICK HERE to Download Brochure PDF     


The Area

The Fermanagh Lakeland is on of the most scenic areas of Ireland that not only provides some of the best wild trout fishing but also the chance of catching Atlantic salmon.  This fishing package from WhereWiseMenFish®  offers you not only the chance to enjoy some excellent fishing, accommodation and food, but also the opportunity to enjoy some of the hospitality that makes Ireland so famous.

This area of Ireland is blessed with beautiful scenery, historic houses and estates and ancient historic sites. Walking and sightseeing are a must and there are many places to visit in the area including for example:

  • Castle Coole – a magnificent neo-classical house with fine interiors and furnishings from before 1830. 
  • Florence Court – one of the most important historic houses in Ulster with striking interiors. 
  • The Marble Arch Caves – these Mesozic limestone caves have an extensive network of caverns that can be viewed from a boat. 
  • Devenish Island – can only be reached by boat and is the site of a ruined Abbey and a perfectly preserved 12th century Round Tower.  

On top of all this is the excellent shopping in Enniskillen town and not to be forgotten are the many friendly and high quality pubs and restaurants.

Ireland Fly Fishing: Lough Erne <<< Click here to find out where the Lough erne is.

The Fishing

Traditional lough style fishing is the norm drifting from a 19 foot lough boat. For those less experienced anglers we can offer instructions from a fully qualified guide. 

The Erne system consists of Upper and Lower Lough Erne. The upper Lough holds massive head of coarse fish and is dotted with numerous islands. Lower Lough Erne is much bigger and as well as the course fishing holds excellent head of wild brown trout. It is a huge expanse of water, some 18 miles long and up to five miles wide, with depths of up to 200ft and many islands and rocky outcrops. This gives an ideal habitat for wild brown trout which average 2lbs with many much larger specimens caught each season.

Ireland Boat Fishing. Trout from the boat fishing on Lough Erne

Wise Men Fishing Tips

The famous Lough Erne guide, Brian Crothers, gave the following tips:

Tip 1:  "Don't overlook fishing on Lough Erne.  It has been a well kept secret and holds large numbers of quality wild brown trout."

Tip 2:  "Sonaghan (the native trout to Lough Melvin) are extremely sporting fish and fight far beyond their size.  



Ireland Boat Fishing: Lough Erne boat fishing for trout

Early season fishing starts in the shallows around the rocky areas where the trout are feeding on hog louse and shrimp. This is then followed in early April with the duck fly hatch and then the olives begin to hatch towards the end of April and start of May. Then comes the high-light of the season – the mayfly – Ephemera Danica – for which Lough Erne is justly famous. The mayfly hatch lasts three to four weeks and fantastic sport can be had pulling wet flies through the waves as well as fishing dries. Then in the evenings it can be even better, fishing spent mayfly patterns.

In July and August fishing can be challenging but fishing early morning and late evening with sedge patterns can be excellent. From mid August to the end of the season traditional wet fly is the best as the fish turn on to daphina. Also available on the Erne, when trout fishing is slow, is the chance to catch pike on the fly. These are Ireland's largest fresh water predator and can provide excellent sport with the possibility of catching some very big fish, with 20lb plus fish a distinct possibility.

Ireland Boat Fishing: Boat fishing on Lough Erne - a Lough Erne MayflyLough Melvin complements Lough Erne due to the fact that it not only fishes throughout the season but it can fish well due to the fact it holds four separate brown trout species as well as salmon and char.  No artificial stocking has ever taken place on Melvin and the trout have not changed since the Ice Age, making this Lough a must for the wild trout enthusiast. Apart from the normal wild brown trout there are three other wild brown trout species, sonaghan, gillaroo and the ferrox. So different genetically are these that scientists have suggested that they be regarded as separate species.
  • Sonaghan are shoaling fish renowned for their fighting ability and can be found all over the Lough following the clouds of daphina. They can be caught on a variety of flies but traditional Irish dabblers or bumbles can be very successful.
  • Gillaroo are an impressive fish found along rocky shores and islands and are the most beautifully marked trout you will ever see. They are covered in red spots from head to tail on a golden body. They normally feed on shrimps and hoglouse amongst the rocks but a good fly hatch will bring them to the surface where they can be caught on a variety of patterns. 
  • The ferrox trout are true predators that feed on fish including other trout. They are not old trout that have turned cannibal but a true separate species that grow very quickly due to their diet. Commonly a fish of 10 lbs may only be five years old. These trout are normally taken trolling but can sometimes be caught on the fly.
Atlantic salmon enter Lough Melvin through the Drowse river from January each year but the fishing on the Lough does not start until 1st February. They are frequently caught while trout fishing and add a bit of spice to your days fishing throughout the year.
Lough Melvin is about eight miles long and two miles wide and is only seven miles from the sea, so the wind can whip up a good wave. Our qualified guides are essential not only to control the boat but to put you on the best drifts and ensure you have the correct flies. Local farming has not changed much for hundreds of years and little or no fertilisers are used thus keeping pollution to a minimum, and ensuring pristine water quality.

The Hotel

Lusty Beg Cottages
Ireland Boat Fishing.  Accommodation on Lough ErneThe Lusty Beg cottages are situated in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakeland and our accommodation is second to none. Located on a 75 acre private island on Lower Lough Erne our log cabins are fully equipped and furnished. We have 11 cabins that sleep up to six persons all over looking the Lough. They have a fully equipped kitchen, two twin rooms and a master bedroom with ensuite facilities. Breakfast and packed lunches are available from the restaurant on request.

Also available is bed and breakfast accommodation in the Courtyard Motel and all rooms are ensuite and of a high standard. The complex also boasts an excellent bar and restaurant as well as leisure facilities including a swimming pool, tennis court, nature trail and conference centre.  

Best Times to Go

Fishing is excellent throughout the season. 

For Lough Erne the prime time to go is early May for the Mayfly hatch.  Lough Melvin fishes well throughout the year. 

Availability and Pricing for the 2007 Season

Season:  The 2007 season is as follows:

  • Lough Erne: 1st March to 31st October.
  • Lough Melvin: 1st February to 15th October.

Rate:  The rates for the lodge and fishing is as follows:

  • Lodge: prices vary from £475 per week  to £590  for up to six persons sharing.  Bed and breakfast is £60 per night per person sharing.
  • Fishing: £180 per day for two persons sharing a boat. This price includes boat and engine hire and a qualified guide.  Packages will be tailored to customers specific requirements.

Typical Package Includes:

(Example: One week fishing package)


- Six (x6) nights  bed and breakfast.
- Five (x5) days guided fly fishing (with boat and engine).
- Daily packed lunch.

Note:   We recommend you rent a car on arrival (e.g. at Belfast City or International airports).  We are happy to arrange your travel should you so require.We will also gladly pick you up from the airport and transport you to the hotel if required but this would be at an additional charge.

Ireland Fly Fishing: Lough Erne and Lough Melvin

If you would like to know more about the Ireland fishing packages available on Lough Erne and Lough Melvin, 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 fishing 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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