Ireland Fishing: Lough Neagh Brown Trout - the "Dollaghan"

Catch Truly Wild Lough Neagh Brown Trout 

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The Area

The Hotel

The Fishing

Best Times to Go


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Recommended Reading

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The Area

From the beautiful scenery and beaches of the North Coast and Glens of Antrim to the hustle and bustle of the night life in Belfast. From beautiful yet challenging golf courses to excellent shopping and not forgetting the superb pubs and restaurants with their welcoming atmosphere and ‘craic’ – all are within easy reach due to the central location of this system. If you plan to take off a few days from your fishing whilst you are here we would strongly recommend you hire a car to give yourself a taste of the Ulster experience.

Ireland Fly Fishing: Lough Neagh Brown Trout - the "Dollaghan" <<< Click here to find out where Lough Neagh is. 

The Fishing

Lough Neagh is the largest natural freshwater lake in the British Isles covering an area of 153 square miles. Its shores touch five of the six counties in Northern Ireland and its catchment spreads into all six counties as well as across the border. Irish legend states the Lough was created by the giant Finn McCool when he scooped up a chunk of earth and threw it at his Scottish rival. The mound of earth missed and landed in the Irish sea forming the Isle of Mann.

In the rivers feeding Lough Neagh is where the angler can catch the wild brown trout peculiar to this system, known locally as "dollaghan trout". These trout spend most of their lives in the Lough feeding and run the inflowing rivers to spawn from mid July onwards, much like sea trout. The feeding in the Lough is excellent allowing these trout to grow very big and double figure fish are not uncommon, with many specimens over 6lbs caught every season. Fly fishing is often the most productive way to catch these fish and can be even more successful when fished into the night. Most of the time traditional trout patterns are used but Irish hair wing salmon flies and shrimp patterns catch plenty of these fish especially at night. The dollaghan will also take a stripped surface lure at night just like seatrout the best months to fish for dollaghan are August, September and October but if conditions are favourable they can be caught from mid July onwards.

Ireland Fishing: Billy Connelly with guide Stevie Munn

(Your guide - Stevie Munn - with a happy client - Billy Connelly)

Ireland Fishing: The Sixmile River

Wise Men Fishing Tips

Our local guide Stevie Munn, gave the following tips:

Tip 1:   "When fishing at night make sure you check out the river during the day first."

Tip 2: "Dollaghan will often take a stripped surface lure at dusk just like sea trout."

Tip 3: "These rivers offer the true essence of fly fishing – the pursuit of wild trout, taking a hatching fly, in natural waters."   


The Lough Neagh rivers are dependent on having sufficient water to allow the fish to run and the best time to fish is a day or two after a flood when the river is clearing and the fish are fresh not to be forgotten is the fact that these rivers also contain large numbers of resident wild brown trout which can be fished for all season. These fish provide challenging sport and they tend to be of a better than average size. As well as these trout and the dollaghan most Lough Neagh rivers get a reasonable run of Atlantic Salmon, which can be caught on the Lower Bann and its tributaries from May onwards but do not tend to be caught until much later in the season further up the system. The Sixmilewater one of the many beautiful rivers flowing into Lough Neagh.

Also available on the Sixmilewater is some excellent river trout fishing - particularly around the months of May, June and July when excellent sport can be had for large wild brown trout on the caddis and olive (particularly around mayfly time).

Your Guide

Your guide is Stevie Munn from County Antrim in Northern Ireland.  Stevie is a qualified casting instructor and guide with over 30 years of angling experience.  He offers wild Brown Trout fishing from March to October on the rivers Six Mile Water, Main and Ballinderry, as well as fishing for Dollaghan later in the season.   Stevie's largest wild trout to date is a fish of 10lbs.   Stevie is a very known guide and has exhibited his fly tying skills at many game fairs around the British Isles. He has also appeared in many magazines, books and given radio broadcasts. Stevie is a proud member of the National Angling Guide Association, the Game Angling Instructors Association, the Hardy Greys Academy and the Professional Angling Guides Instructors Network.

Stevie is also available to give professional casting lessons.

We ensure that all our guides are fully qualified and carry their own insurance. Most are also fully qualified instructors so if you need a brush up with your casting skills or are just starting out do not worry we can accommodate all your needs.

The Hotel

Ireland is lucky to have some of the best hotels you will find anywhere in the world and lucky for us these hotels are angler friendly.

The Hilton Hotel at Templepatrick is one of these hotels providing quality rooms, amenities and food, yet still being within easy reach of the fishing. The hotel is only 15 minutes away from the Belfast International Airport and provides a free shuttle bus. It has its own golf course, swimming pool and health club as well as excellent bars and restaurants.

The health club has a fully equipped gym where you can also enjoy a relaxing sauna or massage after a hard days fishing, or for the more energetic have a game of tennis on one of the two all weather courts.

Ireland Fishing: The Hilton Hotel Templepatrick

Best Times to Go

Fishing is excellent throughout the season.  However, for dollaghan trout the best time to fish is August to 31st October.


The weather can be unpredictable so a layered approach is best with good quality waterproofs essential. Chest waders and a wading staff are required when wading and a life jacket is strongly recommended.  A 9 to 10 foot fly rod rated  7 or 8  with a selection of fly lines is all that is required.

Availability and Pricing for the 2007 Season

Season:  The 2007 season is as follows:

Brown trout: 1st March to 31st October
Dollaghan:mid July to 31st October
Salmon: 1st March to 31stOctober

RATE:  Professional Guide - £150 per day for up to two anglers. Hotel prices vary depending on accommodation required. All licences and permits extra.

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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