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Salmon Fishing on the Blackwater


February / March - Early spring fish averaging 8.5lbs. The water levels are generally high at this time of year and the temperature of the water is cold, so spinning is generally the preferred option, using spoons, large devon minnows or 'flying Cs.' Rods should be about 10' - 12' long. Fly fishing is possible with a 14' - 15' rod, floating line with a fast sinking tip (i.e. 6" / sec) with a 2-3" tube or cone fly. The use of worms, prawns and shrimps is not allowed. This is in an effort to conserve salmon stocks.

April / May - The main spring run where fish average 10lbs. Fly fishing should be in full swing by this time using 14' rods. Flies can be varied according to the prevailing water conditions - i.e. high water - large flies size 6-8, low water - small flies size 8-12. Spinning, again with a 10-12' rod using devon minnows or 'flying Cs.'

June/July/early August - Grilse of 2-5lbs weight normally run at this time. Some larger summer salmon may be caught. If good conditions prevail then fly fishing is the preferred method using a floating line with either a sink tip or intermediate tip, nylon casts of between 10-12lbs and flies about size 10-14. For high water, light spinning tackle may be used effectively.

Late August / September - Late summer salmon and grilse, and early autumn salmon. Fish from 3-20lbs weight. Tackle is governed by water levels. In low water 12-13' rods are adequite using a floating line with a slow or intermediate tip. If the water is high, a 14' rod is preferred using a sink tip with flies size 8-10. Spinning in low water using light equipment, lures and 'flying Cs', etc. Higher water levels, use heavier rods with larger lures and spoons.



Chest waders are advisable on the Gaihra beat, but easy wading is possible on account of the gravel river bed. Care must be taken not to wade too deeply as this could disturb the fish.

Fishing tackle is aviailable locally from Tite Lines in Cappoquin. Salmon licences are also available from these outlets.

The Salmon Life Cycle


The Marine Institute, Foras na Mara, have an excellent description of the life cycle of salmon. Click on the link to learn more.