Where to Fish in Northern Ireland - Fermanagh

The Northern Ireland Where to Fish A to Z

DAERA Public Angling Estate Fisheries

Significant amounts of water are under the management of DAERA. You will need a DEARA Rod License and a permit to fish these waters. It is a fantastic gift to anglers in Northern Ireland offering access to salmon, sea trout, brown trout, stocked fisheries, coarse fishing, all for a one off season ticket which is not expensive and comes with great concessions for youngster, disabled and older folk.

Follow this link to find what is available in Fermanagh:

Link to DAERA Public Water Estate Fisheries Fermanagh

Coarse Fishing | Game Fishing 

Game Fishing

Lough Erne

Lough Erne is a large lime stone lough totalling over 15000 hectares located just 6 miles from the Atlantic coast of Ireland. The lough is made up of the Upper Lough to the east of Enniskillen and the Lower Lough flowing west to Billeck.

Lough Erne offers a mixed course and game fishery with quality trout, improving runs of salmon and sea trout and some exceptional pike fishing.

The game fishing season is 1st March to 31st October while coarse fishing is allowed all year round.

Lower Lough

The lower lough is shallow, though vast at 15 miles long, an excellent environment for trout to flourish. The trout fishing is especially good in the Lower Lough where fish average 1.5 to 2lb although fish in the 5 to 10lb range are taken on the dry fly during the Mayfly season.

The trout are all wild brown trout although DAERA also stock the feeder streams each year with native trout.

There is a good Mayfly hatch with Green Gosling Dabblers and Grey Wulffs recommended. For the main part Fiery Browns, Extractors, Green Peters and bumbles are recommended March to June and August to September while olives are best in July as there is a prodigious hatch at this time. Klinkhammers and cul de canards are recommended. There are good summer hatches of sedges.

Fish of over 10lbs are caught regularly by trolling with Tasmanian Devils, Rapalas and silver spoons.

Salmon fishing is best near Roscorr Bridge to Heron Island and across to the Garvey River. Google Map Reference 54.475608, -8.021336 Roscorr Bridge

In addition to the excellent game fishing on the Lower Lough there is good coarse fishing for pike, roach, perch, rudd and bream.

For more information on Ower Lough Erne go to:

Fishing on Lower Lough Erne

Upper Lough

The Upper Lough has loads of islands providing an excellent environment for coarse fishing which is world class.

Pike to 30lbs plus are not uncommon, giants slab sided bream, loads of roach, rudd and perch. There are also good trout.

All legal methods allowed although there are restrictions on the use of ground bait and maggots in some areas.

Fishing on Upper Loch Erne

For Anglers with Disabilities

Trout fishing from the bank can be good for the less mobile angler however DAERA have erected a number of stands around the loughs to improve access. There are 6 designated stands at Queen Elizabeth Road with parking at the nearby shopping centre at Corradilar. There are also 2 stands at Broadmeadows near Enniskillin with parking spaces very nearby behind the Forum.

A hoist for disabled anglers is available at Garvary and Innishclare to allow wheelchair users or other anglers with disabilities to fish from boats. Call 0300 200 7860 (for outside Northern Ireland: ++44 28 9151 3101)

General Information

All you need to fish on Lough Erne is your DAERA license and permit. All legal methods are allowed although there are restrictions on the number of rods you can use when trolling. The bag limit is 6 trout per day, minimum size 30cm and catch and release for all salmon.

You can launch your own boat but please note this is a very big lough near the Atlantic. Storms can come in quickly, you need a good boat if you are going to be safe. The recommendation is a minimum 17 footer with a 4 hp engine, locals use 19 / 20ft boats with 10 to 15 hp engines

Boats and ghillies can be hired all round the lough, call the Visitors Centre and Tourist Information Office on 028 6632 3110. For further information log on to www.erneangling.com Even if it is for just a day or two having a ghillie will get you to the best marks which on 15,000 hectares of water are not easily found. 

Checked 10/05/19

Bell Isle Estate

Offers fishing on Lough Erne for top quality trout and fantastic course fishing with vast shoals of roach, great slab sided bream and massive pike (one party of 4 had 70 pike up to 30lb in 2 days). Bream swims can be booked ensuring that you will find your chosen spot free when you turn up next day. The fishing is free with the appropriate license and the estate has 4 pike boats a 2 Garmin fish finders boats for hire all with outboards for a very reasonable daily cost.

Call 028 6638 7231.

Google Map Reference 54.268152, -7.556476 Post Code BT94 5HG

Checked 10/05/19

Lough Melvin

Lough Melvin is the other great Fermanagh lough. Located near the Donegal coast the fishing here is a little complex because the border between Northern and Southern Ireland runs through the lough with two thirds of the bank in the Republic.

Melvin offers unique fishing for several 'species' of trout: brown trout, ferox, sea trout and most interestingly, gillaroo and sonaghen, there are also salmon, char, eels, perch and rudd. Gillaroo feed on fresh water mussels and are vividly spotted in red and orange, found along rocky shores they do feed on emerging fly life. Sonaghan are plankton feeders living on daphnia, in shoals often in deep water, growing to 0.5 to 1.5lbs.

Both gillaroo and sonaghan will come to the fly. Catch and release only.

The lough is 8 miles long and up to two miles wide with the Drowes river acting as the out flow and the Tullymore, Roogagh, County, Ballagh and Glenaniff acting as inflows, a significant factor in the diversity of the trout which choose different locations in which to spawn thus eliminating competition. The west end of the lough is shallow with a maximum depth of 33 feet making it good trout water while the south east between Ross Point and Breffni Pier is up to 150 feet deep ideal for char and their predator the ferox.

Permits and Licenses

The Northern Ireland waters, about one third of the shoreline on the northern bank, are controlled by the Garrison and Lough Melvin Angling Association who issue permits. In this area you will need a DAERA license as well as a permit. Permits from:

Melvin Tackle in Garrison, 028 6865 8194, Gilroys SPAR and Lough Melvin Holiday Centre. Melvin Tackle can offer boat hire.

Permits options, adult season, day tickets for trout only or for salmon. Limits 6 trout, gillaroo or sonaghan C & R. Salmon, 2 tags per season (1 tag with a day ticket)

Southern Ireland water, you do not need a license if fishing for trout but you do need a permit. For salmon you will also need an Inland Fisheries License.

Permits and licenses from David Stinson, Dreenan Cottage, 512 Boa Island Road, Kesh, Co Fermanagh BT93 8AA. Call 044 (0)7793559640. Also boat hire for the Rossinver fishery.

Licenses from IFI Ballyshannon, Station Road, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Tel: (071) 9851435.

Best flies Sooty and Golden Olives, Black Pennel, Bibios, Connemara Black, Peter Ross, Goslings, Green Peters, Mallard and Claret.

Please note that if you want to use your own boat you must comply with the regulations regarding zebra mussels.

Checked 11/05/19


A small trout river with occasional salmon from mid July flowing into Lough Erne. The trout average about half a pound but as the river is a nursery ground for the Lough Erne trout, the fishing changes from August when the bigger fish from the lough run upstream to spawn.

The river, all but 1.5 miles which is under the DCAL permit, is controlled by the Ballinmallard Angling Club who issue permits for the Riversdale stretch.

Permits from Home, Field and Stream, call 028 6632 2114,

Checked 11/05/19

Mill Lough

Bellanaleck near Enniskillen, a 40 hectare lough stocked with rainbows and brown trout, fly only fishing from both the shore and boat, over wintered fish can reach 8 lbs. 4 fish limit. DCAL permit required. For boat hire call 028 6634 8313 or 028 6634 8419.

There are 8 stands designed for use by anglers with a disability.

Google Map Reference 54.296730, -7.626407 Post Code BT92 2BR

Checked 10/05/19

Navar Forrest

Offers fishing in bonny surroundings on three limestone loughs, Achork, Glencreanan and Meenameen (4, 19 and 18.6 hectares in size respectively) fishing for for wild brown trout, the loughs are stocked annually with 7000 rainbows and browns trout to supplement the wild fish fish stocks. Glencreanan is a fly only lough and boat fishing on all three loughs is also fly only, Achork and Meenemenn allow fly, spinning and worm fishing.

There are no boats for hire but you can launch your own boat, rowing boats only.

The best flies to use are olives, sedges and buzzers with some Mayfly hatching on lough Meenemeen.

A DAERA license and permit is required.

Google Map Reference 54.440568, -7.886882

Lough Corranny

A small lough stocked annually with rainbows of takeable size. Fishing is bank only but fly, spinning and worm are allowed 4 fish limit. DAERA License and permit required.

Google Map Reference 54.245086, -7.266264 Post Code BT92 7NL

Checked 10/05/19

Lough Keenaghan

Located near Belleek, Keenaghan is a popular venue 15 hectares. The west shore has extensive reed beds and natural stone fishing platforms have been build to give some access for anglers who are less mobile. Brown trout, fly only. Olives, buzzers, sedge patterns work well.

Fishing from bank and non mechanical boats only

DAERA License and Permit required

Google Map Reference 54.488726, -8.038493 Post Code BT93 3EW

Checked 10/05/19


Coarse Fishing

See above for details about the first class coarse fishing on Lough Erne where 30lb pike anin't no big thing!

Lough Killyfole

Located just of the Dernawilt Road this 23 hectare coase fishery holds pike, perch, roach, bream and tench, open all year. No boats allowed. DAERA permit required.

Google Map Reference 54.213013, -7.374305