The River Moy Information.
The River Moy rises in the Ox Mountains and flows approximately 110Km (68 Miles) to where it enters the Atlantic ocean at Killala Bay. The River Moy is rated as one of the best Salmon rivers in Europe, with catches of between 8,000 and 10,000 Wild Atlantic Salmon annualy to the Rod and Line.
The salmon season opens on the first day of February and continues until the last day of September. The Spring fishing is at its best from mid March until Mid May. From this time the Grilse start entering the Moy system and this run of fish peaks around mid to late June. Depending on water conditions fresh sea liced Grillse continue to enter the Moy until early August. From Late August harvest / autumn start to travel upstream and while these fish are not as silver as the earlier runs but they can prove to be great sport. As and from the 1st of January 1999 all commercial fishing on the River for Salmon ceased and from 1st of January 2007 all Drift Netting for Salmon in Killala Bay ceased. The ending of all commercial Salmon fishing should allow many thousands of extra Salmon to make their way upstream to the Spawning Grounds.
Spring Salmon are considered to be the King of Atlantic Salmon with weights ranging from 3.5kg (8lbs) to 9kg (20lbs). There are a few Salmon in excess of this landed each year.
Grilse are a smaller, livelier Salmon ranging from 2kg (4lbs) to 3.5kg (8lbs). These fish enter the river in large shoals and can give the Angler some exceptional Sport.
Harvest Fish are the last species of Salmon to enter the river during the Angling season and can weigh in excess of 3.5kg (8lbs).
During the Summer months, Sea Trout Angling on the Moy Estuary can be productive with fish averaging around 0.5kg (1lb). Traditional methods used are Sand-Eel and Mackerel strips or Spinning. Over the past few years Fly fishing in the Estuary has become popular.
The River Moy has 17 different Fisheries and more information can be had by clicking the Fisheries link on this page.
Salmon: 1 February to 30 September
Sea trout: 1 February to 10 October
Brown trout: 15 February to 10 October
The Moy is probably the most prolific salmon river in the country. It would be impossible to obtain exact figures for rod catches, but the following figures of reported rod-caught fish gives some idea of how many fish the river produces.
Reported River Moy Catch
Salmon: 1988 - 5,000, 1989 – 11,075, 1990 – 6,294
A major arterial drainage scheme was carried out on the river between 1960 and 1970. The drainage works had a devastating effect on the natural character of the river and most of the famous old pools and famous fishing sites were destroyed. It is remarkable that the drainage works did not appear to have a long-term detrimental effect on the potential of the river to produce salmon. This has remained as good as ever. Regretably, the fish have to be fished for in aesthetically less pleasing surroundings.
The banks are high and difficult, much of the river is wide, canal-like and featureless and the natural pool – stream sequence is missing. Nevertheless, it still holds enormous numbers o salmon and gives joy to thousands of anglers every season.
Popular artificial baits include the Stucki spoon, Swinford spoon, Devons and the Flying ‘C’.
Most of the fisheries have stretches suitable for fly fishing. A wide range of flies is used, including some local patterns. The most popular are Silver Doctor, Black Doctor, Hairy Mary, Blue Charm, Blue Badger, Foxford Shrimp, Munro Killer, Thunder and Lightning, Logie, Dunkeld, Claret Shrimp, the Goat and the Moy Garry Dog.
The sea trout fishing is mainly confined to the estuary, where it can be very good from April to September. Boats are available for hire. Up river, there is limited night fishing in July in the vicinity of Foxford.
The above pictures are curtsey of Mr. Willie Lentz.