Suddenly it was March! Where did February go? The weather is dry and cool and the river is in nice condition. Still no sign of a fresh salmon but that is not surprising, angling effort has been minimal. I would expect that from the middle of this month anglers will start to appear on the banks of the river and we will see a few fish appearing. The link above “The River this morning” is a link to a video clip from the riverbank earlier, enjoy.
This week we will look at the various fisheries on the river. It is not over detailed but should give an idea of what is available. I have included prices where I can. Along with a permit, anglers must have a state Licence, a one-day licence costs €36.00, a 21 day Licence is €50.00, a district season is €64.00 and a National season is €100.00. All licences and quite a few of the permits are available from us at the shop.
The river is divided into several different fisheries and there are many miles of water especially in the upper reaches which I cannot say with certainty just who owns the fishing rights. In reality, on a trip from source to sea the first properly managed fishery we encounter is the East Mayo Anglers Association waters. Based in Swinford The Association manages some 14.5KM of double bank fishing on the Moy offering a variety of stretches suitable for bait and fly fishing .One of the better Springtime fisheries on the Moy The Association’s water incorporates some very nice Fly water some of which are “Fly only”. There is plenty of water for bait and spin as well but anglers are well advised to be aware that prawn and shrimp are strictly forbidden. One small drawback on this part of the river is that it is upstream of the Loughs and thus it is in the “Spate” zone and can suffer from a lack of water in good weather. East Mayo Anglers Association waters is quite a mouthful so most Anglers shorten this title to “East Mayo”. The fishery starts at Cloongulan Bridge on the N.26 between Foxford and Swinford and ends at the Cloongee Fishery. The Association itself is progressive and has done a lot of work on improving parking and access to the fishery. In 2019 they dedicated a very productive stretch of the fishery to disabled anglers and have a wheelchair accessible Platform. Also, in 2019 they published a very useful guide to the fishery. Anglers are not permitted to start fishing before 8am.
2023 Prices are: One day €40.00, Three consecutive days €100.00, One week (7 days) €200.00, The association also offer Juvenile permits and limited mobility and wheel chair access permits.
The next fishery we meet is the Cloongee Fishery. Now in state ownership and managed by the Moy Fisheries the Clongee fishery was in former years this was known as “McGowans waters”. Although it was actually owned by others, Mike McGowan a tall strong, friendly man who himself was a very good angler and even better story teller was the water keeper on the fishery. Mike lived in a cottage close to the fishery and was known to anglers far and wide. He was such a part of the fishery, that The Fishery became known as “McGowans Waters”. Even today some of the older visitors refer to it as such. The Fishery consists of over 4.5KM of both double and single bank stretches. It is situated 2KM South of Foxford off the N58 Foxford to Castlebar Road. Permits are available from the 1 February with Multiple Day permits available from the 16th April to the end of season. *½ Day permits are available for the period 16 April to 31 July only. [½ Day 6am to 2pm or 2pm to dark] Permits must be purchased before attending to fish and are available from our shop. Overall, it is a good fishery which fishes well throughout the season. Part of the reason for this is that part of it is upstream of the joining’s and part downstream. This is a big plus for the fishery when water levels are high. The upper part is shallower and the lower is considerably deeper, which “Holds” a lot of fish throughout the summer months. The fishery has a little bit of water that is suitable for the fly rod but is better known as place where Bubble & fly can work very well especially in the upper parts. One major drawback to the fishery is that on the lower part, from a point known locally as the dead river the banks are not in very god condition and in parts are dangerous. This part of the fishery would certainly benefit from some work to improve access, hint hint. One of the better-known pools at the lower end of the fishery “Carraigeen” is shared with Foxford Salmon Anglers. Cloongee having fishing on the right-hand bank and F.S.A the Left bank. In general, this does not cause any major problems with anglers using etiquette while fishing opposite each other.
2023 Prices are: One day 01 Feb – 15 Mar: €20
16 Mar – 31 Jul: €45
01 Aug – 30 Sep: €40
Half Day Available only from 16 March to 31 July €30.00
Multiple day rates also apply starting from €70.00 for 2 days, up to €150.00 for seven days.
Continuing downstream from Cloongee we meet the first fishery managed by Foxford Salmon Anglers “Bakers”. Baker’s fishery is named after the former owner “Mr. Baker”. The fishery is now in state ownership and is leased to the Foxford salmon anglers association (F.S.A) F.S.A is the local salmon angling club in Foxford which was founded sometime in the 1950s. The fishery consists of approx. 1.5km of double bank fishing extending North from the end of the Cloongee fishery to 400m south of the Bridge in Foxford. This also includes a short stretch called Leckee which some years ago was a separate fishery. Except for a 200m stretch upstream of Foxford at a place known locally as Culass and the pool already mentioned in the Cloongee piece “Carigeen” the fishery comprises relatively deep channel. It is primarily suitable for bait and spin fishing and the association do permit prawn and Shrimp fishing. Some of the better-known pools are “Jossie’s,” “Johny Henrys”, “The Alders”, “The Fly pool” and “Carraigeen”. Baker’s fishes well throughout the season with Carraigeen been one of the better spring pools. Josie’s is another pool well worth a try from March on. Other parts of the fishery are worth trying but due to backside vegetation fishing can be difficult. Ongoing work to improve angling is continuing. Access to Bakers is from lane ways of the main street in Foxford or from the association’s car park on the left bank approx. 1 km upstream of Foxford. Over the past few seasons F.S.A have operated a policy whereby anglers who purchase a permit for the Rinnanney fishery can fish the Bakers Fishery and vice a versa which makes their fishing good value for money. I can’t say for definite that this will be the situation in 2023 but so far I have not heard different.
Prices for 2023 are: One Day €25.00, One week (7 days) €130.00
Immediately downstream from Bakers fishery there is a short stretch of water which flows through the town of Foxford and past the woollen mills. Like all parts of the Moy, this stretch has its moments and can fish very well during the summer months. In general, the fishing is kept for the locals and we do not sell permit for this part.
The next fishery we encounter is the Foxford fishery. Staring just upstream of Maloneys Lodge, the fishery is managed by Granville Nesbitt and offers private salmon fishing for a maximum of 9 rods along on a 2.5 KM double bank section and a further 12 rods along 1.5 km of single bank. The fishery ends at the start of the Rinnanney fishery on the right bank and Gannons fishery on the left bank. The Foxford fishery fishes well from March onward and all methods can be used. There are a few very good pools on the fishery including the Nibb which is a well-known spring pool and a place where some of the larger salmon tend to lie, The Poplins, which is one of the better fly pools on the fishery, Gurteen and the Frenchman’s. With two fishing huts, proper styles and well-kept banks The Foxford Fishery is one of the more attractive fisheries on the River Moy. The fishery also offers a Ghillie service. Booking is through Granville Nesbitt on +353 (0)86 803 2350.
For the next few km downstream the fishing on the right and left banks is shared. Starting on the left bank and immediately below the Foxford fishery double bank we have Gannons fishery. Owned and controlled by the Gannon family in Foxford. The fishery consists of approx. 2 km of single bank fishing with a mix of deep channel and some shallower pools. One of the more famous of these pools is at the start of the fishery “Morans rocks”. Morans rocks, a boulder strewn pool is a great pool throughout the season, offering the chance of fish to any method on any day of the season. Without taking the other parts of the fishery into consideration, this pool alone makes it worthwhile. Further downstream from Morans rocks another pool that always offers the chance of a fish is the point. Gannons fishes well from March onwards and can be one of the better fisheries later in the season. Permits are available from Gannons shop and Post office in Foxfrod and Pat Gannon can be contacted on 08626590662023
Prices for 2023 are: One day €30.00, One week (7 days) €130.00
Adjoining the Gannons fishery on the left bank is the Armstrong’s fishery. Operated by the Armstrong family this is a 1.5km stretch of primarily deep channel. Suitable for spin and bait good numbers of salmon are taken here annually. For anyone looking for an easily accessible fishery for spin and bait fishing, Armstrong’s is a good choice. The Armstrong family are friendly and accommodating and always do their best for anglers visiting the fishery.
Prices for 2022 : One day €30.00
On the right-hand bank immediately below the Foxford fishery single bank we have “Rinnanney”. The Rinnanney fishery is the second fishery controlled by Foxford Salmon Anglers. Circa 4.5km in length ending at the confluence of the Moy and Yellow Rivers it consists of primarily deep channel which at a first glance can appear featureless and daunting. However as one gains more knowledge of this piece of water there’s quite a lot going on, submerged boulders, deep channels, sand and gravel banks all create good lies for fish. During the summer months a lot of fish will lie in the deeper pools. Due to the overall depth of the water, steep banks and slow flow this part of the river is not ideal for conventional Fly fishing however bubble and fly can be very productive. Combined with the clubs other fishery “Bakers” it’s a real value for money offering. Four car parks within easy walking distance of the river and an angler’s shelter. All legal methods are permitted.
Prices for 2023 are: One Day €25.00, One week (7 days) €130.00
Downstream of these fisheries the fishing is again divided. On the left bank immediately downstream of Byrnes fishery we have Knockmore Salmon angler’s association waters and on the Right bank from the Yellow river we have Attymass anglers. Both clubs share approx. 2 km of water which are divided between upper and lower, with the Coolcronan fishery in the middle. The upper part of both fisheries sharing four named pool, the most famous of which is the Wood pool. The lower parts a further three named pools the best known been Paddens. This part of the river tends to fish better during the summer months and Paddens is well known as a very good pool in the autumn. Spin, worm and prawn are the favoured methods but in low water conditions the bubble and fly accounts for good numbers of fish. Both associations have water keepers who sell permits on the bank, permits are also available from some houses close to the river.
Prices for 2022 were: One Day €25.00, One week (7 days) €130.00
The Coolcronan Salmon Fishery offer fishing on Approx 1.5km double bank. Rods are limited and must be booked through the Fishery manager. Over the past number of years, a lot of work has been done on the fishery to improve access and generally enhance the angling experience. The fishery offers a Ghillie and boat service. With twelve named Pools Coolcronan fishes well throughout the summer months. All legal methods are permitted and all take fish at various stages. Booking through the fishery manager Nick Cousins on 083 8344114. Below Coolcronan we have the Mount Falcon Fisheries.
Mount Falcon: In former years the Hotel and fishing were owned and managed by the late Mrs. Aldridge. With the assistance of some very notable anglers and Guides, Mrs. Aldridge ran a remarkable show with anglers returning year after year to stay and fish at Mount Falcon. The guides, each characteristically different and outstanding in their own fields played a huge part in the experience. In recent years the Hotel has been modernised and the Fishing is reserved for the use of guests staying in Mount falcon hotel or one of their lodges. The fishery consists of approx. 3km of double bank with a variety of fishing. The fishery is run on a 2-beat system, each beat is 1.5km long and accommodates 6 anglers. The lower beat is mainly spinning and bait water while the upper beat contains some fly water, 2 notable pools being the Wall Pool and Connor’s Gap. The Fishery is well served with car parking facilities. While on the river the guests are ferried from pool to pool by fishery manager or the resident Ghillie.
For more information contact Fishery Manager, Email: email@example.com Tel: 00353(0)9674472
Ballina Salmon Anglers: Downstream of Mount falcon is the Ballina Salmon angler’s association waters. As the name suggests this fishery is controlled by the Ballina salmon anglers. The Ballina Salmon Anglers Association water stretches for the best 7 km of bank, from the confluence with the Corroy River to the weir in Ballina. Although open to all permit holders the area for approx. 150m immediately upstream of the weir on the right bank (On the Left is the Freshwater beat) fishing is mainly the preserve of the Locals where the traditional worm fishing methods are practiced with great skill and effect. Apart from this It is all double bank fishing, which the club leases from the state and the Verscoyle family. In the past few years work has been done to create some fly water in the last 1 km or so before the weir. The rest of the fishery consists mainly of deep, slow flowing water and is suitable for bait and spinner, although the bubble and fly can also be very effective here. The area known locally as the canal is probably the most famous part of the fishery. This 500m section upstream of the weir in Ballina can fish exceptionally well in August and September, It is also quite a good stretch for Sea Trout. Permits are available on the bank or from local tackle shops.
2023 Prices are : One day €30.00, One week(7 days) €100.00, The association offer and evening permit from 6pm for €15.00
The Moy Fishery
Freshwater beat: Located just above the weir on the Left bank. This beat has been developed to provide better facilities and access, to about 400m of single bank fishing. It includes access for disabled anglers.
Ridge Pool: Immediately downstream of the weir and old fish traps in Ballina is the Ridge Pool. The Ridge Pool has always been one of the most famous pools in Ireland. Approx. 300m long It extends from the fish traps down to Ham Bridge. In recent years the pool does not seem to perform as well as it did in the past. A lot of theories exist as to why this is. I personally believe that with the modernisation of the fish trapping station, the building of the new foot bridge and other in-stream work carried out in the pool itself, “Damage” has been done. It is still a good pool and in the right conditions it holds lots of fish. Like all the pools on this stretch Low water is ideal. The fish are held in the pools and come up and down on the tide. July and August are normally the best months to fish here. In general, the Ridge is a fly only pool except when water levels are high. The marker been “West’s Rock”, if the rock is covered spin and worm are also permitted. during peak season there are two sessions per day, one from sunrise to 2 p.m. and the other from 2 to sunset. Each session takes 5 rods, which must continually move through the pool on a rotating fashion. Since 1999 an additional space, known as the Weir Pool has been added to this beat and it is fished separately from the rest of the Ridge Pool. It can only be booked two days in advance and it operates in the same fashion as the main beat.
The Cathedral Beat: The Cathedral beat, is next to the Ridge Pool. It starts immediately downstream of Ham Bridge and runs for about 250m to the lower bridge. This pool is now as popular as the Ridge Pool and on many occasions out fishes the Ridge. It takes 8 rods, with the sessions lasting from sunrise until 6 pm. After 6, it is reserved for local anglers. The water here is fairly shallow and streamy, making it excellent fly water.
Polnamonagh and Spring Wells: Immediately downstream of the Cathedral beat, Polnamonagh is more suited to bait fishing as the water here is deep and slow. Spring wells is much faster moving (and shallower) which makes it more suited to fly fishing. These sections are not as sought after as the Ridge Pool or Cathedral Beat but you still need to book them in advance. They operate on a single session basis and can be fished from sunrise to sunset. They can accommodate up to 8 rods each per session.
The Ash Tree Pool: The Ash Tree pool is downstream of Ballina town, It runs along the town park just above the confluence of the Brusna (Bunree) River. This pool can fish well in August. A boat and a Ghillie are provided. It can take 2 rods in the boat and 2 from the bank.
The Point: This one is also known as beat 4, and it extends from the confluence of the Brusna River to the end of the Island (about 300 m). Best known for sea trout fishing from July onward.
One thing to remember is that all these Moy Fishery pools are tidal and therefore fishing times are subject to tide times. It best to check with the Moy fishery office in advance. Booking for all these pools is through the Moy fishery office. Telephone 00 353 96 21332
Update @ 9am I just received a message from Peter Mc Hugh of Ballina Salmon Anglers that the first salmon of the season was taken at 7am this morning. The Salmon weighed 8lbs and was caught by local angler Nigel Lackey, Well done Nigel.