Friday 10/12/2021 The Bann Special and Lower Moy

Friday 10/12/2021 The Bann Special and Lower Moy

Good morning from a wet and cold Foxford. Well, we survived storm Barra, the second storm of the winter. While it do some damage around the country we actually got of quite light and apart from a few trees that fell it did no damage locally. There was a fair drop of rain and the river is high, peaking at 2.7m on Thursday. We seem to be on the conveyor belt at the moment with a line of depressions coming in from the Atlantic. Hopefully water levels will fall between now and Christmas and we will manage to get out to see how spawning is going.

Not much angling going on, I certainly didn’t venture out. I had a visit from an angler yesterday who traveled a considerable distance to buy a pike fly line. He showed me a picture of a decent sized pike he caught on the fly last Monday on the Corrib.  He reckoned that himself and his fishing buddy were the only two anglers on the Corrib that day and I would say he was correct. The air temperature was 4 degrees on Monday, that’s dedication.

Popular Moy Patterns No.2. The Bann Special 

The Pattern

Hook: Esmond Drury

The Bann special. A good pattern to try as the water clears.

Thread: Yellow, Black

Tag: Flat or oval silver tinsel

Tail: Golden pheasant red breast feather

Rear Body: Yellow floss or seals fur

Rear Body Rib: Oval Silver tinsel

Mid Hackle: Hot Orange cock saddle

Front Body: Black floss or seals fur

Front Body Rib: Oval Silver tinsel

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Front Hackle: Badger cock

Head: Black

With its origins on the river Bann in Northern Ireland the Bann Special Shrimp fly features in most anglers fly collection and is regarded as one of the most successful shrimp patterns in the country. Noted as been particularly good for moving stale fish the Bann special is hugely popular on the Moy. This fly works throughout the system and is equally as effective on the tidal beats as it is on the upper parts of the river. A good pattern to try when the water clears following a flood. Fished in sizes 10 to 14 and normally tied on a treble hook, it can be tied using Floss or seals fur for the body. My own preference is for floss in the smaller and seals fur in the larger sizes.

Fisheries on The Moy Part 3 The Lower Moy

This weeks piece covers the Lower part of the river including the Moy Fisheries, Ridge and Cathedral pools. A lot of the early season fishing is better on the upper parts of the river. The Lower part of the river comes into its own from about June onward and very often the last months of the season can be the best period for the fisheries downstream

Mount Falcon Fishery


Mount falcon

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, Stuart Price, Email: Tel: 00353(0)9674472, Mobile: 00353(0)872831776

Ballina Salmon Anglers. An angler fishes “The Flag”


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 part of 5km, 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’s also quite a good stretch for Sea Trout. Permits are available on the bank or from local tackle shops.

The Ridge Pool. A great Low water pool in July and August.

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.

Once a netting station now one of the best pools on the Moy

Cathedral Pool

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

Licences for 2022: We have had a few enquirers regarding licences for the coming season. There seems to be a delay in getting them out to us this year .We have been in contact with IFI and we hope to be up and running with them next week.

Next wees fly will be the Faughan Shrimp. Have a good week and take care.

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