Lough Arrow Ballinafad Sligo
1st April - 30th September
Size Limit: 12 inches
Bag Limit: Four Trout
Bye-Law regarding trolling: An angler may use only one rod while trolling.
Not more than two trolling rods may be used from a boat.
Lough Arrow is one of the outstanding brown trout fisheries in Ireland.
It is famous for the quality of its trout and it was here that the
technique of spent gnat fishing with dry flies was pioneered in the early
1900’s. The wild trout average 1 lb(.45kg) and fish to 6 lbs (2.7kg)
are a possibility on the fly due to the rich feeding in this very productive
The lough lies fifteen miles south east of Sligo town, four miles north
west of Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Ballymote is six miles to the west
and the village of Ballyfarnon lies three miles to the east.
There is public access at Ballinafad Pier.
The Angling season:
The season opens on 1st April and the early season fishing is done mainly with the wetfly, using sinking tip or intermediate lines, in shallow areas and close
inshore. Trolling is also practiced at this time of year but this method of fishing is not generally encouraged - see regulations.
Principal Fly Hatches and Angling Methods:
The Duckfly, a species of chironomid or buzzer, is the first fly to hatch. The hatch usually begins in mid-April and lasts for about three weeks. The most prolific
hatches occur in the evenings from about 7.30 p.m., but, occasionally, if weather conditions are favourable, they will hatch during the day. Angling tactics during the duckfly period depend on the prevailing weather conditions. In windy weather,
with a wave on the water, wetfly tactics work best. The most favoured patterns are Claret Bumble, Fiery Brown, Sooty Olive, Connemara Black, Peter Ross,
Silver Invicta, Red Arrow and Butcher (sizes 10, 12). In calmer conditions, small pupae (size 12) are the preferred method. These should be fished on a long
leader with fairly fine monofilament.