Ballyvolane House and Blackwater Salmon Fishery
Ballyvolane House Salmon Fishing course (photo: James Fennell / Hanako Watanabe)

Frank Maher at Fallons beat on the River Blackwater (photo: James Fennell)

Having just seen the first batch of students graduate with flying colours at the end of April, there are still places available on the courses scheduled in May and June. The river Blackwater is in excellent nick and what better time to either learn or to hone your skills in the craft of fly fishing for salmon! Ballyvolane House is now offering a fantastic opportunity to learn to fly fish on the renowned river Blackwater with one its most experienced and talented fishing guides.

TO BOOK, PLEASE PHONE: +353 25 36349

The course is based at Ballyvolane House and Blackwater Salmon Fishery. It is designed for up to 4 participants under the tuition of Norman Gillett, who is both a qualified instructor holding the Salmon & Trout Association National Instructors Certificate (STANIC), and a member of the Game Angling Instructors' Association (GAIA). All aspects of modern fly-fishing and spinning techniques are covered but emphasis is placed on as much practical fishing as possible. Courses are held throughout the season, subject to beat availability. All tackle is provided.

The courses are spread over 2 days and 3 nights starting with dinner at Ballyvolane on the first night and finishing up after breakfast 2 days later.

MAY:   11, 12 and 13
JUNE:   02, 03 and 04
First night (arrival)
19:30   Drinks and dinner at Ballyvolane.
Day 1
08.30 - 09.00   Introductions. Sign licences, Collect waders
09.00 - 09:30   Drive to river. Arrangements and objectives
09.30 - 11:00   Assemble tackle. Talk on safety. Group Instruction in Roll cast and Overhead cast
11.00 - 11.15   Coffee and tea break
11:15 - 13.00   Practice: Individual instruction in Roll cast and Overhead cast. Correction of faults. Shooting line. Casting variations in wind (side, head and tail). Loop control.
13.00 - 14.00   Picnic Lunch at riverside
14.00 - 15.30   Talk: Reading the river and likely holding places. Wading safely. Hooking, playing and landing the fish. Etiquette on the river. Instruction in how to cast with a spinning rod; Fixed Spool reel,
Multiplying reel.
15.30 -15.45   Coffee and tea break
15.45 -18.00   Practical Fishing with Fly rod: Changing direction. Control of fly speed and depth – mending the line. Practical Fishing with Spinning rod – speed of retrieve. Remedies to release snags.
18.00 -19.30   Break – Return to Ballyvolane.
19.30 - 21.30   Drinks and dinner at Ballyvolane.
21.30 - 22.30   Ballyvolane Drawing room: Talk on Life Cycle of a Salmon (with video), taking behaviour, Running and Taking times. Practical instruction on essential knots and their uses.
Day 2
09.00 - 09.30   Drive to river
09.30 - 11.00   Talk: Tackle (rods, lines, reels and leaders); Flies and their selection. Group and individual instruction in Single Spey cast.
11.00 - 11.15   Coffee and tea break
11.15 -13.00   Group and individual instruction in Double Spey cast and Snake Roll cast.
13.00 - 14.00   Picnic Lunch at riverside
14.00 - 15.30   Talk: Tactics for different river conditions ­ sinking line, floating line, size and patterns of flies/lures. Practical Fishing: Fly and/or spinning.
15.30 -15.45   Coffee and tea break
15.45 - 18.00   Practical Fishing: Fly and/or spinning.
18.00 ­ 19.30   Break ­ Return to Ballyvolane.
19.30 - 21.30   Dinner
21.30 - 22.00   After Dinner Drinks: Course review and evaluation. Recommended literature and videos.
Day 3
07.30 – 12.00   Breakfast.
WHERE:   Ballyvolane House, Castlelyons, Co. Cork, Ireland
TO BOOK:   Phone 025 36349 or email
PRICE:   €855 per person.


  • All fishing tuition with Norman
  • State salmon licence
  • All necessary tackle and waders
  • 3 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • 3 dinners
  • 2 picnic lunches


  • Drinks
  • Other extras such as laundry and telephone

Please note normal room rates apply for non-fishing guests. A single supplement charge of Euro 35 per night may apply. Non-residential rates available subject to availability.

The course is designed to be completely flexible and thoroughly enjoyable. Each of the modules may be varied according to the ability and experience of those participating. It is suitable for Ladies and Gentlemen of all ages who are either complete beginners or would like to progress.

If you would like us to keep you informed of these events and any other happenings at Ballyvolane, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email to

To book this course, or to enquire about spring breaks or salmon fishing on the river Blackwater, please contact us using the details provided below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Justin and Jenny Green.


Castlelyons, Fermoy
Co. Cork

t : +353 25 36349
f: +353 25 36781
e :

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