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Salmon & Trout Fishing

Fly-Fishing for Salmon on the River Blackwater

The Cork Blackwater is Ireland’s finest Salmon River and one of the most important salmon rivers in Europe, stretching for over 150 kilometres from its source in Kerry to the sea at Youghal. The season for salmon opens on 1st February and continues until 30th September. Due to the size of its catchment area the Blackwater maintains a good flow so that fishing is possible in a wide range of weather conditions.

Ballyvolane House was recently was awarded “Fishing Hotel of the Year” by the Good Hotel Guide.

Fly fishing on the Cork Blackwater

The Salmon Season on the Blackwater

Cork Salmon fishing on the River Blackwater below Fermoy:

February / March

Early spring run, with fish averaging 7-10lb. As water conditions are generally high and the water is cold, spinning is more likely to be successful, using spoons, large devons, or Flying Cs, with a rod 10-12’. Fly fishing is possible with a 14-15’ rod, sinking line, and fairly large flies, including tubes and waddingtons up to 3”. We do not allow use of worms or natural baits in an effort to preserve stocks.

April / May

Spring run, with fish averaging 7-12lb. Depending on water conditions, fly fishing comes into its own, with 14-15’ rods and sink-tip or intermediate lines, and flies from size 10 to 3” depending on conditions. Spinning is with 10-12’ rods, and devons or flying Cs.

June / July / Early August

Grilse run, with fish averaging 2-5lb, and some larger summer salmon. For fly fishing, rods 12-14’ are used, with floating or sink-tip lines, and flies from size 8 to 14 depending on water conditions. Spinning with lighter rods and lures.

Late August / September

Late summer salmon and grilse, and early autumn salmon, with fish from 3 to 20lb. Tackle is dependent on water conditions. In low water, fly fishing with 12-14’ rods and floating or sink-tip lines with flies from size 10-14, in higher water 14-15’ rods and sink-tip or intermediate lines with flies size 6-10. Spinning in low water with light rods Flying Cs and devons, and in high water with heavier rods and larger lures and spoons.

Arranging Salmon Fishing

Preparing for a days salmon fishing & fly fishing on the Cork Blackwater in Ireland
Catching Salmon on the Blackwater, fly fishing in Ireland

We highly recommend booking with Glenda Powell, an award winning guide. She can arrange booking of fishing beats on the river as well as the service of a ghillie, and /or expert tuition. Glenda became World Champion in 2006 when she won the Overhead Salmon Distance Casting Competition for women at Carton House. She fished in the Scottish Ladies International Fly Fishing team and went on to manage the Irish Ladies Team. Justin’s late mother Merrie was also a mad keen angler of some renown in her own right and there is a very long tradition of salmon fishing at Ballyvolane House. Glenda can arrange the hire of all fishing equipment such as waders, fishing rods, tackle, as well as the state license as required.

What to do with your catch: Salmon Quotas on the River Blackwater

Anglers should be aware that State restrictions on daily and total catches may apply and also to methods of fishing. No commercial catch. Total Quota 4,463 salmon. Anglers must notify us of all salmon caught for our own records and must also report all fish caught on the River Blackwater by completing the Fish Capture Card and returning it to the Southern Regional Fisheries Board.

February 01 to May 12 (inclusive): 1 fish only per angler.
May 13 to August 31 (inclusive): 3 fish per day.
September: 1 fish per day.
Total season bag limit: 10 fish per angler.
Once bag limit is reached, catch and release methods apply - using single barbless hooks, no worms.