Lakes Of Westmeath
After leaving Draugheda, the angler will reach Dublin by rail in a very
short time, where he will take his place in the railway carriage for
Mullingar, the county town of Westmeath; here, he is in the centre of
numerous fine lakes, well stored with large trout that will take the fly
most freely in May and June; the whole country round this place is most
pleasingly diversified by romantic sites, gentlemen's mansions, and
There are two lakes in the neighbourhood, or environs of Mullingar,
which are "Lough Ennel" and "Lough Owel," to the north of the town; the
first named one is the best for large trout. There are good boats and
fishermen to be had here. A little farther northward is Lough Iron, and
the river Jenny, which takes its course to the Shannon. The best lake of
them all is "Derevaragh," still further to the north; the town of
Castlepollard is the best station to stay to fish this fine lake; the
trout run twelve and fourteen pounds in it.
Lough Lane and Dromore are close to the last named lake. The angling in
May is most excellent, with the green drake; it is called the drake
season, and at this period the largest fish are caught; the green drake
which I have described, is the right sort for the lakes, with large
whole upright wings double the ordinary size.
The trout flies in general are brown, green, grey, red, black, hare's
ear and yellow, hare's ear and brown, hare's ear and olive, fiery
brown, claret, orange, and yellow flies, and in rough weather gaudy
grilse flies are good.
The flexible minnow would be a capital bait, drawn after the boat, when
the trout are not inclined to take the fly.--See an angling tour of the
lakes by "Jeffery Green Drake."
There is very good salmon and trout fishing to be had in the County
Tipperary, at the town of Cahir, situated on the Suir; Kilcommon Cottage
on the river side, is a place of great beauty, and the angler may amuse
himself in the demesne of Lord Cahir, which contains 560 acres; this
place and Clonmel may be reached by railway from Dublin, and on arriving
at Kilkenny there is very good fishing in the river Barrow at the town,
on the road to Cahir.
There is a small river called Killmacow, two miles above Waterford,
running into the Suir, in which there is beautiful trout fishing, in the
Spring and June.
There are some nice streams in Wexford, for salmon and trout fishing.
The "Slaney," at Scarrawalsh Bridge, near the Barony Forth, is capital
for sea trout, in August and the early Spring; there is good trout
fishing the higher you proceed up this fine river.
In Lord Courtown's demesne, beyond Tara Hill, there is good grilse and
sea trout fishing, the river runs through the town of Ballycannew, a few
miles above Gorey; Lord Courtown's is not far from Gorey, who will allow
any gentleman to angle with the fly in his charming demesne. They say
that his lordship can contrive to "fish these fish" into the kettle
alive out of the river, part of which runs under the mansion; I cannot
tell how true this may be, the river runs close to the house, in which
there are plenty of salmon and trout.
The flies used here are rather gaudy, sea trout size; and the list of
flies for the season will answer admirably for trout fishing.
From the above place the angler may conveniently visit the rivers in the
County Wicklow, which are all trout streams, arriving at Arklow, on the
There is a very nice river[D] running along the southern side of the
Wicklow Mountains, passing by a place called "Little Aghrim," from
whence to the wooden bridge, three miles from Arklow, there is excellent
trout fishing in March, April, and May; it passes through a long lough
or piece of deep water, out of which the trout issue in the spring into
the river; there is no obstruction on its banks from the Wooden Bridge
Inn up to Aghrim. There is a bridge crosses the river three miles up
from the Wooden Bridge, where the angler may fish up to Aghrim or down
to the "Meetings." The Wooden Bridge is called the "Lower Meetings of
the Waters,"--this is the most beautiful place of any in the
neighbourhood of the Vale of Ovoca, as you can see fine vales from the
mount behind the Inn; although from the grounds of Howard Castle, where
the little and great Avon meet, the views are sublime,--this is Moore's
"Sweet Vale of Ovoca, where the bright waters meet."
From the town of Rathdrum to the Meetings there is good fly fishing in
the spring; through the vale there is no angling in the river, in
consequence of the copper mine water running into it from the hills on
each side, Cronebane, and Balymurtagh.
There is very little fishing in the river Dargle, as the stream is so
small, but the scenery is magnificent, particularly in the vicinity of
Powers Court Waterfall, it is about two miles and a half from the
village of Powers Court.
The best way to go from Dublin to fish the rivers "Avon" and "Derry,"
would be through Bray and Rathdrum; begin here to fish the Avon, to the
Bridge at Howard Castle; and from the Wooden Bridge angle up the Derry
to Aghrim, I never saw so many small trout in my life as there are in
this beautiful stream, in the spring; there are numbers of small rivers
descending the Wicklow Mountains, towards the east, south, and west, in
which the trout run small.
We will return to Dublin and pay a visit to the once celebrated "salmon
leap," at Leixlip, a few miles west of the City--this is a charming
place, where a few days may be spent to advantage; the groves and rocks,
and the romantic glen are the theme of admiration. And the Park of
Castletown, the most beautiful in the Kingdom; from the ancient castle
at the end of the town there are views of the river and waterfall. The
salmon fishing has been spoiled here by the sewers of the City running
into the Liffey.
At New Bridge, on the banks of the Liffey, the station before you come
to Kildare, on the Cork railroad, close to the celebrated "Curragh of
Kildare," a race course of 3000 acres of verdant plain, there is capital
trout fishing in April and May, and pretty fair sport may be had
throughout the summer; the flies to suit the river Liffey are very
small, and those little ones in my list for the season will answer well.