With spectacular, tranquil landscapes and waters that support a huge population of wild fish, Leitrim truly is an anglers’ paradise with wide variety and diversity of lakes and rivers on offer.
Leitrim has hosted numerous national and international angling competitions. Specialised fishing maps, bait and tackle and local knowledge are available in the towns and villages across the county. Both beginners and experienced anglers are advised to hire the services of a local guide for the first few days on the water. They will know the best flies, appropriate tackle and local fishing lore, and will ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
County Leitrim has the shortest coastline of any county in Ireland and its coastal boundaries are marked by two important salmon rivers, with the River Drowes to the north of and the River Duff on the south. The Drowes River regularly claims the honour of catching the first salmon of the season.
Game Angling in Leitrim
Lough Melvin is one of the most important salmon and trout fisheries in the Northwest of Ireland and easily reachable from both Dromhair and Manorhamilton. Famous for its unusual and rare species of trout such as gillaroo, ferox and sonaghan (trout sub-species only found in Lough Melvin), the lake also holds salmon char and perch.
Salmon and sea trout are taken between 1st February and 30th September and brown trout between 15th February and 30th September. The grilse run begins in June and fish are caught all over the lake from Kinlough to Rossinver.
The Lough Melvin catchment drains an area of 265km2, 42% of which lies within Northern Ireland and is situated within the counties Leitrim (ROI) and Fermanagh (NI). Lough Melvin is 13km long from east to west and 3km wide. There is good public access to the lake with piers at Kinlough, Breffni and Dernaseer. The Southeastern quarter of the lough i.e. Rossinver Bay and the Roosky shore constitute the Rossinver fishery. Rossinver Bay, which comprises the red buoy on the eastern side of Ross Point to the similar buoy at the Southern end of Roosky shore, is strictly fly only. The area inshore of the marker buoys from Ross point to the Border is fly only from the 15th May to the end of the season. Trout fishing starts in earnest around early June. Gillaroo can be caught along the rocky shores. Trout less than 11 inches must be returned.
The salmon season on Lough Melvin is from 1st February to 30th September and brown trout season is from 15th February to the 30th September.
Located to the southeast of Benbulben, Glencar Lake is approximately 3 km long and 1 km wide. It is approximately 7 km from Sligo and north of the Manorhamilton to Sligo Road. You will find small brown trout, sometimes a good run of sea trout and numbers of salmon. Glencar Waterfall which feeds the lake is located near the lake’s northern shore in Leitrim.
The salmon season is 1st February to 30th September with the seatrout season from 1st February to 10th October and brown trout form 15th February to 12th October.
Lough Gill, Bonet River and Doon Lake
Located close to Dromahair Lough Gill is nearly 10 km long east/west and approx. 3 km wide. The R286 Dromahair-Sligo road runs by the shore on the northern end and the R287 on the southern side. There is public access and parking at Inisfree, Sriff Bay, Aughamore and Hazelwood Bay. Salmon and brown trout are common in this lake
The salmon and brown trout season are from Salmon and seatrout from 1 January to 30 September.
Lough Doon is located in Leitrim north of Lough Gill between Sligo and Dromahair and has a good stock of brown trout.
Permit required – available locally.
The River Drowes
The River Drowes, marks the border between County Leitrim and County Donegal and is located close to Kinlough. It is one of the earliest opening salmon fisheries in the country and regularly claims the honour of catching the first salmon of the season which gets underway on January 1st. Salmon are plentiful March to April and there is also a good stock of wild brown trout including the unique Gillaroo. There is a fishing tackle shop on site at the fishery on the Lareen Estate where you can get both permits and state licences.
The salmon season here is from 1st January to 30th September and trout can be fished from 1st February to 30th September.
The River Duff forms the border between County Leitrim and County Sligo and is a spate river which is best fished after a flood when the levels are dropping. There is good salmon fishing here from March with the river also having a good stock of brown trout.
The season for both salmon and brown trout is from 1st April to the 30th September.
Important Game Angling Information
All information regarding licensing, permits and angling methods allowed at each site can be found on here
Game Angling in Leitrim requires a license.