Sea, Lake and Rivers
There are many opportunities to fish in the Pontoon area of County Mayo, rivers, lake and sea, salmon and trout, fly-fishing and spinning. Take your pick.
Trout Fishing Season
The Moy Drains Lough Conn – a beautiful lake of some 12,000 acres with many bays and islands and noted for its trout. Surveys have shown that it holds a stock of 500,000 wild trout. Conn enjoys a good run of spring salmon and an excellent run of Grilse. The main run of spring salmon enters the lakes in mid-March and continues until early May. The Grisle run from May until the end of July early August.
Lough Conn joins Lough Cullin at lovely Pontoon, which is famous for its salmon pool at Pontoon Bridge. Tucked away under the shadow of Nephin Mountains and surrounded by forests and sandy beaches and bays, Lough Conn extends nine miles from north to south and varies in width from two to six miles. It is a fisherman’s paradise without doubt. Estimates show that Lough Conn produces 400-500 salmon and 8,000-10,000 trout each year.
Tackles / Flies
Trout fishing is mainly of wet flies, the best results from olives, mayflies and sedges. On the lakes the first action takes place in late March with the first hatch of Chironomides (locally called Duck Fly). Fish are normally caught by Wet Fly angling from a drifting boat. Angling continues to improve through April and May culminating in the May Fly hatch which usually occurs towards the end of May early June.
Wet Fly tackles can get results when conditions are right throughout the Summer and become increasingly effective again through September. A method peculiar to Irish Lough style angling where natural insects like grass-hopper and “Daddy Long-Legs” are used as bait can be very effective particularly in August when many terrestrial insects get blown on to the water. The Lough can yield trout of 10lb (4.5kg ).
Irish anglers normally use a floating line and three wet flies size 10 to 12 generally, two of which are attached to the leader by means of dropper (blood knot or water knot) and the third fished on the tail or at the point. Dry fly angling is also successful on the Lough.
To fish for brown trout a permit is not required on Lough Conn or Cullin. Trolling is permitted and spinning is not frowned upon and some anglers avail of the space between drifts to troll either with fly or spinning rod.