Salmon and sea trout fishing in Donegal

  1. Duff
  2. Drowes
  3. Melvin
  4. Erne Estuary
  5. Eske
  6. Eany
  7. Glen
  8. Owenea
  9. Gweebarra
  10. Rosses
  11. Clady and Crolly
  12. Tullaghobegley and Ray
  13. Lackagh
  14. Lennon
  15. Crana and Fullerton

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Home » Salmon and Sea trout fishing » Donegal »


The Lennon is open on a catch and release basis for 2018 (closed until 01 May)

The fishery includes Lough Fern and Lough Gartan. The Leannan is a 30-mile long river, flowing from the heart of the Glendowan Mountains to lough Swilly at Rathmelton. It was noted for its productivity of spring fish until the unfortunate outbreak of UDN in 1976. Since then the salmon population has slowly recovered and is approaching pre-1976 levels.

The Leannan fishes well in spring with the average salmon weighing approximately 9lbs. The largest recorded salmon was 33lb. This is one of the fisheries in the county that opens on the 1st January. The river has a good run of grilse around June which head straight for Lough Gartan when a good flood lets them over the weir at Rathmelton. A Devon of almost any pattern produces good results whilst good flies are the Willie Gunn tube or Waddington early in the season, Badger, Hairy Mary and any of the Shrimp flies. Sea Trout are present only in the lower reaches, where they run as far as Watt’s Pool.

Note: The section of the River Lennon downstream of the Drummonahan Bridge (Watt’s Pool) is privately owned. Permits are available (see below). This is the renowned Rathmelton Fishery Company section. 2 rods are let per day (although the fishery will allow 4 anglers to share the 2 rods). The permit price includes a Ghillie and a hot meal and use of ‘the hut’ which is heated and allows some shelter and ‘Craic’ on the days when the rain is coming down sideways! This fishery is fly only unless the river is above a certain height when spinning is allowed and there is a 1 fish bag limit per rod.

Lough Fern was noted for its spring salmon until affected by the UDN outbreak. It is still a very productive trout fishery with brownies around 1lb and 2lb fairly common. The western shore is the preferred area for bank fishing but the lough is best fished from a boat. Recommended flies are the Connemara Black, Black Pennell, Bibbio and any Sedge pattern. Salmon have been making a comeback in Lough Fern in recent times and are once again taken on the fly.

Lough Gartan produces occasional salmon and has a resident population of small brown trout averaging between ¼ and ½ lbs.

  • Angling Bye-law No. 934, 2016 This Bye-law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the waters specified in the Bye-law Angling Bye law No 943 2016
  • Season


    There are no permit requirements at present for the Lennon upstream of the Rathmelton Fishery Company stretch. A day permit is required for Lough Fern.

    Salmon licences are available from:

    Boat Hire – Lough Fern.

    Boats can be hired from:

    Letterkenny & District Anglers at €20 per day. Contact:

    Kenneth Bradley at €20 per day. Contact:

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