Castleconnell, River Shannon
- River Shannon - Closed for salmon fishing
- A section of the lower main Shannon River between O’Brien’s Bridge and Thomand Bridge in the city of Limerick will be open to catch and release of wild fish and harvesting of hatchery salmon, check with IFI Limerick.
ANGLING FEES FOR SALMON FISHING AND TROUT FISHING ON ESB WATERS: The Mulcair is an unlimited access fishery controlled by the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) whom you pay a permit charge to fish. For up to date permit rates contact ESB Fisheries Office Hydro Station, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, Republic of Ireland, Tel:+353 61 345589, Fax: +353 61 344560.
FISHERY DESCRIPTION: Castleconnell Salmon Fishery is one of the most prestigious Salmon Fisheries in Ireland, located on the Shannon just 7 miles, 11 kms upriver of Limerick City and tidal water. It is approximately forty-five minutes drive from Shannon Airport (35 kms).
The Fishery is about 4.5 miles long comprising 6 beats, each permitting 4 rods per beat. Each beat has up to six or more pools. The Fishery operates from sunrise to sunset seven days a week from February 1st to end of season September 30th.
This is an important spring fishery which can provide good fishing from mid March to mid May. On a good year up to 200 spring salmon can be taken here averaging about 10-12lbs. From mid May to mid July the grilse run predominates. Fishing tends to get slack in August. In September fish usually become active again on their way to spawn and can produce some lively fishing in suitable conditions.
First time visitors to Castleconnell fishery are given a free guided tour where pools and best methods etc are explained. Guides or 'Ghillies' as they are locally known are provided on request at a reasonable additional charge.
International fly anglers have described this fishery as one of the best fly waters in the world, and indeed it is. This first class angling water is so interesting in character, has waters cascading over small and larger waterfalls interspersed with beautiful riffled pacey runs, glides and holding pools of varying flows. No pool exhibits the same characteristics and for the angler exploiting these beautiful waters is a unique Salmon Angling experience. Castleconnell Salmon Fishery is undoubtedly one of the most scenic fisheries in Ireland. Richard Lyons of the New York Times wrote in his paper about the Shannon at Castleconnell " The river banks are a Verdant Eden lined with ash, beach and oak, some over 100 years old and home to swans, geese, ducks and otters and is so green that it overwhelms your senses"
Angling platforms using local material and stone are provided on the fishery to facilitate the angler onto the pools. For the most part the river can be bank fished from using a conventional fly rod. While there is generally no need to wade it would be a distinct advantage to come prepared with chest waders particularly on Beat 8, the top beat on the fishery. Where access to pools on either one bank or the other is limited by road, boats are provided by the fishery. Fly fishing, spinning and worm fishing are the allowed methods. Flies which are effective are Black Goldfinch, Shrimp Flies and Hairy Mary. In spring time when the river levels are generally higher than normal a size 6- 8 fly is fished depending on water height. In summer during the grilse run and generally lower flows, a much smaller size fly fished on a 10lb ( or less) test cast is best on a size 12 and even down to a size14 fly in low water conditions.
The ESB (Electricity Supply Board) own and manage this fishery. Water levels are controlled by the ESB at their Hydro Electric Dam three miles upriver. This provides a stable flow at Castleconnell Fishery even in drought conditions.