The fishing waters of Meath offer great diversity allowing for game, course and sea angling.
The Waters Of The Boyne Valley
At first glance the waters of the Boyne Valley are simply beautiful. Those meandering rivers and idyllic lakes set against picturesque landscapes of pastoral paradise. What the cursory glance doesn't reveal is that the waters of the Boyne Valley and all that lives in them are no less than enchanted. It's difficult to explain, but suffice to say it begins with the tree of knowledge and its magic acorns. These fall in the water and are eaten by the fish, which in turn . . .
The Fisherman's Solitude
"Little waves put out their white tongues, Just beyond the mossy weir, Where the jewelled trout are leaping, And the heron flings his spear. "
Meath's poet laureate, Francis Ledwidge knew a thing or two about why anglers are so attracted to the waters of the Boyne Valley. Granted a longer life he would no doubt have put pen to paper in praise of the County's equally enchanting lakes.
In Meath you will find superb game, coarse and sea angling. It will satisfy the expectations of specialist, experienced and novice anglers alike. There is a great diversity of waters in this fishery and you are invited to sample the quality and variety of fishing for yourself.
Game angling is available on the River Boyne and it's tributaries as well as on a series of small to medium sized lakes, which are located near Collinstown and Fore in Co. Westmeath.
The lakes around Bailieboro and Virginia to the North-West and a number of lakes near Collinstown and Delvin hold excellent stocks of coarse fish as do the Royal and Grand canals at Enfield and Edenderry.
Sea anglers are provided for on the stretch of coastline from Clogherhead South to Laytown and at the mouth of the Boyne where it flows into the Irish Sea.
The proximity of the Boyne Valley to major airports and sea ports means that quality angling is only an hours drive away. The Boyne Valley has much to offer as an angling destination and is well worth a visit.
The River Boyne
The River Boyne and it's tributaries hold extensive stocks of wild brown trout. There is also well managed trout fishing available on the lakes near Collinstown and Fore at the western end of the fishery. A majority of this game angling in the Boyne is controlled by Angling Associations, with some being maintained by private fishery owners. Anglers wishing to fish for brown trout on an Angling Associations water must obtain a permit from that association and fishing methods must be in accordance with the current rules and regulations of the association. Most associations support a policy of catch and release. The River Boyne also has a run of Atlantic salmon and sea trout. The best salmon and sea trout fishing is during the summer months with July August and September being particularly good.
The Boyne River (Oldbridge to Navan)
The River Boyne rises near Newberry Hall in Co. Kildare and meanders its way in a north easterly direction for seventy miles through counties Offaly, Meath and Louth before entering the Irish Sea below the historic town of Drogheda, between the townlands of Mornington and Baltray. The Boyne has extensive stocks of wild brown trout and also has a good run of salmon and sea trout in summer and autumn. The majority of salmon fishing in this are is controlled by Angling Associations with some being maintained by private fishery owners.
The main salmon and sea trout fisheries are located on the lower reaches of the river between Navan and Drogheda.
Salmon fishing early in the season ( March to May ) is concetrated around the Navan area. The Ramparts and Sophies Island are popular locations but the run of fish is small and only a very small number of salmon are taken annually. The average weight of fish at this time of the year is around 10lbs. Fish can also be taken in this area later in the year when water conditions are suitable, generally with a flood or rise in water level. Spining and shrimp fishing produce many of the fish in this area although the fly has produced a number of fish over the last number of seasons.
Perfect Water Conditions at Blackcastle Weir near Navan
In summer the best of the salmon fishing is located downstream of Navan, between Slane and Oldbridge. Good numbers of salmon are taken annually during the months of July, August and September on the fisheries downstream of Slane Village with the most popular locations being, the Scabby Arch, Johnstons, Crewbawn, Staleen and Oldbridge. The average weight of salmon in summer is 7lbs. to 8lbs. but numbers of larger fish to 17lbs can also be taken. Sea trout fishing is mainly concentrated around the Oldbridge area but they can be caught on occasion as far upstream as Slane and Navan. The Boyne gets a small run of large sea trout at the end of May and into June but the best of the fishing is from the end of June to the end of September. The average weight of sea trout is 1.5lbs with larger sea trout to 5lbs being caught on occasion.
When fishing for salmon and sea trout anglers must have a State licence and the necessary permission before fishing. Fishing must be consistent with the current rules and regulations of the local Angling Association. Anglers must also note that the law now requires all captured salmon and sea trout over 40cms in length to be tagged.
There is excellent wild brown trout fishing on the river Boyne and the average weight of trout is three quarters of a pound however a number of fish to 5lbs or 6lbs are taken annually.
The evening rise can produce some nice trout to the dry fly
The Boyne has all the fly hatches associated with a limestone river. The most prolific hatches include olives and sedges and there can also be good hatches of the mayfly Ephemera danica. There are a number of popular fishing locations in the Navan area and these are located at Kilcarn, Blackcastle and Dunmoe. There is also good trout fishing in the Stackallen area and downstream of Slane at the Scabby Arch, Crewbawn, Johnsons, Rossnaree and Staleen. Fishing can be good all year round depending on weather and water conditions but the best of the fishing is from mid May to mid September. Some of these areas can weed up in summer but there is still a lot of accessible water. Anglers wishing to fish for wild brown trout on the river Boyne must have the necessary permission and permit from the local Angling Association.
For information on permits & licenses in the region contact:
Important information for Salmon and sea trout anglers - Conservation Limits
Regulations have been introduced to combat Ireland's depleting Salmon stocks. The regulations follow a report issued by the Independent Salmon Group which found that most of the rivers in the Eastern Region i.e from Carlingford Lough in County Louth to Killen Point just east of Bannow Bay, Co. Wexford are below the conservation limits.
For the County of Meath the regulations stipulate that for the River Boyne it is closed to angling for salmon and sea trout over 40cm and open to angling for sea trout under 40cm. The use of single barbless hooks must be used and worms are prohibited as bait.