The Foyle and its tributaries
The Foyle is the major waterway in the North West of Ireland, with a long history of commercial and recreational salmon fishing.
The river drains out of Counties Donegal, Londonderry and Tyrone, and The Honourable The Irish Society owns fishing rights in a number of the smaller branches of the system: the rivers Roe, Faughan, Dennet, Finn, Mourne and Strule, as well as some stillwater fishing around Derry-Londonderry. The system as a whole enjoys a larger run of Atlantic salmon than any other river in Northern Ireland, along with numerous sea and brown trout. These rivers are wholly sublet to angling clubs and community organisations for all aspects of day to day management. However, there are daily reserved rods on most of them that can be accessed through Fishpal where you can book fishing online or by telephone and have free, unlimited access to:
- River levels - updated daily
- Salmon catches - updated automatically, daily on ghillie notification and weekly by fishery managers
- Find fishing - updated hourly
- Online booking - with immediate issuing of permits
- Call centre - back up for manual bookings or advice.
Click here to view a map of the Foyle river system. Details of the fisheries with reserved day rods are as follows:
The Roe is a medium sized river (5-20m wide) which rises high above the Glenshane Pass in the Sperrin Mountains, dropping rapidly to Dungiven village. The spate river then makes its way northwards through the beautiful Roe Valley Country Park before meandering across the broad Lough Foyle lowlands to the sea. Most of the fishing is in the control of the Roe Angling Association, under lease from The Honourable The Irish Society, although some stretches are in private or government ownership. Sea trout fishing starts the season on the Roe, with fine runs from late June to August. Salmon fishing is at its best from August onwards, proving most productive in spate conditions in the mid section of the river. 8 visitor day rods are available from Fishpal throughout the season (20th May - 20th October).
The Faughan is a medium sized river (5-20m wide) which rises on the flanks of Sawel, the highest of the Sperrin peaks. It makes its way north-west along a scenic valley through the villages of Park and Claudy, before turning north through Drumahoe on the edge of Derry-Londonderry and entering Lough Foyle. It is a renowned spate river for salmon and sea trout and is under the control of River Faughan Anglers Ltd, which leases the rights from The Honourable The Irish Society. 8 visitor day rods are available from Fishpal throughout the season (1st April - 20th October).
The Burn Dennet is a medium sized (5-20m wide) spate river that rises on the northern slopes of the main Sperrin Mountain ridge. It flows northwards through Donemana, then swings west through native woodland and pasture before meandering across broad flats to reach the River Foyle some miles upstream of Derry-Londonderry. Sea trout peak from June-August in this river, with grilse available from July to August and salmon in August and September. The river is under lease to the Dennet Angling Association, which has done much good work to improve stocks and habitat. 8 visitor day rods are available from Fishpal throughout the season (20th May - 20th October).
The River Mourne is a large (above 20m wide) spate river which runs northwards into the Foyle at Strabane. It has a good run of spring salmon (best from April to mid-May), with most of the grilse and salmon arriving later, from June to July. However, good fishing can still be had in September and October. The Honourable The Honourable The Irish Society and the Abercorn Estate have formed a company, Fish Mourne Ltd, to manage their joint fishing rights between Victoria Bridge and Sion Mills, and this in turn has let its rights to Sion Mills Angling Club. 15 visitor day rods are available from Fishpal across the season (1st April- 20th October), or through the Sion Mills Angling Club office.
The Derg is a large (10-20m wide) spate river with a fine head of wild brown trout. It is best known for summer salmon, grilse and sea trout which are generally at their best from late May through to August. Some fresh water is required to encourage runs of fish, although grilse and sea trout will edge upstream without a flood. The river has its source high in the Donegal hills, flowing out of Lough Derg and eventually joining with the River Strule to form the Mourne, downstream of Newtownstewart village. The Honourable The Irish Society leases its rights on the lower part of the river, below Crewe Bridge, to the Ardstraw Angling Association, who manage the fishery. 8 visitor day rods are available from Fishpal across the season (1st April - 20th October).