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That’s right – ‘crack’ fishing in Ireland. Now, don’t call the police. It’s the title correspondent David Lambroughton suggested for his latest report on good places to fish in Europe. This one is devoted to Ireland mostly, with a detour into some general information about fishing in England, and he couldn’t resist the temptation to modernize the old Irish word for fun, craic. Lambroughton is best known not for his article titles, but for his annual fly fishing calendar, Fly Fishing Dreams. The best way to order one is directly from him at [email protected]. Enjoy!
Over the years, I’ve broken up trips to Norway and Russia with stops in the United Kingdom to visit my old friend John Goddard and his beloved chalkstreams. I have also checked out Scotland a bit, but until this past spring, I never made it to Ireland and I always felt like I might have missed out on some fun and maybe some nice photos for my annual calendars. This past May/June I went to Europe on a five-week fishing trip and spent half of it in Ireland. The stay gave me a decent overview of what you’ll find over there and why you might want to go.

First off, the people are wonderful and it’s a beautiful place to drive around, filled with history and castles. It’s also a fairly inexpensive place, with bed-and-breakfasts going for about $45 US per day, per person, which includes a huge “Irish breakfast” loaded with everything that will shorten your life. As for fishing, it’s in all directions: salmon and grilse runs in a few rivers, huge pike and trout populations in lochs, small, lowlight-loving sea trout also in rivers, especially in the west and north of the country, and, of course, a few decent trout streams like the Suir and Boyne.

The route I would recommend Angling Report subscribers follow would be flying to Dublin and renting a car with a GPS, or what they call Sat/Nav in that part of the world. Sat/Nav is particularly valuable in a country like Ireland because there is minimal road signage there. From the airport, I would drive to the lovely town of Trim, about 45 minutes to the west, where I would check into Crannmor Country Guest House ( It is one of the nicest bed-and-breakfasts I’ve ever stayed at. The owners, Marc and Anne O’Regan, love what they do and it shows. The added bonus is that Marc is one of the very best guides in Ireland. He is connected to everything to do with Ireland fishing. In May and June, for example, he can guide you personally on some nearby lochs where the trout and rainbows are in the three- to five-pound range. While I was there, he had some English clients staying with him who seemed quite happy with their time on these lochs. Another local attraction (only 20 minutes away) is the Boyne River. The wild browns there are on the small side, 10 to 15 inches, but you can fish for them free, no license or fee required. On both the Boyne and the local lochs, it’s the E. Danica hatches (size #8) that fire up these spring fisheries.

Marc O’Regan can also point you dugin the right directions for the rest of your trip, laying out all the fishing options that are available and generally helping you to organize your trip in advance. He knows all the best guides and the best places to stay and visit all over the country. His e-mail address is [email protected]. One place I strongly recommend is the city of Galway. It’s the fun capital of Ireland and also quite close to the famed Loch Corrib, which produces trout, sea trout, and salmon all summer long.

As for fishing in England, I cannot imagine a visit there without spending a few days on the chalkstreams. It would be unthinkable to miss the town of Stockbridge on the Test. There is a carrier of the Test there that flows along the sidewalk with three- to five-pound trout feeding in it. It’s just across from the nicest fly fishing/shooting store I’ve ever seen, Robjent’s. ( Don’t miss the chance to visit it if you pass through Stoc

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