Mornington House Luxury Manor House Accommodation

Co. Westmeath, Ireland

T: +353 44 9372191


Brown trout
Colonel Benson with dapping rod on Lough Derravaragh, Westmeath, September 1919
Lough Derravaragh

Trout, Pike and Coarse Fishing

For the fisherman there are the famous brown trout lakes of Loughs Owel, Ennell, Derravaragh and Sheelin. Lough Derravaragh is known for the size of the specimen pike caught in its waters.The lake has been a favourite destination for visiting anglers for many years. In the early years of 20th century family friends would travel down to Mornington by rail or motorcar for the mayfly.

Westmeath Dapping was the traditional method of using the Mayfly. Benson’s Stone, on the shore of Lough Derravaragh, is named after Col. Benson, whose favourite fishing spot it was. He and other family friends would come and stay for Mayfly to rise on Lough Derravaragh. Visitors would log their catches and their comments on their success or otherwise in the visitor’s book.

Trout Fishing

The Midlands trout loughs are well known and are justly famous for the quality of their brown trout fishing. No other location in Ireland offers the visiting angler such a choice and variety of quality water all within a short distance of each other. Each water poses its own challenge. Each has its own charm and character. One of the great advantages of the Midland trout lough is that if the fishing is "off" at one lough it will be on in one or more of the others. This is a great advantage and offers the visiting angler good prospects throughout the season.

There is a long established tradition angling tradition in the area. There is a full range of services for the visiting angler- boats for hire, tackle /flies, ghillies, expert advice, etc. See boats for hire

A Shannon Regional Fisheries Board permit is required and is available online. For more information contact The Shannon Fishery Board

The visiting angler can time his holiday to coincide with one of the great natural fly cycles- Duck fly, Olive, May Fly and Sedge. Any angler can try out the full range of skills- traditional lough method, dry fly nymph or dapping, etc. Trolling or spinning is also permissible and productive.

Lough Ennell

The lake is 7km long by 3km wide with an area of 1300 hectares. An important feature of this lake is its huge area of shallow water. Half the lake is under 5 metres deep.

Lough Ennell is a high pH lake and can carry big numbers of trout. It also has the best spawning streams in Europe. The conformation and colour of Ennell trout is remarkable, being shaped more like a grilse than a trout and coloured like bars of gold.

Lough Derravaragh

The lake is long and narrow almost 8 km in length, with an area of over 1080 hectares. The northern part of the lake is broad and shallow. Public access is available at several locations. In recent years the trout population has declined. However, the lake has a sizeable population of large trout, which can be taken on a troll. There is also a good May Fly hatch which provides the best opportunity for taking a trout on the fly.


Large hatches of Duck Fly occur from almost mid April to the end of the month. Fish can be taken with Wet Cell II lines, Sink Tip and intermediate lines which carry a team of size 12 flies, i.e. Wickham’s Fancy, Peter Ross, hatching Duck Fly, Adult Duck Fly, Chironomid King (local patterns) Connemara Black, Fiery Brown, etc.

After the Duck Fly in early May, the Sooty Olive and Sooty Olive Bumble fish best. Around the third week in May big hatches of buzzer occur along the Portloman shore. Fish can be caught on such Flies as the OMBI (12), Fiery Brown (10) when the ribbed midges are on the water.

Lough Owel is famous for its large hatches of sedges, towards the end of July to the middle of August; much to the delight of the dry fly enthusiast. Dapping Daddylonglegs and grasshoppers in August / September can also yield good results.

Mount Dalton Lake

Situated in the grounds of Mount Dalton, Rathcondrath, this lake is stocked with brown trout by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. Season is from 1st May to 12th October. Fly fishing only. Boats can be booked directly by phoning 00 353(0)44-9355102.

A Shannon Regional Fisheries Board permit is required and is available online. For more information contact The Shannon Fishery Board

Fishing and Boat Hire

Lough Derravaragh
Lough Derravaragh Boat Hire
Donore Shore,
County Westmeath.
T: 00 353 (0)44 937 1500
F: 00 353 (0)44 937 1394,
M: 353 (0)86 823 0363,

Boat Hire Martin Fagan
County Westmeath
T: 00 353 (0) 44 937 1353  
Lough Derravaragh Boat Hire
Irish Angling Safaries
County Westmeath
T: 00 353 (0)44 937 2015
M: 00 353 (0) 87 241 1003

Lough Ennell
Lough Owel
Peter Ganley Boat Hire.
Lilliput Boat Hire
Lilliput, County Westmeath.
M: 00 353 (0)87 649 2866
Doolans Boat Hire
Lough Owel,
County Westmeath
T: 00 353 (0)44 934 2085
Boat Hire and Gillie Service
Michael Flanagan is a boat hire operator for fresh water fishing on the Midland Lakes. He also operates a Gillie Service.
T: (0)44 9348969
M: 087 279 7270
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