An Irish Anglers World

Avoca River System


The Avoca catchment drains the Wicklow Mountains eastwards before meeting the sea at the coastal town of Arklow. The river system includes two main rivers, the Aughrim and Avonmore, both of which used to offer superb wild brown trout fishing, unfortunately due to no coherent fisheries management plan they have suffered in recent years, a shining light though is the presence of  sea trout in their lower reaches. These rivers run off granite based moorland, and in their middle sections flow through beautiful wooded valleys. Two local clubs, the Aughrim Trout Anglers and the Rathdrum Trout Anglers control the Brown Trout fishing, and day tickets are available.

The reduced brown trout population average 4– 6 oz, with the odd fish reaching a pound plus. They are free rising and on light tackle give great sport. Local fly patterns are the Greenwells Spider, Partridge and Orange, Dark Olive, and Kill Devil Spider, all in size 14. Sea Trout average a pound, and start to run from mid July onwards to the end of the season. A state licence is required for Sea Trout, and useful flies to stock are the Butcher, Kill Devil Spider, and Teal Blue and Silver, all in size ten/twelve. It has to be noted that at present the Avoca catchment is closed for Salmon, with catch and release applying to Sea Trout.

Avonmore above Clara Vale

Avonmore River

Flowing out of Lough Dan, located close to Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, the Avonmore passes through the villages of Annamoe, Laragh, and Rathdrum, before connecting with the Avonbeg River to form the Avoca River at the famous, “Meeting of the Waters”. Running over granite the water although pristine is acidic in nature with the result that the trout are small, slow growing, and short lived. An eight inch size limit applies with catch and release encouraged.

Avonmore River, Ballygannon Wood

Prone to spates and liable to low flows in summer the best all around fishing is in April, May, and September, when there is water in the river. Presenting a dry fly on summer evenings can produce a larger fish as will pulling a deep sunk streamer. Traditional downstream wet and up stream nymphing are the most common methods used locally. The Avonmore runs through wonderful locations with Clara Vale (between Laragh and Rathdrum), and the Avondale Estate, ancestoral home of Charles Stewart Parnell, stunning places to while away a few hours. Park up, bring a backpack, and travel light.

Aughrim River

Derry Water Trout

The Aughrim River is formed by the confluence of the Ow River and the Derry Water. A deep wide river, again prone to spate, the Aughrim runs through a steep sided narrow valley with access limited mainly to bridges. Pools can be deep and care should be taken as the sand and gravel river bed is prone to shifting. Trout are slightly larger than the Avonmore with the same local fishing methods applying. A coachman worked through the riffles of an evening is also worth trying.

Derry Water below Annacurra village

Sea Trout are a prospect from July onwards to the end of the season with the Woodenbridge Golf Club stretch a good place to try. Although prone to heavy weed growth in summer the Derry Water in the vicinity of Annacurra, upstream of Aughrim, is a nice river to cast a dry fly. Access is through the local GAA sports field. Both the Derry and Aughrim Rivers experience a good hatch of olives, and sedges in the late evening.

Media Section: The Avoca Catchment, a Visionary View Of Irish Fisheries Management.