Fly patterns for Lough Beltra

After my posting some photos of Lough Beltra I thought I’d better give you some patterns to try if you are fishing there. Elsewhere in this blog you can find details of the Beltra Badger, Claret Bumble, Bibio, Goat’s Toe and Black Doctor. Those 5 alone would make a good selection for the lough, but here are some others to think of using.


This is my own interpretation of the Jaffa. As far as I know this was originally tied by the redoubtable Eamonn Kennedy and the head hackle he uses is a silver badger one. I prefer to dye that yellow. This catches a lot of salmon on both Beltra and Carrowmore every season


You simply can’t fish an Irish lough without trying a Green Peter. Variations abound of course, so picking the right one can be a bit of a lottery. The Red Arsed variant is pretty good and works a treat on Beltra. On days on mountainous waves a Peter with a muddler head is good for creating a disturbance too.


Dark skies call for dark flies and the Clan Chief  is supremely good in these conditions.


Beltra is known as a springer fishery and rightly so. We expect the best of the fishing to be over by July but there is a run of grilse through the summer and so there can be the opportunity to catch the silver lads on daddy imitations. Red Daddy and Silver Daddy will both work as will the more normal pattern with a Pheasant Tail body.


A word now on hook sizes. The old adage of ‘the bigger the wave the bigger the fly’ holds good and we use some fairly meaty flies in the springtime. Size 4 salmon irons are definitely not too big in a decent wave in March or April. We scale down a bit in calmer conditions and as the water warms up, dropping down to 8’s and 10’s.



4 thoughts on “Fly patterns for Lough Beltra

  1. Thank you for this great post on effective flies for Lough Beltra. It has been very helpful for a recent trip to Beltra. Lovely well flies. Thanks again.


  2. Hi Ted, Here is my dressing:
    Hook: sizes 6 to 12
    Tying silk: red or black
    Tag: Globrite no. 4 silk
    Tail: GP topping over GP tippets
    Body: black floss silk
    Rib: fine oval silver tinsel
    Body hackle: hot orange cock, quite long in fibre
    Wing: A bunch of GP tippet fibres
    Head hackles: Hot orange cock with a badger hackle dyed yellow in front, two turns of each

    This dressing comes with a health warning! I have seen a huge range of flies called the Jaffa, some of them wildly different from this one. There is even an orange bumble type fly I have seen used and that too was called the Jaffa.

    hope that helps,



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