Fishing in Ireland, Walks in Mayo

Earlier this week

May is the height of the season here in Mayo with so much going on for anyone interested in the outdoors it is hard to fit in such necessities as work and sleep. The long, long winter has finally released her grip and we can look forward to the softer weather of spring and summer at last.Here is how this past few days have panned out.

It was a Bank Holiday on Monday so Helen and I went for a long walk around Lough Furnace. This is a lovely walk with some great views across the loughs and mountains of Burrishool. Despite living in the area for many years I have never fished Furnace. This fishery does not open until the middle of June and can provide exciting fishing for grilse on its day.

view from the old bridge

We walked along quiet single track roads from the community centre at Derrada, out past the research centre, along a short section of the ancient road that used to link Newport with Bangor and finally on a short stretch of the new Greenway.


the salmon research centre


The old road to Bangor

On Wednesday evening the wet and wild weather tempted me and Ben out on to lough Beltra. The conditions could not have been better, a strong blow from the south and dark overhead conditions looked to be exactly what the salmon enjoy and we met up on the shore in high spirits and full of hope we would meet a salmon or two. Unfortunately the fish had other ideas and we failed to rise a single fish. Four other boats which were out on the Glenisland Coop side also came in fishless.

the sun trying to break through the thick cover of clouds over Beltra

Another boat drifts behind us

The wall

The boatshed on the Glenisland side, a great resource for the club

So it is back to the drawing board again! I hear that Lough Mask is fishing well, with Toby Gibbons winning the Westport club competition last weekend. He had a nice bag of 4 trout on the day. I will venture out again this weekend to try my luck.

Walks in Mayo

Erris Head loop walk

blue sky over Erris head

Not a day for fishing so we went for a walk instead. Just a nice gentle loop around the north of the Belmullet peninsular. We got up early, packed some sandwiches and headed north in glorious sunshine. Rain showers dogged us as we passed through Keenagh and then Bangor but they had cleared by the time we rolled through Belmullet and the blue skies stayed with us for the rest of the day.

This is a cliff top stroll so it is best to leave it until a dry and relatively wind free day. Even today in bright sunshine a cool onshore wind kept the temperature down. Despite the chill, the views out to sea were amazing and well worth the effort.

We stopped for a spot of lunch, munching sandwiches amid wheeling birds. We saw curlews, kittiwakes, fulmars and the usual smattering of gulls. The open ground was home to a ringed plover, lapwings, grey wagtails and wheatears. Larks filled the sky with their song.

Looking south we could see the lighthouse on eagle island in the distance.

Eagle island

Belly’s filled, we marching up to the old lookout with its commanding views out across the Atlantic. Below it the word ‘EIRE’ is still spelled out on the grass in white washed stones, a relic from the dark days of the second world war. Ireland remained neutral during the conflict but the west coast was provided with these identifiers so allied pilots could figure out where they were as they attempted to return home from long range missions.


I am planning some fishing for the the week ahead, watch this space!