Positioned between two of the best wild brown trout fisheries in Europe - Lough Corrib and Lough Mask - Cong is the perfect retreat for fishermen. The fishing season in the area extends from February to September, with the mayfly season bringing the biggest influx of anglers to the area.
The Cong River is a short river (1 mile long) that flows from the village of Cong to meet Lough Corrib at Ashford Castle. It is a big, wide river, up to 100 yards wide in places, and divided by an island at one point. Fishing at the top end of the river is regarded as free and it flows down strongly past Ashford Castle, where the fishing is controlled by the castle owners who issue permits for their fishing beat. Some of this river can be fished from the bank where it is possible to wade it, but other parts of it are better fished from a boat.
The river gets an excellent run of spring salmon, the peak of which is in April. It also holds good stocks of brown trout, some of which are very large. The grilse come in May, June and early July are good, and salmon are caught in lesser numbers for the rest of the season. To achieve maximum benefit from fishing the Cong River it is advisable to enlist the services of local gillies, who can be contacted through any accommodation provider in Cong.
Loughs Corrib and Mask are two prolific fishing lakes - Lough Corrib with its abundance of salmon and wild brown trout, sand Lough Mask with its impressive brown trout fishing. Both are interesting lakes from the point of view that almost every year they both produce specimen fish. As a result, they are very popular fishing holiday destinations for anglers from all over the world.
Stretching in length for a distance of 33 miles, Lough Corrib is 42,000 acres in size, extending from within 4 miles of Galway city to within 2 miles of Maum Bridge. Angling on Lough Corrib is free and boats can be hired at several locations around the lough. Ghillies are also available at most boat stations. Fishing for brown trout is generally good from the first day of the season and salmon fishing for grilse is best from the end of May.
Lough Mask is one of the best known brown trout fisheries in Ireland. It is a large limestone lake of 22,000 acres in area, 10 miles long by 4 miles wide. It is famous for its large ferox trout and every season a substantial number of these are caught on Lough Mask.
The Mayfly dominate the fishing in Cong from mid-May to late in June. Trout fishing slows down in July but picks up again in August and September.