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Fly fishing in Dublin. Salmon and trout fishing.

River Liffey


The River Liffey rises in the Wicklow Mountains 12 miles south of the city of Dublin. From its source it flows in a long crescent for over 80 miles before entering the sea at Dublin Bay. The river’s upper reaches from Sally Gap to Pollaphuca. Reservoir hold good stocks of very small trout. Early season wetfly fishing can produce an occasional trout here to over 0.5 lbs in weight. Bigger trout found in this stretch have probably moved upstream from the reservoir. Below Pollaphuca, the Liffey meanders through the limestone plains of Co. Kildare, transforming it into a rich trout river. This stretch produces a number of trout over the specimen weight of 5lbs annually. The Liffey gets hatches of olives including b.w.o., sedges, midges and some mayfly. There is excellent fishing for wild brown trout at Ballymore Eustace, Kilcullen and Newbridge. Just outside Dublin between Celbridge and Straffan there is some excellent trout fishing while salmon and sea trout fishing is available between Lucan and Islandbridge. Fishing is controlled by a number of Angling Associations and riparian owners. There is free fishing at Memorial Park above Islandbridge and on the left bank immediately upstream of Leixlip bridge to its confluence with the Rye Water. Fishing is prohibited from the Rye Water to Leixlip Dam.

A licence is required for salmon fishing and this can be obtained from the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board or Local Tackle Dealers.

Bye-law No. 824, 2007 prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the River Liffey (excluding upstream of Pollaphuca dam), Dargle and Vartry

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board.
15a Main Street, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Tel: 01 2787022, Fax: 01 2787025, email:

Islandbridge to Lucan

Islandbridge is a favourite spot for salmon fishing and this area usually produces the first salmon annually. Best times are in the early spring with the grilse run taking place from June to August. Most Liffey salmon are taken on spinner or worms and the "flying c" is a good bait. Some sea trout can also be caught and the best flies include the standard sea trout patterns of peter ross, butcher and teal, blue and silver.
Fishing on the Liffey is controlled by angling associations or private owners. There is free fishing at Memorial Park above Islandbridge. The Dublin and District Salmon and Trout Anglers Association has extensive fishing water on the river at Islandbridge, at the Strawberry Beds along the lower Lucan road, the Wrens nest and at CPI. The Lucan Trout and Salmon Angling Association has fishing rights on thre south bank from Lucan bridge to Hermitage Golf Course. Fishing is prohibited between Lucan weir and the bridge located downstream from the weir. Day permits and memberships are available from both clubs.

Leixlip to Celbridge, Co. Kildare.

Free fishing is available on the Liffey on the left bank upstream of leixlip bridge to its confluence with the Rye Water.. Fishing is prohibited from the Rye water to Leixlip dam. The Celbridge-Straffan fishery on the Liffey is a very rich trout water which stretches for approximately 4.5miles. Many trout over 1lb in weight are regularly taken. This section is leased by the Dublin Trout Anglers Association. The best location is on the South bank(right bank looking downstream) from Straffan Bridge to Pausdeen Bridge with the exception of a few hundred yards where the river flows through a wood at Mr. Leonards land. Best flies in this stretch are the Yellow Sally and May Dun. The Grey flag, Ginger Quill and Greenwells Glory are all effective patterns in this area. Detailed maps are available from the Dublin Trout Anglers Association.

Fishing Dry fly upstream on the Liffey at Newbridge

Location: Counties Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin. The main villages, towns and cities are Kilbride, blessington, Ballymore Eustace, Kilcullen, Newbridge, Clane, Straffan, Celbridge, Leixlip and Dublin City.

Fish Species: The Liffey contains stocks of wild brown trout, salmon and sea trout.

Methods: All legitimate methods are allowed including fly fishing, worm fishing and spinning. However, fishing must be consistent with the current rules and regulations of the Associons.


Angling Clubs: The following Associations control waters on the Liffey

Fishing Tip: Try fishing with small flies. These seem to produce the best results.


Access and Car Parking

On the southern bank of the Liffey there is a public walkway at Memorial Park with free car parking available at the main entrance. On the Eastern end check with the angling clubs for details. from Chapelizod to the Strawberry Beds all fisheries are private. From thee Strawberry beds to Lucan bridge the are various access points from the lower Lucan road (north bank) and from the N4 (south bank), as indicated on the map. (see above) Check with Angling clubs for details. parking is mostly off road with some available at nearby pubs.Access does not imply a right of way and anglers should ensure that, they have the necessary permission to enter or cross private lands. Where possible anglers should walk along the river bank or lake shore.

Further Information: For further information please contact:

Des Chew, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, Dublin Angling Initiative, 15a Main Street Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 2787022

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board,15a Main Street, Blackrock Co. Dublin

Tel: 00 353 1 2787022 Fax: 00 353 1 22787025 email:

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About this site

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board presents this web site as a definitive guide to salmon, trout, coarse and sea fishing in Monaghan, Meath, Louth, Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford.

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