THE FOYLE SYSTEM

Unlike other waters in Ulster, this important system, which enters the sea below Londonderry through Lough Foyle, is controlled by an authority of its own, the Foyle Fisheries Commission. As some of the waters in the system are in Eire, the Commission has representatives from Ulster and the Republic. These waters are not in our list. In all parts of this system, rod licences (season or weekly) are required for salmon, sea trout and brown trout fishing. These are issued by the Commission. Anglers wishing to have these licences endorsed so that they are covered in other parts of the Republic or on the waters controlled by the Ulster Fishery Conservancy Board can do so on payment of a small additional fee. Is needed to fish anywhere in the Commission’s area forcoarse fish. However.since Jan 1 1977, brown trout anglers who previously did not need a rod licence are now statutorily required to have a game rod licence.

The Foyle is formed by the junction of the rivers Mourne and Finn at Lifford. A salmon river, fish begin running up the river and its tributaries usually from March onwards. The run of salmon into the Mourne, and its tributaries, is smaller than elsewhere. Sea trout also run into these rivers, peaking from June onwards. Brown trout are found everywhere and there are also large stocks of coarse fish, especially roach. The latter were late and, to some, unwelcome arrivals in these rivers and others in Ulster. How they got there is explained under Baronscourt Lakes .

Permits to fish the Foyle from Lif-ford Bridge to Culmore are issued on a season basis only at moderate cost by the FFC. The application must be made on the approved form obtainable from the Commission at 8, Victoria Road, Londonderry, Co Derry. The requisite rod licence can be obtained from the same address. Rod Licence: FFC/G

Foyle tributaries

BURNDENNETT

This small tributary, which flows close to the borders of Counties Tyrone and Londonderry, is almost entirely free fishing. It offers trout and sea trout.

CAMOWEN

This small tributary joins the Drum-ragh to form the Strule at Omagh. It offers trout, sea trout, the occasional salmon and coarse fish with some access for visitors. Omagh, Co. TyroneCTS7 miles in area

DT and WT: for C)A(G.D.F. Flanagan, Sedan Avenue, Omagh) –Apr1-Oct 20 (ST) DERG A tributary of the Mourne, this river drains Lough Derg, flowing northeast through Castlederg to join the Mourne below Millbrook. It contains brown trout and coarse fish and attracts sea trout and salmon; the grilse run is said to be improving. There are opportunities for visitors with free sections near the villages of Spamount and Greenville.

Castlederg, Co TyroneCTSTS 7 miles in area DtandWT: needed for C)A(S. Faulkner, 24, Eden Park, Castlederg)Apr 1-Oct 20 (ST) DRUMRAGH

Linking with the Camowen at Omagh to form the Strule, the Drumragh offers sea trout, some salmon, trout and coarse fish with chances for visiting anglers.

Omagh, Co. TyroneCTS4 miles as specified on permit DtandWT: needed for C)A(G. D. F. Flanagan, Sedan Avenue, Omagh)oApr 1-Oct 20 (S/T)

FAIRY WATER

This Strule tributary, which flows in from the west to join the mainstream at Poe Bridge, is the river which first spotlighted the coarse fishing potential of Ulster nearly 20 years ago when a group of English journalists, on one of the first coarse fishing probes into the pro- vince took 3J cwt of roach in a 16-hour stint. The Fairy Water has remained a legend in the annals of roach fishing ever since and still produces huge catches. It is best in the short section from the creamery outfall just above the bridge down to the junction with the Strule, and all visitors have to do is seek permission from the friendly staff at the creamery. The river also contains trout and some sea trout but it is the roach which give it its highest rating.

Omagh, Co. TyroneCSection from old railway bridge to junction withRiverStrule DT required but permission must be obtained from the manager of Messrs Nestle’s condensery at Coneywarren near Omagh

FAUGHAN

The Faughan rises in the Sperrin Mountains to flow north to enter the narrow inner neck of Lough Foyle just below Londonderry. Salmon and sea trout run up it from mid-June, the sea trout run being the most prolific. Visitors, for whom there are opportunities on this river, are specifically warned that the special regulations given on permits are strictly applied. Londonderry, Co. DerryTSTS20 miles from source to seaBB DT:(L20)A(W.J.Sproule,46a, Carlisle Road, Londonderry. NB: NotavailableThursdays)Jun 1-Oct20e

FINN

This river drains Lough Finn in Co. Donegal in the Republic of Ireland to cross the border into Ulster below Castlefinn. The spring salmon run is rated good with fish averaging 12 lb. It also contains trout and sea trout. Access for visitors is limited. GLEN

Rising in the Sperrin Mountains, the Glen flows west (following the B47 road) to Plumbridge where it swings south to join the Owen-killew a few miles east of Newtownstewart. It offers some chance of salmon, sea trout and coarse fishing for visitors. Omagh, Co. TyroneCTSTS Section as described on map with permit

DT(Mon-Frionly): (L4)AAA(Gaff AC)

MOURNE

This river is not, to the surprise of many, in any way associated with the famous Mountains of Mourne. The river is formed by the junction of the Strule and Owenkillew at

Newtownstewart from where it flows north-west to meet the Foyle just below Strabane. The Mourne, and its associated tributaries, attract a smaller salmon run than other rivers in the Foyle system. The fish begin moving in May but these fish – and the sea trout – are not reckoned worth fishing for until June when the main run of grilse occurs. This continues through July and into August with smaller runs still occurring in September and October. The Mourne also contains coarse fish, especially big roach. Indeed, the reach between Strabane and the Foyle has been described as one of the finest roach fisheries in Europe with fish of less than 1 lb in weight a rarity. Four anglers, including one of the editors of this Guide, took more than 2 cwt of roach here in just over five hoursl Access for visitors is reasonable.

Omagh, Co. TyroneCTS1 mile below junction with River Owenkillew (Ticket also covers 1} miles on Owenkillew above junction

DtandWT(nofneededforC): A(G. D. F. Flanagan, Sedan Avenue, Omagh Apr 1-Oct 20 (ST) Sion Mills, Co. TyroneCTS5 miles from a point below Sion Mills Weirto Victoria BridgeLB DtandWT(nofneededforC):A(V. Annesley, 10, Albert Place, Sion Mills)G (Filling Station, Victoria Bridge).Apr 1-Oct 20 (ST) Sion Mills, Co. TyroneTSTS 13 miles at Sion Mills(LB), 1} miles at Victoria Bridge (LB) and mile at Lisky

DT: A R. Cunningham, 10-12, Bridge Street, Strabane, and Messrs Flanagan’s, 17/18, Sedan Avenue, Omagh=Apr 1-Oct

Strabane, Co. TyroneCSection known as The Clayholes extending downstream from disused railway bridgeBB

DT nor needed but permission should be sought for LB from S. W.

Rule, “Khiva, Urney Road,

Strabane or for RB from T. H.

Graham, Lifford Road Filling

Station, Strabane • Association: Sion Mills AA

OWENKILLEW

Another river rising in the Sperrins, the Owenkillew flows down to join the Strule and form the Mourne at Newtownstewart. Salmon sport depends on rain with August and September rated the likeliest months. There is also a good run of sea trout. The river also contains trout and coarse fish.

Omagh, Co.

TyroneCTSTSSection as described on map with permit

DT(Mon-Fri only): (L4)AAA(Gaff

AC)

ROE

This river which flows north via

Dungiven and Limavady to enter

Lough Foyle below Ballycarton is one of those yo-yo waters which rises and falls rapidly with rain.

Provided the angler picks the right time, salmon and sea trout fishing can be good with Bovevagh rated a hot spot. There is some access for visitors, including some free fishing.

Dungiven, Co. DerryTSTS milesfrom Ross’s Mill down to

Burnfoot Bridge

DtandWT:A(S. Doran,

Hairdresser, Main Street,

Dungiven)F(StrangemoreFarm,

Dungiven)’ -Aprl-Oct 20 (ST) e

Limavady, Co. DerryTSTS milesfrom Burnfoottosea (with twoexceptions)BB

DT: (L20)ATS (Limavady)==Apr 1-Oct20e

Limavady, Co. DerryTSTS1} miles downstream from Dog Leap

Bridge

DT: A (F. J. Mullan and Co., Main

Street, LimavadyllApr 1 -Oct

STRULE

This river, which flows from Omagh to Newtownstewart, is reckoned to contain the biggest brown trout in the entire Foyle system. It also attracts sea trout, some salmon and contains plenty of coarse fish, especially roach.

Access for visitors is reasonable.

Omagh, Co. TyroneCTS8 miles in area

DT and WT(nof needed for C):

A(G. D. F. Flanagan, Sedan

Avenue, Omagh)’Apr 1-Oct (ST)

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