ANGLING Information


Open Season for Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout on CAA Waters

Séasúr Oscailte le haghaidh iascaireacht Bradán, Breac Geal agus Breac Donn


Angling Regulations for season 2024


The Ray is open for salmon angling on a catch and release basis. It is open for sea trout and brown trout. Sea trout under 40cm may be retained, subject to a daily bag limit of three trout per angler per day.


The Tullaghobegley is open for salmon angling on a catch and release basis. 

 It remains the case that our fish stocks are in need of safeguarding and nurturing. Therefore only single or double barbless hooks may be used throughout the fishery.

Fishing for Sea Trout in Ballyness Bay


General: In Ireland Sea trout or White Trout are traditionally fished for when they return to freshwater.  Elsewhere in Europe, particularly around the Baltic coast they have always been pursued in the sea.  In recent years more anglers in Ireland are realizing the exciting possibilities of fly fishing and spinning in estuaries such as the Erne estuary and Gweebarra Bay.

Our own Ballyness Bay is also beginning to reveal its secrets and we would encourage both local and visiting anglers to test their skills in pursuit of an Breac Gheal, the Nomad of the Tides in this exceptionally beautiful location.  Please consult the the map of Ballyness Bay on our website for guidance on the best locations for fishing.

Advice and Tips: For fly-fishing a 9 to 91/2 ft. rod rated AFTM 7 is ideal.  A Weight Forward floating or slow intermediate line is all that is needed.  Flies such as Teal Blue and Silver, Black and Silver Spider or any Sandeel or Shrimp imitation will all take fish.  In all these patterns a touch of sparkle and a longer than normal wing can sometimes make all the difference.

Spinning with light tackle can also be productive with the most popular baits being Abu Krill and Toby,Tasmanian Devil and Mepps.

N.B It is advised that you rinse and dry your tackle after every trip to prevent corrosion.

Hooks: Whether fly-fishing or spinning in Ballyness Bay we recommend the use of single hooks as many of the sea trout you encounter will be small finnock which should be handled carefully and released.

Anglers fishing for sea trout in Ballyness Bay must carry the appropriate IFI licence and abide by the same restrictions and regulations as apply on the Ray and Tullaghobegley. Access to the fishery on the Falcarragh side is at Ballyness Pier where adequate parking is available.  Anglers wishing to fish on the Magheraroarty side are advised to park at Magheraroarty pier and follow the track behind the dunes to access fishing.  Fishing is best either side of low tide and anglers are advised to consult local tide tables when planning their fishing.  Periods of low Spring tides are usually best as it is only then that the channels reveal themselves fully.


Recommended Fishing Tackle


Rods – A single-handed fly rod of 912 to 1012 ft. rated for 7/8# fly lines will cover salmon and sea-trout fishing on our rivers.  A shorter rod of 812 to 9ft. rated for 5/6# will be best for brown trout on rivers and hill loughs.  If fishing for seatrout in Ballyness Bay be sure to rinse and dry your tackle after every trip to prevent corrosion.

Fly Lines – A Floating fly line is perfect for low to normal water levels.  An Intermediate or Sink Tip fly line will help to get the fly down in Spring or during conditions of high water.

Flies – For Salmon flies of sizes 8 to 12 should be sufficient while trout flies of sizes 10 to 14 are best for Sea Trout.  Tube flies of plastic or aluminium can be very effective for salmon.

Pattern is a personal matter but recommended flies for Salmon include Curry’s Red Shrimp, Cascade, Thunder and Lightning and Silver Wilkinson.

For Sea Trout try Teal Blue and Silver, Black and Silver Spider, Peter Ross and Butcher.  The same patterns, perhaps tied with a longer wing and a bit more flash will catch sea trout in Ballyness Bay.  Long-winged imitations of the sandeel will also work well.

Hooks – Only single, barbless hooks may be used on the fishery.  Salmon or sea-trout should be handled with the utmost care prior to release and should never be lifted vertically from the water.

Clothing and Footwear – There is nothing more miserable than being cold and wet.  Donegal will often deliver four seasons in one day so warm clothes and waterproof jackets and pull-ups are advised.

There is no necessity for wading on either of our rivers.  Wellingtons or sturdy walking boots are all you will require.

Midges – In Donegal there is normally enough wind to keep the midges at bay.  However, it is advisable to carry a midge net or midge repellent for those calm, warm days when they are active.




VISITOR PERMITS.  These are available from McGee’s Service Station, Main Street, Falcarragh. State licences may also be purchased here.

Adult Permit. Day Permit €25.   Week Permit €100.

Juvenile Permit ( 16yrs or younger ). Day Permit €5. Week permit €15.

Group Juvenile ( Up to four juveniles ). Day permit €10.   Week permit €30.

Information about Falcarragh


Falcarragh, or “An Fhál Carrach” in Irish, is an Irish speaking market town. It is an excellent angling centre, and a perfect base for walkers. It has a large estate house dating back to the plantation of Ulster, which is now home to a challenging nine-hole Golf course. Ray old  church has a large stone cross of great historical significance which dates to the time of Colmcille. It is said to have been brought from Muckish Mountain en route to Toraigh, but was left at Ray by Colm Cille as a gift to Saint Fionán, the monk who established the local church.


Please click this link to find a selection of accomodation in the area.

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Cloughaneely Angling Association

 Salmon, Brown/Sea Trout Fishing



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