Open: May 1st to
Size: 15 to 20 acres, approximately
Boat hire: 10 euros, half-day up to 4.30pm or from 4.30pm to midnight. Daily rate is 20 euros. Only two boats are available at any one time and no petrol or electric engines are allowed on the lake. You must book a boat prior to arrival. Permit: You need a Shannon Regional Fisheries Board permit. Day permits are 10 euros but if you are in the area fishing for a while, you’d be better purchasing a 21-Day Visitors Permit for 18 euros. Species present: Stocked and wild brown trout. Some rainbows from previous stocking.
Average size of fish: Brown trout are stocked as fingerlings (1,000 per year) and grow naturally on the rich feeding the lake provides. Fish average between 1lb to 2lb but look out for some resident wild fish up to 6lb!
Bag limit: Six fish, although a catch and release policy is encouraged
Bank fishing: Boat fishing only, no bank fishing or wading
Fly life and patterns: The lough sees great hatches of lake olive, sedge and chironomids. It is also well known for its snail population. Alexandra, Black and Peacock Spider, Bibio, Coch-Y-Bondhu and Sooty Olive all fish well.
Recommended rod and fly line: 10ft 6/7-wt with floating and intermediate lines
Recommended tippet: Tapered leaders down to 4lb. Use fluorocarbon for dry-fly fishing.
Useful extras: Take a camera – there are some wonderful sunsets over the lough. Make sure you are ready for a day on the oars!
For further information on Mount Dalton, contact: Mrs Catherine Gibson Brabazon, Mount Dalton, Rathconrath, near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Tel: +353 (044) 55102
Tackle dealer: It is well worth visiting David O’Malley’s tackle shop in the nearby town of Mullingar for advice and tactics for fishing the lough.
B&Bs: Mullingar has numerous B&Bs. Everybody knows everybody, so just get talking in the local shops for accommodation. Prices start from 25 euros.
Public Houses: Mullingar is an ever-growing town and there are many good pubs and restaurants in the area. Depending on where you are staying, there is usually a pub within walking distance.