The most striking feature of Ballyhass is the clarity of the spring fed water. The main lake is 12 acres and the water depth is about 30 ft in the summer and 40 ft in the winter. The stock of fish feed on the natural fly and insect life only so the fishing methods need to reflect these conditions. The fly life follows a very similar pattern to other lakes with Spring Olives, and Caddis followed by gold heads, hairs Ear, Eatafoam sedges, Mayfly Patterns, Elk hair caddis, and nymphs will all attract fish. By July to September the Daddy long legs are very reliable and even a large Murroch in the late evening will attract the larger fish. As the winter approaches, lures and boobys of various forms are best, on or close the bottom fished with a fast sinking Di7 line. At any time of year nymphs and buzzers will work well when fished nearly static. We stock a very extensive range of flies from Basil Shields and others. Some patterns are made to Tom Lofts own specifications for Ballyhass.
As the water is so clear presentation is very important. We recommend a long leader (12ft +) preferably of fluorocarbon. We stock a wide range of tippet material plus tapered and sinking leaders.
The main lake can be fished from the bank or best by boat. Boats can be hired, life jackets are supplied. Electric engines can be used but are not available for hire. Float tubes are permitted. The fish are from 2 lbs upwards and many are in the 6 to 8 lbs range. Both rainbow and brown Trout are breeding in the lake. On a day ticket presently 2 fish can be taken up to 3 lbs weight. All adult fish and all brown trout are catch and release only. Catch and release is encouraged at all times, and you may continue to fish on this basis having caught your bag limit.
The main lake can get quite busy during the summer months with other outdoor pursuits taking place on and around the lake. Our regulars generally take advantage of the quiter evenings where there will always be one side of the lake or other free for just angling.
The Upper Lake
The upper lake is 2 acres and is accessed only from the bank. The water is 25 ft deep and has terraced fishing platforms on several sides. Permitted fishing methods are fly, worm, spinning, and bubble and fly. Worm is best fished with a float leaving a minimum of 6ft to 8 ft from the bubble to the worm. Strictly no ground baiting, and the use of Powerbait and maggot is banned completely. This lake has very good natural fly life and can be great sport on light tackle. Fish are up to 2 lbs on this lake.
Fly Fishing Lessons
Experience the thrill catching your first trout on the fly. In one session we can open the door to a whole new experience and take the mystique out of the art of casting with a fly rod. We offer a one to one introductory session to give you the basics of casting, giving you enough for you to able to cast a fly. More importantly you will be able to recognize the common pitfalls and errors that those new to the art experience. Practice will be required to overcome the initial barriers but after our session you will be fully aware of the steps to take.
Ballyhass lakes is the ideal venue to start fly fishing, as there is no moving water to wade through, no bank trees that could interfere with you and plenty of open space lawns to practice your casting on.
The improver and more advanced angler can also benefit from one one to one session and could join our Angling Club where experiences are shared and additional group session on the lakes and river are organized.
Ballyhass has one of the best stocked tackle shops in Munster. Everything from rods, reels, lines, accessories, waders, fly tying gear and the best selection of pre tied flies in Munster. If there is something you are looking for inparticular and we dont have it in stock we can order in for you at no extra cost. Tom Lofts our fishery manager is always on hand to give expert advice no matter where you are casting your line. if you are not fishing at our lakes the tackle shop on site is worth the visit.