With 17 separate fisheries which oversee the fishing practices, it is estimated that some 8,000-12,000 salmon are rod-caught during each season. The presence of freshwater pearl mussels is testimony to the quality of water.
A fairly long river, the Moy rises out of the Ox Mountains in Sligo and takes a circuitous route, meandering first south, then west into Mayo, before turning north towards Ballina to complete its 110 km journey in the 8km estuary of Killala Bay where it flows out to the Atlantic Ocean. The river has a great catchment area incorporating lakes and streams.
In the main channel, which is deep and wide, salmon are abundant each season. The Ridge Pool is one of the most productive areas on the river and during peak season fishing is carefully controlled every hour to ensure healthy fish stocks are maintained. In addition, the nearby weir pool is popular among anglers.
The river’s estuary offers plentiful sea trout while the upper river offers good late-season sea trout fishing as well as salmon.Though local fishing rules vary, licenses are required to fish salmon or sea trout. Good ghillies are invaluable for information on local practices.
Nature’s resplendent offerings from anywhere on the banks of the River Moy, of pasturelands and mountains--the Ox Mountains to the east and the Nephin Beg range to the west--illustrate the spiritual appeal of fishing. As one poet, David Threadgold put it, describing fishing as a metaphor for life itself:
You see we all go fishing
Not always using bait
Just cast a line for what you want
Then settle down and wait
Whatever your motivation, if it’s fish you’re after, there’s no finer place to settle down, soak up the silence (but for the birds and sheep), smell the wild flowers on a grassy knoll, cast your line and--just wait.