Sport & Recreation

Lough Owel was a major attraction to the upper classes for a days fishing in the 1800s.

Excursions having stayed the night locally would proceed to fish for trout using a method known as blowline fishing.

Blowline fishing being the most effective method of using the natural fly is practiced when the May fly or greendrake is rising to the surface of the water after casting off its case.

The trout is attracted to this yellowish-green insect and having cast aside their habitual caution are easier caught.

Trout of up to four pounds weight are reported to have been caught in this way.

Surfacing in Lough Owel
© Sean Magee


Lough Owel is maintained as a high class trout fishery. Its resident stock of wild brown trout has improved greatly over recent years due to the control of pike numbers in its waters. A policy operates whereby ova from native adult trout is hatched out at the Cullion Fish Farm nearby and stocked back into the lake. The average size of trout found in the lake weighs about 2 lbs

The flies found on Lough Owel are Duckfly in Spring, Green peter in July and August and Olives in May and late August - September. The May fly is sparse and localised.

Lough Owel also lends itself to a number of other sports, being used for waterskiing and also a diving site for the Mullingar Sub Aqua Club.

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