Catching the often elusive wild brown trout on the waters of Ireland sounds like the recipe for fun for many angling enthusiasts. Organizing your trip is much easier than you think and worthwhile if you've found your passion in angling (as opposed to bungee jumping, not that you wouldn't be able to do that in Ireland, mind you.) Due to a network of rivers and loughs, Ireland is quite popular with fishing pros that love to match their honed skills against the wild trout. What is their target? The brown trout, officially known as Salmo Trutta or Breac Donn (its Gaelic name), a native species which ends up being one of the most widely distributed freshwater fish throughout Ireland.
A conservative count gives Ireland around 16,000 kilometres of main river channel with another 10,000 kilometres of tributary; all of this is mostly unspoilt and unpolluted which provides an ideal (and expansive) habitat for the wild trout. Not that the trout is particularly picky with places to call home since the fish is widespread throughout the country and thrives in waters of all types, including limestone rivers and loughs (of which Ireland has plenty.)
While Ireland seems to be a wonderful place for the trout, the fish finds its habitat diminishing throughout Europe. It is this contrast that has helped Ireland gain its popularity when it comes to providing aficionados with what they consider the essence of their favourite sport: the pursuit of wild trout taking hatching fly in natural waters. The animals themselves are quite inspiring and fishermen often find trouts within the 10 to 20 pound range.
A Great Vacation Buy
First, the good news: you won't require a licence within the Republic of Ireland to do your fishing... for the most part. The catch is that you will require a licence if you intend to fish within the Loughs Agency waters (in counties such as Donegal and Louth as well as throughout Northern Ireland.) Dipping your line in the best waters will set you back between 10 to 20 Euros per day, which is pricey but hardly a big setback if you are already planning a vacation around it. If you are strapped for cash, however, you can try visiting some of the bigger western loughs which usually offer free fishing for brown trout. You might not see a ferrari driving past very often through those parts, but we can agree that glamour is not their main selling point... inexpensive quality trout fishing is.