Fishing on the River Roe

The River Roe flows from the hills above Dungiven down through the Roe Valley through the Town of Limavady to enter the Foyle Estuary on the north eastern corner of the Foyle Area. The River Roe is a medium sized spate river (5.20 m) with fine runs of sea trout and salmon. Early June sees the first of the Sea Trout entering the River these trout are usually the bigger trout from 1to 3lbs in weight.

The first of the Grilse appear along with this run of sea trout. July sees the main run of sea trout entering the lower stretches of the River with the dedicated Fly fisher catching them at night, successful flies are Teal Blue, Black Zulu, Peter Ross and Black Pennell patterns, floating or intermediate lines work best.

Local anglers pray for rain in July as the first spates in July see runs of Grilse and Salmon enter the River. These salmon range from 3 to 6lb with a few larger salmon 8 to 12lb being caught. The water conditions control the methods used. When the river is in full spate the local anglers will fish worms and spin with flying ‘C’s and Copper Spoons being successful methods, as the river begins to drop and clear the Fly fisherman will cast his flies in hope of a fish. The local patterns include the Wilkinson Shrimp, Curry’s Red, Apache and Bann Special Shrimp patterns working well in sizes 8 to 12’s depending on water height. August tends to be a hard month on the river as the water levels tend to be low.

September and the River Roe goes up a gear and when the water comes the local anglers make to the banks of the river in hope to connect with a fish or two. October sees the last few weeks of the season and the runs of salmon head up towards their spawning beds above Dungiven. The anglers also head upstream following the runs of salmon fishing areas like the Carrick Flats, The Rock Hole, The Straw and other pools around Burnfoot.