Fishing is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty and heritage of the Blackwater Valley.   Blackwater Castle is located in the heart of the Blackwater Valley in the picturesque village of Castletownroche in North Cork.  The River Awbeg, a tributary of the Blackwater, wraps around the rocky promontory upon which the Castle was erected some 800 years ago and offers a wonderful location for some fishing – especially fly fishing.


Fishermen indulge their passion for trout fly
fishing on
the River Awbeg at Blackwater Castle.

The Castle is an ideal location to indulge in some trout fly fishing in what is reputed to be one of the cleanest rivers in Ireland. The Castle owns the fishing rights to the stretch of the Awbeg that passes through the grounds of the Castle and guests of the Castle are welcome to enjoy the delights the river has to offer. There is an abundant population of modest sized brown trout and with the number of deep holds and more significant pools there is the possibility of catching larger specimens so the river is ideal for trout fly fishing.


This is the woodland pathway on the south bank of the River
Awbeg that runs through the Castle grounds leading to
the best sites for trout fly fishing.


The remnants of the Old Rustic Bridge in Castletownroche on the
grounds of Blackwater Castle. The bridge, immortalised in the song
The Old Rustic Bridge by the Mill” by TP Keenan who is buried in
Castletownroche, collapsed in the floods of 1946.

Salmon fishing is also possible as stocks in the area have now recovered due to the ban on drift net fishing along the Blackwater.  Our stretch of the river meets the Blackwater River two miles downstream at Bridgetown Abbey and of course the Blackwater River itself is renowned as one of the best salmon fisheries in Ireland.

Trout Fly Fishing

Peter O’Reilly, Ireland’s leading authority on trout and salmon fishing in Ireland and author of Rivers of Ireland, A Flyfisher’s Guide (Merlin Unwin Books, 7th Edition, 2009), had the following to say about the quality of the Awbeg River for trout fly fishing:-

“The Awbeg River is about 30 miles long and flows down from near Charleville in North Co. Cork, through Buttevant and Doneraile (where steeple chasing originated) and on through Shanballymore and Castletownroche, before joining the Blackwater downstream of Killavullen at Bridgetown Abbey.  This is a lovely trout stream as anyone who has ever viewed it at Castletownroche will know.  It is mainly spring-fed on limestone, with a good mix of stream and pool.  Weed can be a problem in summer, especially upstream of Doneraile.  It is a difficult river to flood so the water is always clear.

Annes Grove Gardens, at Castletownroche, is a prohibited area for about one mile. The Awbeg holds an excellent stock of 9-inch trout, with bigger fish upstream of Doneraile. The relatively slow growth-rate of the Awbeg trout is ascribed to the low average water temperature. From Shanballymore, downstream to Castletownroche, the river holds very good stocks and bigger fish are caught upstream of Caramile Bridge to Buttevant.  The river can be fished with wet or dry-fly.  In recent years, upstream nymph tactics and Czech nymphing has been growing in popularity, especially on the gravel runs.”

The season runs from the 15th of  February to the 30th of September and anglers can avail of the equipment we keep for the use of our guests at no extra charge. Local and experienced ghillies can be arranged for both fishing expeditions on our stretch of the Awbeg or the adjoining Blackwater river.

www-blackwatercastle-com-foxglovewww-blackwatercastle-com-elderflowerElderflower  and foxglove along
the banks of the River Awbeg.

Fishermen enjoy the beauty of the river and the extensive history and heritage awaiting discovery in the area. You are welcome to stay in the Guesthouse where Patrick will prepare breakfast for you and groups of fishermen are especially welcome to stay in the Castle on a self-catering or partial-catering basis where we can arrange meals and refreshments for you when required.  You can also stock our private bar yourselves and enjoy a warming whiskey (or something milder) after a contemplative and enjoyable day on the river bank.

Local and experienced ghillies can be arranged for both fishing expeditions on our stretch of the Awbeg and on the adjoining Blackwater river for those who favour salmon fly fishing.   Equipment and clothing can also be arranged and we will be delighted to assist you in planning your perfect stay in Blackwater Castle where you can indulge your passion for or experiment with fly fishing.