Angler lands massive specimen of rare species native to Irish lough.
The look of shock and exhaustion on the face of angler Sam Andrews says all you need to know about the importance of the catch he’s just made.
Seconds before this shot was taken the Fishery Manager netted one of the biggest Dollaghan trout ever landed.
Fishing the river Maine in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sam hooked the specimen during an afternoon session on the river at Shane’s Castle, where he works.
At 33inches long and weighing in at an incredible 18lb, the huge fish – a rare strain of trout– is the biggest Sam as seen or heard of in 20years on the river.
“The look on my face really does say it all,” said Sam. “I have encountered Dollaghan trout previously up to 10lb and other anglers have caught them up to 12lbs, but fish of this size are extremely rare. It’s certainly the best Dollaghan I’ve caught or even heard of in 20 years of fly-angling.”
The incredible creature fell for a size 10 red/gold shrimp fly presented on Hardy MLA slow sink intermediate 9wt line with Sam subduing the fish on a 13foot Vision Catapult GT4 9wt double handed rod.
“Dollaghan are notorious for their dour fight,” continued Sam. “This fish was very strong and simply 'lay down' to the point where I thought I was stuck on the bottom at one stage.
“The fish was released and swam away strongly after 25minutes recovery in the river,” he added.
Dollaghan trout are native to County Antrim’s Lough Neagh and are though to have evolved from landlocked sea trout. A migratory species they run up the rivers from the lough in the summer to spawn.
For more information on fishing for these fish contact Sam for access to and guiding on the river Maine and Lough Neagh at
or on +44 7889423965
Dollaghan trout grown much bigger than other native trout species, but fish of this size are almost unheard of.