With its fast flowing streams, well stocked reservoirs and accessible coastline, the Isle of Man offers keen anglers a contrast of experiences.
If you enjoy small scale, intimate fishing, there's usually Sea Trout in the major streams by June with Salmon arriving later.
The reservoirs are regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout and range from sheltered lowland to exposed upland waters. Fishing from beaches, piers and rocks is a pleasure and a wide variety of species can be targeted from shore. Charter boats can also be hired by anglers wishing to go further out to sea.
The Isle of Man offers a unique opportunity to fish for wild brown trout across the island. Many anglers choose to spin rather than fly fish these streams due to the dense cover, however excellent results will come to the practised fly fisherman.
Migratory Fish Salmon and Sea Trout are both native to the island and Manx rivers hold surprisingly good stocks of migratory fish. Given enough water, there should be sea trout in the major streams by June, with salmon arriving later in the year, usually by late September. The main streams frequented by migratory fish are the Sulby River in the northern half of the island and the Neb, which flows into the sea at Peel on the West coast. However sea trout can be found in some of the larger pools in the smaller streams.
The island has eight Water Authority reservoirs, which can provide some challenging stillwater trout fishing and offer a great contrast as they vary from sheltered lowland reservoirs to exposed upland waters in the central hills. Whilst wild brown trout can be found in all of these reservoirs, six of them are also stocked on a regular basis with rainbow and brown trout reared at the Government's fish hatchery at Cornaa. The reservoirs vary in size from the deep, clear Sulby Reservoir (154 acres) located directly under Snaefell to the lowest-lying Ballure (3.5 acres) just on the outskirts of Ramsey. The Clypse and Kerrowdhoo reservoirs just north of Douglas are restricted to fly fishing only. For safety reasons none of the reservoirs allow wading and no boats are available.
Seasons are different for the reservoirs and streams on the island. Fishing on reservoirs opens in March and goes through to the end of October. The season on the streams begins in April and for brown trout continues until the end of September. After this, there is another month's fishing for migratory fish only.
The rod licensing system on the Isle of Man differs from that of the UK in that one licence is required to fish all of the Water Authority reservoirs and a separate licence can be purchased to fish elsewhere (e.g. rivers). These licences are available from the majority of post offices and from Government Offices. Licences can be purchased for a day, a week or a season, and there are reductions for junior anglers. However, during the month of October, the most productive for migratory fish, only a season ticket is available.