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Lockstown Bridge
Lockstown Bridge


Last Sunday i eventually got back to fish the Kings River at Lockstown in County Wicklow. It had been several weeks now since i was over that way, but i never wet a line then due to heavy rain the previous day, which left the river in flood. Anyhow, this time i did manage to get a line wet, in fact, it turned out to be a good days fishing. It was a very warm day with a strong wind blowing down stream with the water at fourteen degrees Celsius. The river was higher than the average Summer levels again, due to our now usual wet summers. There were a few fish rising in some of the pools but i did not see any signs of a fly hatch. I assumed they were feeding on wind blown terrestrial insects.


At first i tried to fish a dry fly but a strong wind and a four weight line is not a good combination. I gave up on that idea and set the rod up with some spiders to fish across and down. This turned out to be  order of the day, accounting for about ten beautiful little brownies, all taken on a size sixteen black spider.

Dark Kings River Trout
Dark Kings River Trout
The River flows through moor land and is rich amber in colour which gives its brown trout a very dark appearance. The best fish was about twenty two centimetres (22cm) in length. I returned all fish to the river.
A.A. Luce wrote in his book FISHING AND THINKING: “The scene was the King’s River, a small tributary of the Liffey, some twenty miles from Dublin. The stretch i fished that day will never be fished again; it lies fathoms deep beneath the surface of the Pollaphuca reservoir. The waters were acid, and the trout on average, very small. The stretch was not preserved; the fishing was ‘free’; the trout were highly educated, and knew every pattern of artificial fly served up to them…I kept three dozen and a half, and put back as many more.”
A lot of water has flowed under Lockstown Bridge since that day of more than eighty years ago. There is a size and bag limit now and a permit is also required. Dublin Trout Anglers Association have it as one of their club waters. If fly fishing for wild brown trout on a wonderful river, set in beautiful surroundings is what you are after, i certainly would recommend picking up a permit and heading for the King’s River.
Kings River Lockstown

Kings River Lockstown


6 Responses to “Return to Kings River, Co. Wicklow”

  1. Colin John says:

    I was on my way back across the wickow gap after a productive days dry fly fishing the slaney near kiltegan,in early september,and i stopped off to admire what a beautiful secluded stream the kings river is.i am almost ashamed to say that as a native of wicklow i havnt fished it yet,it is top of my list for next season,they look to be beautiful dark brownies,average size for the acidic wiclow streams too.interesting post,a good read.
    Kind regards.

  2. bpflyfish says:

    have 2 say it has got 2 be 1 of my favourite rivers 2 fish
    ok the fish are small but beautifull the scenery is fantastic what more do u want i fish it with a 7ft 6 3wt u get 2 feel every bite even if they are small gr8 sport the flies i used were size 16 to 20 klinkhammer G gnat and some g.h. Nymph
    Tight lines bpflyfish :-)

  3. wgsten says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s a fantastic spot alright. Can’t wait to see what the fishing is like up there this season. I should be getting up there shortly and will be sure to get another blog post up about it.
    Tight Lines.

  4. I have to say, I really enjoy your website. Could tell me how I can go about subscribing with it? By the way I discovered this site through Yahoo.

  5. I just needed to say that I found your blog via Goolge and I am glad I did. Keep up the good work and I will make sure to bookmark you for when I have more free time away from the books. Thanks again!

  6. wgsten says:

    @fishing guides
    Unfortunately i don’t have a subscribing service on the blog as i’m still getting it up and running. But if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you’ll be notified everytime a new blog or photo is posted.
    You can access us on facebook or twitter by clicking the relevant button on the home page.

    @Tourism Guide
    Thanks for the compliments. Always nice to hear people enjoy the blog. Keeps me motivated to write more.

    Tight Lines

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