Paddy McDonnell is a professional Salmon and Trout Angling Guide in the Moy Valley.
He is a qualified
GAIA APGAI Instructor in both Trout and Sea Trout, and Salmon Angling
and an
FFF Certified Instructor.

Paddy works with the Z Spey Company

Paddy McDonnell
Co. Mayo

Tel: 00353 (0) 9492 51033
Mobile: 00353 (0)87 4123235
e mail:

Paddy out on the Lough

Aerialising line

A profile of Paddy McDonnell that was used for a European workshop.

I was born on a small farm in the west of Ireland on June 12th 1963.
In those days there were hardly any cars and most houses had no televisions or phones. My friends and I may have lacked a lot of today's comforts,
but fishing was our passion and the lakes,rivers,and streams of Mayo was our playground.A visiting journalist once wrote "Every household has at
least one fishing rod and never have I seen angling so interwoven into the fabric of a community as in the west of Ireland". We fished every day of
the season, on the way to school,on the way home from school,and at every opportunity at weekends and holidays. I was very fortunate as a child
to have been taught all the old traditional styles of fly fishing for trout and salmon by some of the master anglers who lived locally. For centuries the
west of Ireland has attracted anglers from many countries,bringing with them new techniques and casting styles. Being young we soaked up all this
new information like sponges and just added it to our traditional foundations.

Fly fishing for wild brown trout on the Great Loughs of the West "L CORRIB,L MASK,L CONN" is a unique experience. Not only does the angler have
to cope with wild rock strewn lakes where the weather changes constantly,anglers often have to use a wide variety of techniques and skills to
succeed. This demands a lot of novice and experienced anglers as truly wild fishing always does,but I have never met or guided an angler who
didn't thoroughly enjoy the experience. There are many productive salmon rivers around Co Mayo but it is the river Moy that is the most famous.
With the coastal drift nets gone the salmon runs are already recovering with rod catches of 6,000-10,000 fish . Fly fishing for wild Atlantic salmon
is often perceived as been difficult with fly casting and the use of double hand rods at the top of the list. With good instruction this need not be true.
Down through the years some of the worlds best fly casters and instructors have visited the Moy Valley,world champions like Peter Anderson,
Steve Rajeff and Scott MacKenzie. The graceful and efficient style of Peter Anderson in particular having a strong influence locally. I have myself
been trained by great casters,people like Robert Gillespie, Declan Hughes, Packie Trotter from Ireland and Steve Rajeff, Al Buhr, and Mel Krieger
from the USA. This I believe has given me a broad foundation of styles on which to build my teaching methodology. I have guided many other
great anglers and fly casters learning a great deal in the process.

My philosophy for fly casting and fly fishing is LEARN THE BASICS REALLY WELL, THE HOW AND THE WHY, THEN BUILD ON IT.

As a fulltime guide I don't get to enter trout fly fishing competitions as much as I would like but I have had the honour of representing my province
Connaught on numerous occasions and also my country at international level. These competitions are big social occasions and events like the
World Cup on Lough Mask attract anglers from around the globe.When I organize fishing trips for visiting anglers whether it be for trout salmon or
pike, I have four main principals- Honesty and Integrity, Value for money, Excellence in guiding and fly casting Instruction, and last but not least,
I believe it is my duty to pass on the traditions that were so freely given to me from childhood.

Paddy Mc Donnell

Co Mayo